Many people don’t start thinking about Christmas until November or December, but by then you’ll have missed the optimum time to make your Christmas cake!
The best time to make your cake is around 2 or 3 months before Christmas… so about now! This gives the flavours of the dried fruits baked together with the spices time to mature.
Take a look at our Christmas baking checklist for all the equipment and utensils you need.
Storing your Christmas cake
To store your Christmas cake, wrap it in a couple of layers of greaseproof paper followed by a couple of layers of foil, pop it in an airtight container or tin, and store in a cool dry place. If you wrap the cake only in foil, the ingredients in the cake can react with it, so always use greaseproof paper first.
If you’ve already made your cake, it’s worth keeping it moist by brushing the surface of the cake with alcohol every now and then. We’d recommend brandy or bourbon.
When to make your Christmas pudding
Christmas puddings have similar ingredients to Christmas cake, but don’t need as long to mature. This is because the pudding also requires suet, which helps to keep the pudding nicely moist and rich. Traditionally, the Christmas pudding is made on ‘Stir-Up Sunday’ which is 5 weeks before Christmas. On Stir-Up Sunday, families often come together and take turns mixing the ingredients, and make a wish. It’s also a good opportunity for the younger generation to learn how to make Christmas pudding!
Even if you don’t keep to the full tradition of Stir-Up Sunday, it’s a good opportunity to get the family together before the hectic Christmas period. This year it falls on Sunday 23rd November – put the date in your diary!
Keep an eye out for our fantastic blog on how to make a Christmas pudding, coming soon!
Fruit cakes can be frozen for up to one year, so you can even make next year’s cake soon, and be super organised! You’ll save money over buying the ingredients twice, but you’ll need the room in the freezer.
When stored correctly, Christmas cake can be made around 6 months in advance of Christmas. Handy if you’re not having a summer holiday and have time to spare!