Peter Vaughan’s Christmas Cake – buy only what you need from our Zero Waste Section.




Christmas Cake

As you may well know Peter Vaughan & Judy Dain used to own the Healthy Life in Devizes. Now they have a thriving cookery school and an events business. We were discussing our zero-waste shopping experience and I asked them if I could have their famous Christmas Cake recipe. If you are local to Devizes you can buy all of these ingredients in exactly the quantity you need (with a couple of exceptions). If your further afield then the products can be found online here at yourhealthylifeshop.co.uk


500g mixed dried fruit

80g cherries

80g mixed peel

80g chopped mixed nuts

1 lemon (zest & juice)

1 orange (zest & juice)

8 tbsp brandy/whiskey/sherry

300g plain flour

2 tsp mixed spice

80g ground almonds

200g soft dark brown sugar

200g soft butter

1 tbls treacle

4 egg, beaten


To cover:

1 kg almond paste

4 tbsp apricot glaze

4 tbsp vodka or any colourless spirit

1kg sugar paste icing


Pre heat the oven to 140C.

Grease and line a 23 cm/9inch round tin with greased baking paper cut to size.

  1. Put the mixed dried fruit into a bowl. Add the mixed peel and chopped mixed nuts.
  2. Cut the cherries into pieces and add to the bowl with the lemon rind.
  3. Pour over the lemon & orange juice + alcohol. Cover and leave to macerate overnight.
  4. Weigh the butter and sugar and place in a medium sized bowl. Cream together until light in texture and pale in colour.
  5. Gradually add the eggs beating well between each addition. Pour in the treacle.
  6. Sift in the flour and mixed spice into the bowl, and using a large metal spoon fold into the mixture. Then fold in the ground almonds and finally incorporate the fruit mixture.
  7. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Make a slight dip in the centre of the cake to prevent the cake from ‘peaking’ in the middle during cooking.
  8. Bake in the oven for about 2 hours (or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.)
  9. Remove and cool in the tin, on a wire rack until completely cold.
  10. Wrap the cake in foil and leave for a few weeks to mature, ‘feeding’ infrequently with alcohol.
  11. Paint the cake lightly with apricot glaze and place onto a cake board.
  12. Roll out the marzipan to cover the cake making sure that it adheres to the cake. Brush with vodka.
  13. Roll out the sugar paste and carefully drape over the marzipan. Trim off any excess and rub the surface in circular movements to make the icing smooth and glossy.
  14. Use remaining sugar-paste to create decorations on a Christmas theme


To discuss events CALL Vaughans Kitchen on 01380 530203

For Courses BOOK ONLINE at www.vaughanskitchen.co.uk


Happy Cooking

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