It's beginning to smell a lot like...

Dare I say it? Quickly and quietly, perhaps... Christmas. I know, I know. It's a little bit early to be thinking about such things, right? Normally, I'm a fan of waiting until the end of November before diving into the Christmas rush, but this year presents a slight deviation from the norm, primarily because Baby H is due on 30 December. Hubby and I have thus wisely decided to forego visiting our families for the holidays, thereby avoiding (I sincerely hope so anyway!) all of the potential nightmare scenarios I've been envisioning - giving birth in the car halfway between Wicklow and Dublin in the middle of a freak Irish snow storm being the main one. Instead, we're going to make a few traditions of our own! We're not quite sure what these traditions will be yet (see above), but I figured now was as good a time as any to try my hand at Christmas cake for a traditional conclusion to our not-so-traditional Christmas dinner (assuming we get to sit down to eat it, that is!) So, after soliciting friends and family members for their favourite Christmas cake recipes, I set to it, following this recipe from Brenda Costigan...

All the lovely dried fruit soaking up a bit of Glenfiddich whisky... nothing but the best!
Although the Christmas cake recipes I came across all seemed fairly long and involved, it's actually just the list of ingredients that's intimidating in any way. Once you've got the fruit soaked, in fact, all you do is mix everything together, spoon it into a cake pan double- or triple-lined with greaseproof paper, and bung it in the oven. 

Ready to go...
Admittedly, it takes about three hours to bake, but even that's not too off-putting because you're supposed to open the oven door as little as possible during the bake time in order to preserve the integrity of the cake. So, in essence, you can ignore it for most of those three hours and just revel in the delicious, spicy aroma wafting through the house! 

The end product doesn't look like much, at least in my humble opinion...

But it smells delicious and, according to hubby, who snatched a cherry from the top, tastes pretty good, too! Over the next several weeks, I'll feed the cake with a bit of brandy and/or whisky in preparation for topping it with marzipan and icing in the traditional Irish manner, and I'll do it all with my fingers crossed, hoping I get the chance to enjoy a little sliver of cake before Baby H arrives!

xx Tina 


  1. Looks unassumingly wonderful! I baked ours on Sunday - the smell is so comforting in the house. I agree re the cake's list of ingredients vs the actual making. And hey, if you don't eat it all before the arrival of Baby H it will do you as midnight snacks when feeding, or 2am snacks or 5am snacks.....

    Go for it on the setting of your own traditions - everybody should have their own and you have even more to look forward to when Baby H is big enough to join in!

  2. Oh that looks divine! I LOVE boozy Christmas cake! Jxo

  3. Looks pretty good to me. Now is the time for you to make some new traditions for your new little family. You blend your old tradions with new ones. Have fun making them. Di x

  4. Arrrghhhh! I was supposed to have this done before half term but life, as you know, had other ideas. Now when will I get it done?!

  5. I can smell that Christmas cake here, looks great


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