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Christmas Cake - Rich Cake


Rich Cake is a Sri Lankan Christmas tradition, usually served without icing during the festive season. Plan ahead - this cake improves with age!

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  • 4 ounces chopped stem ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 4 ounces chopped mixed peel?
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 8 ounces raisins
  • 1 pound soft pale brown sugar
  • 8 ounces sultanas
  • 1 pound softened butter
  • 8 ounces currants
  • 8 ounces semolina
  • 8 ounces chopped crystallized pineapple
  • 12 large eggs, separated
  • 8 ounces chopped cashew nuts
  • 4 ounces chopped almonds Marzipan
  • 8 ounces chopped bright red glace cherries
  • 8 ounces cashew nuts
  • 4 ounces chopped dark red glace cherries
  • 1 pound icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons brandy
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tablespoons rose water
  • 4 tablespoons brandy
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon rose water
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground mace


Servings 12
Preparation time 20mins
Cooking time 190mins


Step 1

Measure the peel and fruits into a large bowl adding the nuts, brandy, rose water, honey, vanilla extract and spices mixing together with a large metal spoon. Cover and leave overnight to allow the flavors to combine.

Line two 20cm/8in square cake tins with greaseproof baking paper and preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F

Using a hand mixer, cream the sugar and softened butter until light and fluffy. On a slow speed add the semolina and egg yolks a little at a time to avoid curdling.

Using a large metal spoon add the fruit mixture and stir until completely blended.

Measure half the egg whites into a bowl and whisk until they stand in peaks, then using a metal spoon, stir the whites gently into the cake mixture.

Divide the cakes equally between the two cake tins and bake until a skewer inserted in the center, comes out cleanly -about 1 hour 45 minutes.

Leave the cakes to become cold in their tins, before wrapping in foil and set aside for three or four days to mature.

After the cakes have been left to mature, prepare the marzipan. Put the cashew nuts into a food processor and on the highest speed grind to a paste.

Add the icing sugar and other ingredients, processing at the lowest speed, until you can gather the marzipan into a ball.
Dust the work surface lightly with icing sugar and roll out the paste, if it is too sticky, roll between two sheets of greaseproof paper. Cut the topping into two circles.

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