This is a Lumley Family Receipt
from my grandmother
Margueretta Lumley

Christmas Cake

  • 1 lb butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup honey
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 cup cold strong coffee
  • ½ to ¾ cup cherry brandy
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp lemon extract
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp mace
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 lb almonds
  • ½ lb desiccated coconut (dry unsweetened coconut)
  • 1 ½ lb seedless raisins
  • 1 ½ lb currants
  • 1 lb glazed cherries (up to 1 ½ Ib)
  • ½ lb glazed pineapple
  • 1 to 2 cups canned strawberries (or frozen strawberries)
  • Cream together butter, sugar, honey and eggs. Add coffee, brandy and other liquids. Add baking soda, spices, baking powder and flour. Add almonds and coconut. Dredge fruit in a little more flour, then add fruit. Fold in strawberries last.
  • Put in greased and floured or paper lined pans, filling each ¾ full. We use: an 8” square x 3 ½” deep Christmas cake pan; a 5 ½” square x 3 ½” deep Christmas cake pan; and a 9” round x 2 ½” deep spring form pan. We line these pans with brown paper and grease the paper with Crisco®.
  • Put a pan of water in the oven and bake at 350°F for ½ hour; then reduce to 300°F and bake for an additional 1 ½ hours (5 ½” square) and an additional 2 ½ hours (8” square and 9” round).
  • Store in refrigerator covered with plastic wrap. Sprinkle with cherry brandy every week. We use a total of 375 mL (i.e., a “mickey”) in the cake and for sprinkling.

Christmas Cake Icing

     Dark Christmas cakes with thick icing are reputed to be traditional in the more southerly parts of England, and as far as we have been able to ascertain, the Lumley family came from Lincolnshire in the north of England.  However, this is the way Margueretta Lumley prepared Christmas Cake.

     Glaze the cakes with corn syrup or Lyle’s Golden Syrup®, and then top with almond icing bought from the store. Top this with a thick layer of Royal Icing.

Royal Icing Ingredients
  • 7 cups icing sugar
  • 1 cup egg whites (6 eggs?) beaten
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
         The christmas cake should be allowed to "age" in the refrigerator for a month or so before icing and enjoying.
         This will be ample for the tops (thick layer) and the sides (thin layer) of the three cakes. Royal icing is rather thin when first made, but soon stiffens.
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Jochem Wessels, the Baker of Beverwyck
— and —
his wife Gertrude Wessels who is held in equally high esteem.
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Merry Christmas to all from the Sewell Family