Italian Christmas cake

Recipe may contain gluten, peanuts, tree nuts, milk and soy.

This easy cake combines a traditional fruit cake with the lightly spiced flavours of panforte and richness of dark chocolate. You’ll be sneaking off to the kitchen for ‘just another sliver’ all through the holiday season!

17 Ingredients

  • 500g mixed dried fruit

  • 125g dried figs, chopped

  • 140g (1 cup) dried cranberries

  • 65g (1/3 cup) mixed peel

  • 125ml (1/2 cup) freshly squeezed orange juice

  • 250g butter, chopped

  • 200g (1 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar

  • 3 eggs, lightly whisked

  • 300g (2 cups) plain flour, sifted

  • 35g (1/3 cup) cocoa powder, sifted

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

  • ½ tsp ground ginger

  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg

  • 100g dark chocolate, chopped

  • 85g (1/2 cup) blanched almonds, lightly toasted

  • 75g (1/2 cup) pistachios kernels, lightly toasted

  • 60g (1/2 cup) walnuts, lightly toasted

4 Method Steps

  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 150°C/130°C fan forced. Grease a 20cm round cake pan. Line the base and side with baking paper.

  • Step 2

    Combine the mixed dried fruit

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    (500g mixed dried fruit), figs (125g dried figs, chopped), cranberries (140g (1 cup) dried cranberries) and mixed peel (65g (1/3 cup) mixed peel) in a large saucepan. Add the orange juice (125ml (1/2 cup) freshly squeezed orange juice), butter (250g butter, chopped) and sugar (200g (1 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar) and stir over medium heat until butter has melted and sugar has dissolved. Transfer to a large bowl. Set aside, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until just lukewarm.

  • Step 3

    Add the eggs (3 eggs, lightly whisked) into the dried fruit mixture and stir to combine. Fold in the flour (300g (2 cups) plain flour, sifted), cocoa powder (35g (1/3 cup) cocoa powder, sifted), cinnamon (1 tsp ground cinnamon), ginger (½ tsp ground ginger) and nutmeg (¼ tsp ground nutmeg) until combined. Fold in the chocolate (100g dark chocolate, chopped), almonds (85g (1/2 cup) blanched almonds, lightly toasted), pistachio (75g (1/2 cup) pistachios kernels, lightly toasted) and walnuts (60g (1/2 cup) walnuts, lightly toasted). Transfer mixture to the prepared pan. Smooth the surface.

  • Step 4

    Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside in the pan for 30 minutes to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
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Image by Tracy Rutherford

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