Looking for the Julian Graves Christmas cake recipe?

October 1, 2018 6:10 am Published by Leave your thoughts

The Julian Graves chain of health-food stores sadly closed in 2012. One unexpected consequence was that many people suddenly found themselves unable to make their Julian Graves Christmas cake! They’d lost their copies of the recipe, and relied on a visit to the shop every autumn to refresh their memories.

Looking for the Julian Graves Christmas cake recipe?

Naturally Good Food stepped into the breach left by the shop closures. Since 2012, we’ve had a number of queries about the cake recipe, but haven’t been able to track down the original ourselves. Undeterred, however, we’ve decided to point you in the direction of our very own Christmas cake recipe, which (if we say so ourselves) is just as good.

Naturally Good Food Christmas cake recipe

This recipe makes the very best of our wonderful organic ingredients. You can’t beat our organic dried fruit for rich, full-flavoured juiciness, or our organic nuts for sweetness and crunch. The organic marzipan (or ingredients to make your own) is – almost literally! – the icing on the cake.

(This recipe is based on an old version from Delia Smith. The original runs to four large pages in an old A-4 sized cookery book and includes no less than three four-column tables of figures and ratios. They don’t do Christmas like that anymore.)

This recipe is for the cake itself. Much nearer to Christmas, you’ll need to choose a form of icing for your cake – and put a marzipan layer on first. Our organic Lubecker marzipan is popular for this; or you can make your own marzipan, with our organic ground almonds, caster sugar, icing sugar and almond extract. For icing, check out our organic icing sugar here.

Cake ingredients

450g organic currants

175g organic sultanas

175g organic raisins

50g natural colour glace cherries, finely chopped

50g organic diced mixed peel

3 tbsp brandy (or similar)

225g plain flour

½ tsp salt

½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

½ tsp mixed spice

225g unsalted butter

225g soft brown sugar

4 large eggs

50g organic whole almonds, chopped

1 dessertspoon black treacle

Grated rind of 1 lemon

Grated rind of 1 orange


The night before you make the cake, soak the dried fruit and mixed peel in a bowl with the brandy.

The next day, preheat the oven to 140C and prepare a 20cm round cake tin or 18cm square tin.

Mix the flour, salt and spices together. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs and add them gradually to the creamed mixture, beating thoroughly. Next, fold in the flour and spices.

Then, add the fruit and peel that has been soaking, the nuts, the treacle and the grated lemon and orange rinds.

Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and level the surface. Cover with greaseproof paper and bake for between 4.25 and 4.75 hours (check it after four hours to see how it’s doing).

When cold, wrap the cake well in greaseproof paper and store in an airtight tin. At intervals, feed with brandy or other spirits, by pouring a few teaspoons into holes made by skewers in the top of the cake.

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This post was written by Yzanne

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