25 Days of Christmas

A “must have” for Christmas is fruit cake. Many persons start ‘soaking’ the fruits – prunes, cherries, raisins and currants – months in advance.   In most families, baking Christmas cakes or puddings is a whole-day family activity.

Young children are tasked with washing mixing bowls or preparing baking utensils lined with grease paper, while older men cream the butter and sugar for the batter. Many Jamaicans give cakes as gifts or exchange them with neighbours.

Recipes for Christmas cake vary, but there are certain ingredients that are key in every method. The recipe below is an example.


  • 6 ounces or 1.5 cup flour
  • 8 ounces margarine or butter
  • 8 ounces sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 pound raisins
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces mixed peel
  • 4 ounces cherries
  • 1/2 pound prunes (chopped)
  • 1 cup wine/brandy
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • finely grated rind of 1 lime/lemon
  • 2 tablespoons browning


  • Cream butter, sugar and browning until soft and fluffy
  • Sieve all dry ingredients together
  • Beat eggs, wine/brandy together
  • Add egg mixture to creamed butter and sugar
  • Add fruits
  • Add flour and fold in. Do no over-beat when mixing
  • Bake at 350F for 1 1/2 hours

Yield: 9” round cake

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