Traditional recipes

Christmas nut cake recipe

Christmas nut cake recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Nut and seed cakes

If you are a fan of nuts, you'll love this rich, nutty cake.

31 people made this

IngredientsServes: 24

  • 675g (1 1/2 lb) blanched whole almonds
  • 450g (1 lb) Brazil nuts
  • 225g (8 oz) walnut halves
  • 225g (8 oz) pecan halves
  • 675g (1 1/2 lb) pitted dates
  • 300g (11 oz) glace cherries
  • 125g (4 1/4 oz) plain flour
  • 200g (7 oz) caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 dessertspoon vanilla extract

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:2hr ›Ready in:2hr10min

  1. Preheat oven to 140 C / Gas mark 1. Line two 23x12cm (9x5 in) loaf tins with baking parchment and lightly grease.
  2. Combine the almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, pecans, dates and cherries; mix well.
  3. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Combine with nut mixture and mix well.
  4. Beat eggs and vanilla, add to nut and flour mixture and mix well.
  5. Press into prepared loaf tins and bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Set aside for 5 minutes and remove from tins. Completely cool on wire rack.

Recently viewed

Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(14)

Reviews in English (13)

it looks a good recipe but worried about the quantities of nuts to flour and the lack of fat.-20 Dec 2012

Mix doesn't rise at all. Spoilt my Christmas... thanks!-24 Dec 2011


Great recipe. I've had to copy it for many people who could not believe how great it tasted.-21 Jul 2008

  • 1 pound toasted walnuts, broken in large pieces
  • 1 pound toasted pecans, broken in large pieces
  • 3-1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons double acting baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon mace
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup brandy or bourbon, divided use
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs

Step 1

1) Move an oven rack to lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 10 x 4-inch tube pan. Line bottom with parchment paper. Butter paper and dust pan with fine dried bread crumbs. Set aside.
2) Place walnuts and pecans into a very large mixing bowl or roasting pan.
3) Combine flour, baking powder, mace and salt in another bowl. Whisk to combine.
4) Combine milk and 1/4 cup brandy or bourbon in another bowl. Set aside.
5) Cream butter in large bowl of an electric mixer. Add sugar and beat at moderate speed for two or three minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating each until incorporated. Increase speed and beat until light and fluffy.
6) On low speed alternately add flour mixture in three additions and milk mixture in two, beating only until smooth after each addition. Pour batter over nuts and mix with your hands or a wooden spoon until nuts are coated with batter. Turn batter into prepared pan, smoothing top to even.
7) Bake for 1-3/4 hours or until cake tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Transfer cake to a cooling rack. While cake is still hot brush top with reserved 1/4 cup brandy or bourbon. Let cake cool in pan for 20 minutes. Cover cake with a cooling rack and invert to remove paper. Invert again and cool in upright position. Let cake age for 24 hours before serving. Yield: 16 servings.

Related Video

Be the first to review this recipe

You can rate this recipe by giving it a score of one, two, three, or four forks, which will be averaged out with other cooks' ratings. If you like, you can also share your specific comments, positive or negative - as well as any tips or substitutions - in the written review space.

Epicurious Links

Condé Nast

Legal Notice

© 2021 Condé Nast. All rights reserved.

Use of and/or registration on any portion of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated as of 1/1/21).

The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant butterscotch pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan, or a 10 inch Bundt cake pan.

In a medium bowl, stir together the cake mix, vanilla pudding mix, and butterscotch pudding mix. Add the eggs, oil and water, mix until well blended. In another bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts. Pour half of the batter into the pan, spread evenly. Sprinkle with half of the nut mixture. Cover with the rest of the batter, and sprinkle with the rest of the nut mixture.

Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, then turn the oven down to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) and bake for an additional 35 to 40 minutes.

Some common FAQ:

Is there any substitute of rum?

Yes.. If you want to make non alcoholic version, use orange juice for soaking the dry fruits.

Why is batter curdling after adding orange juice?

Orange and lemon are citrus fruits. So it’s quite natural curdling the batter. After adding dry ingredients the batter will be absolutely fine.

Is it important to store the cake?

