Le Cordon Bleu Logo

Advent Recipe Day Four: Scandinavian Christmas Cake

Scandinavian Christmas Cake

In Scandinavia, Mead, or honey wine as it is also known, is often drunk warm with ginger biscuits during the winter months.

We've paired these flavours with golden sugar and lighter flavoured dried fruits to really lift the spice notes from the Seasoning For Fruity Desserts Mix from day four of the advent calendar. You could substitute port, but this has a stronger flavour. This recipe uses traditional techniques with a twist of Scandinavian inspiration.

This recipe makes one 7 inch (18 cm) Christmas cake, to make a two-tier cake scale up the recipe according to the size of the pan you are using for the second tier.

Serves 10
Preparation time:
Cooking time:
Total time:


  • 50 ml water
  • grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Earl Grey teabags
  • 70 ml mead or port
  • 100 g dried apricots, chopped
  • 250 g golden raisins or sultanas
  • 90 g dried figs, chopped
  • 60 g candied mixed peel
  • 30 g crystallised stem ginger, chopped
  • 90 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 80 g golden caster sugar
  • 140 g whole eggs
  • 110 g plain flour
  • 20 g ground almonds
  • 1 g baking powder
  • 3 g Seasoning for fruity desserts (green anise, ginger, cinnamon, dill, star anise, sweet mint)
  • 40 g whole blanched almonds
  • 120 ml brandy, plus extra for feeding (optional)


Bring the water, juice of the orange and lemon, teabags, mead and brandy to a boil, then remove from the heat and let infuse for 10 minutes. Put the grated zests, raisins, dried apricots, figs, mixed peel and stem ginger into a large pan, then pour in the infused tea mixture and stir well. Cook until hot, then remove from the heat, cover with cling film and let cool.

Preheat oven to 160°C with fan and double line a 7-inch cake pan using 2 sheets of parchment paper.

Once the macerated fruits are completely cool, remove the tea bags, then drain off any excess liquid and reserve the liquid. In a large bowl or free standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the butter and sugar until pale, then gradually add the eggs a little at a time.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and Seasoning for fruity desserts. Reserve ¼ of the flour mixture and set aside. Fold the dry ingredients and ground almonds into the butter and egg mixture. Stir the reserved flour into the fruit mixture until evenly coated. Add the fruit mixture and whole almonds into the cake mixture and fold until smooth.

Pour into the cake pan and use a spoon to hollow the middle. Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 130°C with fan and bake for 50 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

Let the cake cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then brush over the reserved liquid and brandy. Cover in cling film and store in a cool place for at least 2 weeks. For an intense flavour, brush over extra brandy once a week before you are ready to decorate.

A few days before you are ready to serve, decorate the cake as desired. We covered our cake with marzipan and fondant, then decorated with piped royal icing trees, rice paper snowflakes and iced biscuits, then adding red ribbon for a finishing touch.

News & Events