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*Christmas/Wedding Cake*

Recipe Submitted by Irene Diamond, Ottawa
Sally's Grandmother's Best Friend's Christmas/Wedding Cake
Makes 3 or 4 loaves


  • 1 pound (450 g) candied red cherries (not maraschino)
  • 1 pound (450 g) candied green cherries (not maraschino)
  • 1 pound (450 g) seedless raisins
  • 2 pounds (900 g) seeded Lexia raisins
  • 1 pound (450 g) currants
  • 1 pound (450 g) mixed peel
  • 4 1/2 cups (1.125 L) all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound (450 g) butter
  • 2 cups (500 mL) white sugar
  • 1 cup (250 mL) brown sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup (250 mL) medium-dry sherry, plus more for basting (optional)
  • 1 cup (250 mL) strawberry jam, preferably home-made
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) mace
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) vanilla extract
  • Additional sherry, for basting (optional)


    Cut cherries into 3 pieces. Working in small batches, dust all fruit well by placing fruit and some of the flour in a heavy freezer bag and tossing well. Set aside.

    In a large bowl, cream together butter, white and brown sugar; add eggs and mix well. Add sherry, jam and remaining flour, baking soda, all spices and vanilla. Add fruit. Mix well with clean hands.

    Line 3 or 4 baking tins, size and shape as you prefer, with parchment paper. Place a pan of warm water on the bottom shelf of oven and preheat oven to 350F (180C).

    Fill pans to a depth of 21/2 to 3 inches (7.5 cm), or as you prefer. Bake 60 minutes, then reduce heat to 325F (160C) and bake for 60 minutes.
    Reduce heat again to 300F (150C) and bake for another 60 minutes.
    Total baking time 3 hours. (Cakes may be loosely covered with foil in the last hour if they become too dark.) Add more hot water to the pan in the lowest rack, as required, during baking. Cake is done when it sinks in the middle or a wooden skewer inserted in middle comes out clean.

    Remove from oven, cool to room temperature and wrap each loaf in 2 or 3 layers of cheesecloth. Brush cheesecloth with 1 to 2 Tablespoons (15 to 25 mL) of sherry (depending on size of loaf -- enough sherry to moisten the cloth). Wrap well in plastic, seal in a non-metal container (a plastic pail with lid works well), store in a cool, dark place or in the refrigerator.

    Unwrap and re-apply additional sherry every 2 weeks for 2 months.

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