I don’t like storing the cake and my appetite don’t allow to do it. I like fresh cake just baked from the oven. So it’s not too important.

How to store soaked dry fruits?

You should store in glass jar because plastic container can react with alcohol. Keep in the refrigerator

How long should the dry fruits soak?

The range of soaking the dry fruits is before 1 month to 24 hours of baking the cake?

Festive fruit & nut cake

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4/fan 160C and lightly grease and line the base and sides of a deep 22-23cm round loose-based cake tin with Bake-o-Glide or baking parchment (see overleaf). Beat the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, ground almonds and spices until thoroughly mixed and creamy, preferably with an electric beater or in a food mixer.

Measure off 100g/4oz of the cake mixture, put in a bowl and set aside. Fold the fruit and rum into the remaining mixture, then gently stir in the marzipan. Spoon this mixture into the prepared cake tin and flatten with a spatula to make a smooth even surface, then make a slight dip in the centre of the cake. This simple trick will give the finished cake a nice flat top. Bake for 11⁄4 hours.

While the cake is in the oven, make the fruit and nut topping. Mix all the nuts, cherries and syrup into the remaining cake mixture (see tip overleaf). Spoon the mixture on top of the part-cooked cake (once it has had its 11⁄4 hours), evenly distributing the mixture of nuts and cherries across the surface of the cake. Loosely cover the top of the tin with foil.

Return to the oven for 40 minutes more, then take off the foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes, so the nuts can turn golden. Keep an eye on them, so they don’t get too dark. To test the cake mixture is cooked, insert a fine skewer into the cake – if it comes out clean then it's ready. Cool in the tin then turn out, keeping the lining on, and wrap with foil. (The cake will keep for up to 2 weeks or can be frozen for up to 2 months.)

To serve, remove the cake from the foil and strip away the lining. Place on a board or serving plate and tie with a decorative ribbon.


If your Christmas cake simply must have icing, try this easy finish. Put the Festive fruit and nut cake on a plate or cake stand. Sift 140g/5oz icing sugar into a bowl, then stir in egg white or cold water, a little at a time, until you have a smooth icing that drizzles easily from the tip of a dessert spoon. Drizzle over the top of the cake, then leave to set for an hour.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 ⅓ cups self-rising flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon extract
  • 2 cups dates, pitted and chopped
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 3 ½ cups confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease a 10 inch tube pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease the paper. Dredge the dates and nuts in the flour and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well. Add flour, alternating with milk, and mix well. Add vanilla and lemon flavorings. Fold in nuts and dates.

Pour batter into a 10 inch tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and pour orange syrup over cake immediately. Cool in pan for 30 minutes, then remove from pan. Let stand upside-down overnight, then turn over and serve.

To make the orange syrup: In a medium bowl, combine orange juice and confectioners sugar. Mix until smooth.


Christmas Fruit and Nut Cakeis a super delicious cake, loaded with dry fruits and nuts that will be loved by people of all age groups.

I have prepared this cake in a bundt pan. The dry fruits are soaked in wine for about a week before preparing this cake. This way you can enjoy a burst of holiday flavors with every bite of the cake. To make this cake healthier I have used a combination of vegetable shortening and butter. If you prefer you may replace vegetable shortening with butter, but I really could not make any difference in the taste by reducing the amount of butter in the recipe. You can vary the fruits and nuts as per your taste.

I received all the best compliments for this cake from my family and colleagues. Yeah!

Preparation time : 10 minutes + 70 minutes baking
Serves : 1 large bundt-style cake

Ingredients for Christmas Fruit and Nut Cake

Dried cranberries – 1/3 cup
Black raisins – 1/3 cup
Golden raisins – 1/3 cup
Dates – 1/3 cup
Wine – 1/2 cup
Butter unsalted – 1/2 cup ( 1 stick / 8 tbsp at room temperature)
Vegetable shortening – 1/2 cup
Brown sugar – 3/4 cup
Molasses – 1/2 cup
Milk – 3/4 cup
Baking powder – 2 tsp
Orange zest – 1 1/2 tbsp
Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Eggs – 3
All purpose flour – 3 1/2 cup
Orange juice – 1/4 cup
Sliced almonds – 1/2 cup
Cashew chopped – 1/2 cup

