As much as I can appreciate the time, love and effort that goes into the making of a perfect Christmas cake, I lack serious patience and if I’m baking something I usually want to be tasting it at least 24 hours later. The issue with this is that I love Christmas cake so either have to ensure the 1 month wait or forgo the bake completely.
It’s okay though as I found a solution. A Christmas Cake Traybake! Granted it’s not as boozy as your classic Christmas cake, but it still packs as much as punch being stuffed full of currents, cherries and raisins. The best thing is that you can be sat eating a slice with a cuppa within 4 hours of getting started!
The traybake form of this classic makes it a great people pleaser too as the squares can be cut and served in a variety of ways.
Cut them into smaller bite sized pieces and they can be served at your Christmas party as a canapé.
If you’re like gifting your bakes then the squares can also be cut much larger and then individually wrapped and gifted.
Or if you just want to sit and enjoy them with a cup of tea and a good book, simply cut them into rectangle bars or squares and serve.
Christmas Cake Traybake
Speedy twist on a Christmas classic
- 175 g apricots chopped
- 3 tablespoons brandy
- 175 g butter softened
- 175 g light brown sugar
- 4 eggs beaten
- 175 g plain flour
- 225 g raisins
- 225 g currants
- 225 g cherries chopped in half
To finish and decorate
- 1 tbsp apricot jam warmed
- 500 g marzipan
- 500 g ready to roll fondant
- 30 ml brandy
Preheat the oven to 160ºC/Fan 140º/Gas 3. Grease and line a 30 × 20cm baking tin with baking paper.
Put the apricots into a small bowl and pour over the brandy. Leave them to soak for an hour.
Cream the butter and sugar together using an electric stand mixer or whisk until smooth and fluffy. Add all the remaining ingredients and stir through until fully combined then spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level the top.
Bake for 1 hour until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean. Then prick the top all over with a fork and brush over the 30ml brandy allowing it all to sink in. Lift the cake out of the tin then leave it to cool on a wire rack.
When you’re ready to decorate brush the top of the cake with apricot jam and then roll out a rectangle of marzipan the same size as the top of the cake. Lay this on top of the cake, and then brush the marzipan with a little more jam and roll out a rectangle of icing the same size as the cake, and then cover the marzipan with the icing.
Slice into 16 squares and serve with a cup of tea.