Serves: 6-8

Prep: 20 min
Cook: 40 min


500g plain white flour, sifted
2 pinches Salt
125g unsalted Butter, softened
15ml Baking powder
200g unrefined caster sugar
a few drops vanilla extract
a few drops almond extract
30ml dark rum
1 large lemon, finely grated zest
1 tsp cardamon seeds
10ml ground mixed spice
50g suet
125g currants
125g raisins
125g almonds
40g chopped mixed candied peel
250g Crème fraîche, or thick greek-style yogurt
2 large Eggs, beaten
250g natural-colour marzipan

To finish

25g melted Butter
icing sugar, sifted


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Grease a baking sheet.

2. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl and rub in the butter. Add the baking powder, sugar, vanilla and almond extracts, rum, lemon zest, mixed spice, suet, dried fruits, almonds and peel and mix well. Stir in the crème fraîche and eggs to form a nice firm dough.

3. Put on a floured surface and gently roll out with a rolling pin to form an oblong about 30 x 45cm and 2cm thick. Form the marzipan into a sausage shape the length of the dough. Fold the top of the dough over the marzipan, and seal well. Fold under the ends.

4. Place on the baking sheet and bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until well risen and golden brown. The cake will spread slightly – don’t worry this is quite normal.

5. Once cooked, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack with a piece of foil underneath. Brush liberally with melted butter and dust with plenty of icing sugar. Leave to cool.
6. Wrap tightly in foil to store; it will keep for 2-3 weeks in a cool place. Cut into large slices to serve.

Comments: you can freeze this, it will taste better for christmas if you make it 1-2 months earlier and keep it wraped in thin paper and a cardboard box.

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