Ingredients of Fruit and Nut Christmas Cake

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup dried figs
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup maraschino cherry
  • 1/4 cup canned apricots
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

How to make Fruit and Nut Christmas Cake

Step 1 Prepare the dry mixture with nuts

To prepare the dry mixture, combine all the nuts, dates, cherries, figs, and apricots (leave aside the pine nuts for garnishing purposes). Next, take a bowl and mix all-purpose flour with baking powder, sugar and salt. Once mixed well, add it to the nut mixture and stir well until all the nuts are coated. Now, preheat the oven at 160 degrees C.

Step 2 Make the cake batter

To make the egg mixture, crack effs in a bowl and beat them well using an electric beater for 2-3 minutes. This will make the egg foamy. Now, add in vanilla extract stir well. Once done, add this egg mixture in the nut mixture and mix well.

Step 3 Bake the cake for 1 hour and 45 minutes

Finally, take a circular cake tin and grease it using a little butter. Line it using a parchment paper and pour the cake batter in it. Place it inside the preheated oven and bake for about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Check after 1 hour and 30 minutes, if the cake is baked using a toothpick.

Step 4 Serve fresh

Once the cake is done, take it out of the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve with your favourite frosting and decorate with cherries, almonds and pine nuts.

Christmas Eve Cake (Štedrák)

Let me just start by saying this cake is deadly. I have yet to tally up the exact calorie count, but my current estimate is about 10,000. Per bite.

And it’s also super delicious. Bad combination, indeed!

I decided to surprise my mom this Christmas by baking a štedrovečerný koláč (Christmas Eve cake), or štedrák for short. This cake (koláč) is baked for Christmas or New Years, but never in my family. This was the first time for both my mom and me to try this treat. We’ve been missing out!

Štedrák is a layered cake. The layers are made of leavened dough, and are filled with the traditional Slovak village home-cooking fillings: plum jam, poppy seeds, ground walnuts, and farmer cheese. Think of it as buchty, poppy seed rolls, and tvarožník all fused into one delicious calorie bomb.

I found the recipe for the cake in Slovenská Kuchárka (available online here). I also found several recipes online on mimibazar,, and mojerecepty). The last one, from mojerecepty, is interesting, because instead of being layered, the fillings are organized as concentric circles.

This cake originated as traditional ceremonial holiday bread, similar to the Eastern Slovak kračún, which was believed to hold magical powers. This bread was prepared for the Christmas Eve dinner, and the many layers symbolized abundance, fertility, and good harvest. This is because the belief of first-day magic was prevalent in the olden days. Back when Christmas coincided with New Years, and as one did on Christmas, one was bound to repeat during the whole next year. There are also different versions of this cake, some containing ingredients such as hazelnuts, prunes, or apples. These days, it is prepared only rarely. Instead, it’s place at the Christmas table has been taken over by the poppy seed (makovník) or nut rolls (orechovník), or various assorted Christmas cookies (this info comes from Úľuv, Slovak Centre for Folk Art Production).

Anyway, enough blabbering, let’s start baking! The recipe below is how I made it. It’s a variation on the recipes above. Feel free to experiment, especially when it comes to the fillings.

Dough: 500g flour, 70g sugar, 2 yolks, 3dl milk, 1 stick of butter, packet of yeast, lemon zest, yolk for covering
Poppy filling: 150g ground poppies, 2dl milk, 120g sugar, 1 tbsp butter
Nut filling: 180g ground nuts, 1.5dl milk, 100g cukru, 3 tsp bread crumbs, 4 tbsp sugar, one packet of vanilla sugar
Farmer cheese filling: 300g farmers cheese, 4 tbsp sugar, 4 tbsp butter, 3 tbsp raisins, 2 yolks, snow from two whites, vanilla sugar, lemon zest.
Plum filling: 200g plum butter
Prep time: 5 hours

Here are the ingredients you’ll need. If you are having hard time finding poppy seeds, try asking the bakery department in your local grocery store. I was able to buy a pound of poppy seeds for a mere dollar at my local Giant! The plum jam came from Russian gourmet store.

