A great Italian-inspired recipe for a cake suitable for eating at Christmas. Full of flavour surprises.

Inspired by the recipe published in the Manchester Guardian by Nigella Lawson.

Special equipment: 25 cm springform cake tin


75 g
Traidcraft FAIRTRADE sultanas
30 ml
350 g
plain flour
2 tsp
bicarbonate of soda
150 ml
FAIRTRADE runny honey
150 g
Traidcraft FAIRTRADE caster sugar
40 g
unsalted butter
3 tbsp
1 tbsp
fennel seed
1 tsp
FAIRTRADE ground cinnamon
375 g
Cox's apples, roughly grated
200 g
flaked almonds
50 g
pine nuts (optional)
100 g
FAIRTRADE Darkly Divine chocolate
75 g
Traidcraft FAIRTRADE walnuts
4 tbsp
FAIRTRADE Swazi kitchen jam
Traidcraft FAIRTRADE beanies
Traidcraft FAIRTRADE fruit jellies
Traidcraft FAIRTRADE nuts (various)



Soak the raisins in the Marsala for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to gas mark 4 (180 °C; 350 °F).

Line the cake tin with non-stick baking parchment.


Measure the flour and bicarbonate of soda out into a large bowl.

Heat the honey, sugar, butter and water in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves.

Add the fennel and cinnamon and pour this mixture over the bowl of flour and bicarbonate of soda. Stir to combine.

Mix in the other ingredients, including the soaked raisins and their liquid. Place in the tin.

Bake in the oven at gas mark 4 (180 °C; 350 °F) for 45 minutes to 1 hour.


When the cake has cooled, heat the apricot jam in a small pan. Paint most but not all of it over the top of the cake to give a sticky surface to which the fruits and so forth will adhere.

Decorate with the sweets and nuts so that the cake is entirely concealed. Brush the top with the remaining glaze to give a shiny finish.