Christmas Cake Traybake

A delicious and easy Christmas Cake Traybake is a speedy alternative to the classic recipe, which doesn’t forgo on the flavour. This recipe can still be made ahead of time and can be served in a variety of ways making it perfect for this time of year when an unexpected guest comes knocking.

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.

Gift wrapped

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.


How to store | If you still want to make this cake ahead of time it will keep well for up to 2 weeks if wrapped and stored in an airtight container somewhere dark and and room temperature

How to freeze | Alternatively if you wanted to bake a month or so in advance then you simply make the cake in advance and freeze it. To freeze, wrap the cake well in baking paper and cling film then store it into a freezer container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To defrost, allow it to defrost in the container at room temperature before unwrapping it and cutting it and serving.


I would love it if you tagged me @mykitchendrawer on Instagram if you make this Christmas Cake Traybake It’s the biggest honour to see my recipes come to life in your kitchen and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to drop me a message. Happy baking!

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4.15 from 28 votes

Christmas Cake Traybake

A delicious and easy Christmas Cake Traybake is a speedy alternative to the classic recipe, which doesn't forgo on the flavour. 
Prep Time1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time2 hours 30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Servings: 16 squares


  • 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.
Tried this recipe?Mention @mykitchendrawer or tag #mykitchendrawer!


  1. Lucy Peck
    November 7, 2020 / 9:40 am

    Can you make these a month before chrsitmas? will they keep?

    • Beverley French
      December 12, 2020 / 7:36 pm

      How long will the cake keep for

    • mykitchendrawer
      March 24, 2021 / 5:06 pm

      This is more of an eat and bake fresh cake as opposed to one that you feed over time.

    • mykitchendrawer
      November 12, 2021 / 8:17 pm

      Yes this should keep well for at least a month if kept stored airtight! You could also freeze it!

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