Christmas fruitcake with gingerbread city
After a stand-out centrepiece for your table this Christmas? Try this fruitcake with gingerbread city. It’s the perfect festive baking project.
Note: + Cooling & overnight soaking time
- 1kg mixed dried fruit
- 1/3 cup (35g) walnuts, chopped
- 1 tbs finely grated orange rind
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
- 1/2 cup (125ml) orange juice
- 3/4 cup (185ml) brandy, or ¾ cup (185ml) orange juice, extra
- 185g butter, softened
- 1/2 cup (110g) brown sugar
- 3 Coles Australian Free Range Eggs
- 1 1/2 cups (225g) plain flour
- Brandy or orange juice, extra, to brush
- Vanilla buttercream, to spread
- Icing sugar, to dust
- 150g butter, chopped
- 1/2 cup (125ml) golden syrup
- 1/2 cup (110g) brown sugar
- 1 Coles Australian Free Range Egg yolk
- 2 1/2 cups (375g) plain flour
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 1/2 cups (240g) pure icing sugar
- 1 Coles Australian Free Range Egg white
- 2 tsp lemon juice
Combine the dried fruit, walnut, orange rind and mixed spice in a large bowl. Place the caster sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-5 mins or until sugar melts and turns golden in colour. Remove from heat. Carefully add the orange juice. Place over low heat and cook, stirring, for 2-3 mins or until the toffee dissolves. Remove from heat. Add the brandy or extra orange juice and stir to combine. Pour the hot orange juice mixture over the dried fruit mixture and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside overnight to soak.
Preheat oven to 150°C. Grease a 17cm (base measurement) square cake pan. Line the base and sides with 3 layers of baking paper. Use an electric mixer to beat butter and brown sugar in a large bowl until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour and dried fruit mixture and stir until well combined. Spoon into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Tap the pan on the bench 3 times to settle the mixture.
Bake, covering pan loosely with foil if necessary to prevent overbrowning, for 3 hours or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Brush the top of the hot cake with extra brandy or orange juice. Cover with foil. Cool completely.
To make the gingerbread, place the butter, golden syrup and sugar in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 3-5 mins or until the butter melts and the mixture is smooth. Transfer to a heatproof bowl. Set aside for 15 mins to cool. Add the egg yolk and stir to combine. Add the flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves and stir to combine. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper. Roll out half the dough on a lightly floured surface to a 3mm-thick disc. Use a small sharp knife to cut building shapes from dough. Place on 1 lined tray. Repeat with the remaining dough. Use a skewer to make patterns on half the biscuits. Bake, swapping trays halfway through cooking, for 15 mins or until gingerbread is golden and cooked through. Set aside to cool completely.
To make the royal icing, place the icing sugar in a bowl. Add enough egg white and lemon juice to make a thick, smooth paste. Place in a piping bag fitted with a 1mm plain nozzle. Pipe over the biscuits without patterns. Set aside to set. Generously dust the remaining biscuits with icing sugar, brushing off the excess. Use royal icing to attach bamboo skewers to 2 decorated biscuits. Set aside to set.
Transfer the cake to a serving plate. Spread a little buttercream over the back of the biscuits and attach to the sides of the cake. Dust with more icing sugar. Insert the biscuits with skewers into the centre of the cake.
Get ahead: Make the Christmas fruitcake up to 3 months ahead. Cover and store in a cool, dry place. Make the gingerbread biscuits up to 2 days ahead. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.