Prepare the dough

Combine the ingredients, minus the yeast and milk, in a bowl. I decided to scald the milk. Scalding milk used to be required back in the days before all milk got pasteurized. Nowadays, it’s no longer needed for safety reasons – and there is an interesting debate on on this topic. The recipes did not call to scald the milk, but I figured it will improve the taste. The warm milk will also heat up the dough, aiding the fermentation.

Mix everything together, and only then add the primed yeast. Yeast likes it warm, but not hot. By adding the yeast to the hot milk directly your run the risk of cooking the yeast, which would be bad. To prime the yeast, simply pour little bit of milk into a bowl, microwave for 10 seconds, add a spoon of sugar and the yeast, and then whisk for 20 seconds with a fork to give the yeast air. Let sit for few minutes until it bubbles up. Knead together until you get smooth dough that doesn’t stick. Form into a ball, cover with a cloth, and let rise for 3 hours. You can also do what I do, and that is after two hours deflate the risen yeast, knead for about 5 minutes, and let rise again.

Alright, that’s done. Now let’s start preparing the fillings!

Make the poppy seed filling

You will need a poppy seed grinder to make the poppy seed filling. Coffee grinders don’t work too well. The blades simply slice the seeds, but you actually want to break them by squishing them. This releases the oil stored in the seeds resulting in a smooth paste. Poppy seeds ground in a coffee grinder end up looking like dust.

Combine the seeds, butter, and sugar in a pot and heat on low heat. Bring to boil, stirring continuously. This will take about 15 minutes.

And also make the walnut filling

The walnut filling is made similarly, but you use ground walnuts. I ground the nuts by first chopping them in a food processor to get small chunks. I then ran them through the same grinder used to grind the poppy seeds.

And the farmer cheese (tvaroh) filling

To make the farmer cheese (tvaroh) filling, combine farmer cheese, two yolks, sugar, raisins, lemon zest, and vanilla sugar. Save the egg whites and beat them for about 10 minutes until you get foam, called snow (sneh) in Slovak. It shouldn’t be as stiff as when making meringue, whisk it until it resembles whipped cream. You don’t cook this filling. Just mix it together until everything is blended.

The cookbook said to mix the plum jam with lemon zest. It actually said to add lemon zest to all the fillings. I only added it to the farmer cheese, and used plum jam straight out of the jar.

The layers are now done. Let’s assemble it all together.

Roll out the dough and layer the cake

After the dough has risen, form it into a brick, and divide into five equal chunks. The recipe book said to roll out each section to the thickness of a finger (about 1cm). I had WAAY too little dough and WAAY too much filling for this – the cake would be as big as an index card, and tall as a small child if I did it like that. This cake is usually made in a rectangular shape, but I happened to have this convenient aluminum pie pan lying around. So I rolled the dough out to the size of the pan. It ended up being about 3 mm thick.

Place one layer on your baking sheet or in the pan (make sure to grease it first). Then spread plum jam on it. Top with another layer of dough. I rolled the first layer bit too small so I made the second one slightly larger bigger than the pan and pushed the extra dough down to seal the jam in.

Gently flatten the dough with your palm, and spread the walnut filling on it. Then top with another layer of dough.

Cover this layer with the poppy seed paste, and top again with another layer of dough.

And then cover this one with the farmer cheese filling. Now, take the last piece of dough, and roll it out into a long rectangle (instead of a circle). Cut into stripes and arrange these in a grid on the top.

This was my first time making such a grid – I definitely need more practice! Try to arrange the strips so they alternate up-and-down to get a nice cross-stitch pattern. Then beat one yolk and coat the top of the cake with this egg wash. Bake in an oven preheated to 350F for 40 minutes until the top gets nicely brown.

And enjoy

Let cool, slice into small squares (the cake is really rich and filling), and enjoy. A lot of work, but definitely worth it!

Check out my little write up to find out more about Christmas in Slovakia. And also check out the other Christmas recipes.

On Twitter or Facebook? Connect with us. Prefer email? Subscribe to the newsletter.