Cranberry Christmas cake recipe

(152 ratings)

Brandy spiked dried apricots, cranberries, and sultanas take centre stage in this full-flavoured cranberry Christmas cake recipe.

Cranberry Christmas cake
Preparation Time30 mins
Cooking Time3 hours (may need 30 mins extra)
Five A DayOne
Cost RangeMid
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories710 Kcal36%
Sugar95.3 g106%
Fat21.1 g30%
Saturated Fat5.6 g28%
Salt0.2 gRow 4 - Cell 2
Protein9.3 g19%
Carbohydrates117.6 g45%
Salt0.2 gRow 7 - Cell 2

Brandy spiked dried apricots, cranberries, and sultanas take centre stage in this full-flavoured Cranberry Christmas cake.

Watch the video before you get started, or follow along step-by-as you go. While there’s always space for a classic Christmas cake recipe, this cranberry Christmas cake is a nice alternative. It’s always better to prepare your cake well in advance. Get baking 6-12 weeks before you want to serve it, and treat your cake to a weekly dousing with brandy or sherry. Pricking the cake all over with a skewer will mean that alcohol can sink in, adding plenty of festive flavour.


  • 250g (8oz) butter, softened
  • 250g (8oz) light soft brown sugar or light muscovado sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 300g (10oz) plain flour
  • 1 level tbsp ground mixed spice
  • 250g packet dried apricots, chopped
  • 2 x 170g packets dried cranberries, eg, Craisins
  • 500g (1lb) sultanas
  • 6tbsp brandy
  • 20cm (8in) round, or 18cm (7in) square, cake tin, lined with baking parchment




  1. To ensure that the cake will be central in the oven, position a shelf just below the centre. Set the oven to gas mark 2 or 150°C.
  2. In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a little flour with each egg. Beat the mixture well before adding the next egg. Sift the remaining flour, add to the bowl with the ground mixed spice and beat well again.
  3. Tip the chopped apricots, dried cranberries and sultanas, into the bowl and then fold the ingredients together.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the lined tin and level the surface. Smooth over the surface with a wet hand.
  5. Place the cake in the centre of the oven and bake for 3-3½ hrs, or until the cake feels firm to the touch in the centre, and a skewer comes out clean after being inserted into the cake.
  6. Remove cake from the oven, place the tin on a wire rack and leave it to cool for about 15 mins. Spoon the brandy over the cake and then leave it to cool completely in the tin.
  7. The cake can be stored for up to six months, wrapped in baking parchment and then in foil. Keep in a cool, dry place.

Top tips for making this cranberry Christmas cake

Once fully cooled, wrap your cake in a double layer of greaseproof paper and tin foil to ensure it stays fresh for the big day.

Like this? You're going to love Mary Berry’s fruit cake not to mention our easy Christmas cake recipe too - you'll find it hard to pick a favourite as Mary Berry's fruit cake has great warmth and depth, whereas our easy Christmas cake uses just a handful of ingredients - including a jar of mincemeat which you use to make mince pies. And if you're wondering how to decorate your Christmas cake, take a look at our Christmas cake ideas. Psst! Did you know that you can bake your Christmas cake in an air fryer - and it's much quicker too?

Rosie Hopegood
Freelance Contributor (US)

Rosie Hopegood is a journalist, editor, and writer with many years of experience writing about lifestyle, including parenting, for a broad range of magazines and newspapers. Now based in Brooklyn, New York, Rosie has written for Daily Telegraph, Al Jazeera, The Observer, The Guardian, The Independent, Vice, Telegraph Magazine, Fabulous Magazine, Stella Magazine, Notebook Magazine, Saga Magazine, Reader’s Digest, Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Mirror, S Magazine, and Stella Magazine. She spent five years on staff at the Mirror, where she was Deputy Features Editor on the magazines team.