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quick question ...when is the right time to bake a Christmas cake? (merged)

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quick question ...when is the right time to bake a Christmas cake? (merged)

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
91 replies 20.6K views
apprentice_tycoonapprentice_tycoon Forumite
3.3K posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
I always make my Christmas cakes around now, half term-ish, but each Christmas I promise myself that I'll make it sooner to give it longer maturing time, but I never get around to it.
Does anyone know for certain that a cake made in september is better than one made in october?


  • HermiaHermia Forumite
    4.5K posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    My mum has made them in September and October depending on how organised she is. She says that as long as you put some booze in it each month up to Xmas it'll be fine. I do warn you that you can get drunk just sniffing my mum's cake though!
  • rchddap1rchddap1 Forumite
    5.9K posts
    Did mine 2 weeks ago.

    Will never forget my first Xmas cake though....ability to get people drunk at 100 paces!

    These days I do a non-alchoholic version using cranberry juice as one of my OH's daughters has a thing against alcohol. Or that's how it started anyway. People still like it...and I don't have to spend the extra cash of booze just to stick in a Xmas cake...far better to put the cash towards some of the 'good stuff'.
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  • Yes, that's right, as long as you soak the fruit for a couple of days before and then, once it's cooked, keep it wrapped in the greaseproof in an airtight container and feed it once a month with alocohol, you will have a deliciously moist Christmas cake. I've made mine in December before now and just fed it every couple of days and it was still just as nice (so I'm told anyway, I hate the stuff!!!)
    I haven't got one!
  • 1601199616011996 Forumite
    8.3K posts
    am making mine this weekend. always do do it first weekend of half term hols. no idea why, just habbit i guess.
  • In my family Xmas cakes and puddings should be made Bonfire night!
  • ZziggiZziggi Forumite
    2.5K posts
    I did a cake decorating course and the tutor (a qualified cake decoarator who ran her own business) said that if you want your cake to 'mature' quicker because you've made it last minute, then freeze it, let it thaw fully and then decorate. She said she makes her cakes last week in november/first week in december ready for xmas. i tried this method with a fruit cake(non-alcoholic) i made earlier in the year and the freezing process did no harm to the cake.
  • QueenieQueenie Forumite
    8.8K posts
    Traditionally, Christmas Cakes were made at Easter (when eggs were at they cheapest).

    These days, recipes don't feature in the magazines/shop recipe cards until around now (or, couple of weeks ago).

    Christmas cake can be left to mature for a couple of years with a regular top up of alcohol (the alcohol acting as a preservative - but, the cake must be wrapped and stored well).

    My boys made their first this week and it smells delicious! But, we'll be eating that *this* year. (Children don't have the patience to wait a year or two ;) )
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  • neetsneets Forumite
    49 posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Ok, i'm about to make my first attempt at a christmas cake, and have chosen Delia's recipe, only problem being it states that you have to wrap brown paper round the outside of the cake tin for protection while it's cooking. I haven't got any brown paper :( therefore, my question is, is it essential to do this, and/or has anybody any suggestions for alternatives to brown paper??

    Any help in preventing a potential disaster would be much appreciated! :D
  • squeakysqueaky Forumite
    14.1K posts
    I'm a Volunteer Board Guide
    Yep - greaseproof paper will work just as well. It is a good idea to help protect the top of the cake from burning.

    We have another very recent thread on Christmas Cake so I'll merge this post into it shortly.

    Best of luck :)
    Hi, I'm a Board Guide on the Old Style and the Consumer Rights boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly and can move and merge posts there. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to [email protected]. It is not part of my role to deal with reportable posts. Any views are mine and are not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
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  • Newspaper does the job just as well....smells lovely as it bakes!

    edit -you don't need string either - I just staple strips of folded newspaper together and wrap them around the tin and secure with a couple of paperclips
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