For as long as I can remember, and I’m told as long as my mother knew, Christmas cakes, wedding cakes, special birthday cakes and other celebration cakes in our family were made using an old recipe we knew as Cuddleston Cake. I have tried to look it up but not had much success, a typical return is “coddleston pie” but this of course relates to Pooh’s song. (Chapter 10 Winnie-the-Pooh)
As this was a good fruit cake, it would last, in fact would improve with age, and so it was a perfect cake to take with us on our long summer holidays spent at a caravan in Ingoldmells
In keeping with this tradition, I made it for my wedding cake, and have made it for most Christmases. This year, it seemed timely for me to pass the recipe on should you feel like making a good old fashioned fruit cake. As a side note, for any Yorkshire readers, it also goes well with cheese.
24 ounces plain flour
12 ounces brown sugar
12 ounces butter
4 ounces of glace cherries ( chopped)
4 ounces of citron peel (mixed peel if you can’t get citron)
4 ounces of almonds (chopped) plus 2 ounces for the top if the cake is not going to be iced
48 ounces of mixed fruit
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tbsp treacle
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1 tsp citric acid (or fresh lemon juice added to milk)
1/2 pt milk (approx)
Cream butter and sugar
Add syrup and treacle and the eggs
Mix together and gradually beat in the flour and bicarb.
Add all the fruit and nuts and stir in the milk.
Place mix into a lined 10 in square or 11 in round cake tin
If the cake is not going to be iced use 2 ounces of whole almonds placed evenly on the top of the cake
Bake at 180 for about an hour. Test with knife or cake tester.
Cool on wire rack. This cake will last and does improve with some age.
I traditionally kept the top layer of my wedding cake for 1st anniversary, and it was fine.
Unfortunately I don’t have any photographs of the cake. If you want use this recipe and would like to post I would enjoy seeing your cake.
Happy baking and happy Christmas.