rich fruit cake /classic christmas cake

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rich fruit cake /classic christmas cake

Hi Lindsey,
I have used Delia's recipe for rich fruit cake for many years with great success. This year I decided to use the classic Christmas cake recipe. The cake took six hours to bake, even then I wasn't confident with the look of the cake. It looks very moist, I thought could it be the spreadable butter, or maybe because the cherries weren't washed. So for cake number two I decided to go back to the rich fruit cake recipe. I noticed that it said. If your gas oven was manufactured after 1992 it may be necessary to increase the oven to gas number 2.The cake was baked in 4 hours 45 mins. Why does it not give this information in the new book? Is this an error?

Lindsey, Food Editor

Fruit Cakes

Hello Tracy,

I’m sorry to hear that you have been having problems with this recipe.

Providing your weights and measures are all accurate I don’t believe that it as anything to do with the type of butter or not rinsing the cherries.

I can’t find that statement you refer to in any of the copies of the Delia books that I have, but I would say that 20 years ago ovens were perhaps even less accurate than they are now.

The new recipe has two more tablespoons more brandy but I don’t think that can be the cause either.

All of the Classic Christmas Cakes that I have baked (at least thirty in the past two years using eight different ovens) have cooked in 4 hours at 140C. In all of the ovens I used an oven thermometer on the centre shelf to make sure they were correct and half of the ovens needed adjusting to get them to right temperature.

From what you have explained I think your oven may be running low. This can happen to even the most reliable ovens and can make such a difference to the results.

I will ask Delia about the gas temperature statement to see if she has anything else to add.

Best wishes



the book used for rich fruit cake

HI Lindsey,
thank you for your reply. The book stating the oven temperature's is Delia's complete cookery course classic edition.

sam from worthing

rich fruit cake/classic christmas cake

this is the first year in 3 i have made this recipe (past 3 years the creole cake).

But this year as it is going to be a gift cake i made the classic christmas - followed from the green christmas book.

except no nuts - no currants - made weight up with other fruits inc glace cherries and apricot.

I also made in a square tin (first time ever) a much lower cake in height and it cooked in 3 hours, on 150c FAN.

once cooled i gave it a little drinky, then wrapped in parchment and 2 layers of tin foil.

Every oven, every tin, every ingredients year after year seem to take differing cooking times - unfortunatley we learn this over time, so much is done by eye and smell and then the skewer test...if the outer is looking a bit too done, then cover with another sheet of parchment with a hole in the middle for steam to escape.

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