Ah Christmas. Crooning carols, spirit-soaked fruits and cakes that nod to generations past. Unlike many modern interpretations, this rich, boozy number carries all the usual suspects: glace ginger, pineapple and cherry, golden syrup, sultanas and Nana’s secret ingredient: rum.






Skill level

Average: 3.2 (176 votes)


  • 510 g sultanas
  • 385 g currants
  • 450 g raisins, chopped if large
  • 125 g glace ginger, chopped
  • 125 g glace pineapple, chopped
  • 100 g prunes, chopped
  • 80 g mixed peel
  • 110 g glace cherries, chopped
  • 85 g pitted dates, chopped
  • 175 ml (¾ cup) rum
  • 425 g butter, softened
  • 355 g (1¾ cups) brown sugar
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 tbsp marmalade
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon, grated rind and juice of 
  • 425 g (3½ cups) plain flour
  • 120 g (¾ cup) self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tbsp rum, extra

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Macerating time 3 days

Place sultanas, currants, raisins, ginger, pineapple, prunes, mixed peel, glace cherries, dates and rum into a large bowl. Mix well then cover and allow the fruit to stand for 3 days in a cool dark place.

Once ready, double line a 23 cm-deep square cake tin with brown paper, then line with an additional 2 layers of baking paper. Preheat oven to 150ºC.

Place butter and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer beat until light and creamy, about 7 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beat well. Add golden syrup, marmalade, vanilla, lemon rind and juice.

Sift flours, mixed spice, salt and bicarbonate of soda together. Stir in the dry ingredients alternately with the fruit mixture. Mix until well until combined.

Spoon the mix into your prepared cake tin. Bake in preheated oven for 3½ hours or until skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Brush with extra rum, wrap in a clean tea towel and allow cake to cool in tin.

We decorated our cake with fresh cherries and holly leaves, but do whatever suits you! 


Recipe, photography, styling and food preparation by China Squirrel.

For plenty more puddings, head here, or check out our Christmas recipe collection