For many people “Christmas Cake” conjures up images of a heavy, fruit-rich, brandy-soaked delight. This was the Christmas cake of my childhood, when my mother would begin collecting up extra butter and eggs, ready to make the cake in September or October. A wonderful cake with wonderful memories, but times and people change: my family prefers a cake that looks and tastes similar to the traditional one, but with fewer calories and much less fat. In addition, I confess to being a rather lazy baker, as I like to make a quick cake.
By trial and error, and after discussions with friends, I’ve come up with this easy, lighter version of a fruitcake. I make it at Christmas, but my family often orders it for other occasions too, such as birthdays or graduations.
I usually bake this in a 10-inch loaf pan, but it’s also possible to use a round cake pan.
*3 cups fruit cake mix
*1 cups cold tea
*1/4 cup brandy (or alcohol of choice: if you prefer not to use alcohol, then add more cold tea)
*1 cup soft brown sugar (add another cup of you want a sweeter cake)
*2 cups all-purpose flour
*2 teaspoons baking powder
*In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in tea and add brandy.
*Add fruit cake mix and soak overnight (or for 6-8 hours).
*In morning, set oven to 375 F.
*Grease the baking pan well.
*Add flour, baking powder and egg to the fruit mixture, and mix well.
*Put mixture into pan, making sure to scrape clean the edges of the bowl, and bake for 1 hours, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
*Cool on a wire rack.
*Enjoy! If any remains, store in a cake tin or wrap loosely in tin foil.