When should you eat Christmas cake? (3 Points to Consider)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, When should you eat Christmas cake? We will discuss the time and date it is customary to eat Christmas cake,  and the general practice of eating Christmas cake.

When should you eat Christmas cake?

You should eat Christmas cake at supper because that is how people eat it around the globe. Christmas cake is served with tea after 6 pm, with sausage rolls, cold cuts, and ice cream. 

Other people like to take Christmas cake as a gift for the relatives they go to see on Christmas day. Also, Christmas cake is eaten throughout the month of December, and unlike Christmas pudding, it is not reserved to be served at Christmas dinner. 

As Christmas cake does not spoil, it is eaten over weeks and months and does not have to be eaten on the day. 

When you serve your afternoon tea on Christmas day, you are now ready to serve your Christmas cake. Your high- tea on the day, next to turkey sandwiches and cold cuts, you could place the Christmas cake as well. 

For other people, Christmas cake is served before Christmas. On the 24th of December, a slice is offered to Father. On the 25 December, the Christmas cake is set aside and Christmas pudding is the star of the show from then onwards.

You can put the Christmas cake aside, in a sealed container and it would stay fresh for months or even a year.  

When should you eat Christmas cake according to history?

History dictates that you should eat Christmas cake after Christmas is over; the 5th of November to be exact. Christmas cake is also referred to as the Twelfth cake. On the Twelfth night ending or the twelve days after Christmas, the fruit-laden Christmas cakes were eaten. 

Initially, the Christmas cake was plain and enriched with fruits and eventually, icings made their way on top of the cakes. 

The twelve days of Christmas became less important over time. The Christmas celebrations were restricted to the week of Christmas only while the days after were resumed with work and labor. 

When should you make a Christmas cake?

You can prepare your Christmas cake in early November and let it mature until Christmas arrives. However, Christmas cake is usually prepared earlier than that. Christmas cake is baked in September and fed with alcohol until Christmas arrives. 

Let us look at the main steps to prepare a Christmas cake; 

●       When you make your Christmas cake, start by adding butter, brown sugar, dried fruit, glazed cherries, orange juice, and orange zest, lemon zest, and cherry brandy to a pot. Let the contents bubble on a stovetop for 10 minutes.

●       After the mixture cools down, add ground almonds and eggs. Stir the ingredients together and bring in flour, baking powder, mixed spice, cinnamon, and allspice and stir all the ingredients.

●        Pour the cake batter into a cake tin and bake at 150 celsius or 300 Fahrenheit for 45 minutes.

●       Bake for further 60-75 minutes at 275 Fahrenheit. Take the cake out of the oven and skewer it repeatedly.

●       Add two spoons of brandy to the cake and wrap the cake in parchment paper, foil and rest it in a tin.

●       The last step is to feed your cake with cherry brandy every week to give the cake a moist and smooth texture and a fruity taste. 

Why do you have to feed your Christmas cake with alcohol?

To feed your Christmas cake, use classic brandy and whisky. Otherwise, add any spirit that has high alcohol by volume, such as Cherry brandy and amaretto. For a richer flavor and a citrus burst, you could use orange liqueur. 

The liquor in your Christmas cake gives it a nice taste and texture while acting as a preservative. Moreover, the booze keeps the cake moist and crumbly. The taste and kick of alcohol booze are not obvious but it provides a hint of booze and greatly improves the taste profile of Christmas cake.

When you feed the Christmas cake, you need to control the texture closely. By keeping track of the quantity of alcohol you add to your Christmas cake, you get a cake that is moist and crumbly.

If you overfeed your Christmas cake, it will become wet and soggy, and deteriorate its texture. The best advice you can follow is to start feeding the cake after it has been baked and feed only four times, as it matures.


In this brief guide, we answered the question, when should you eat Christmas cake? We discussed the time and date it is customary to eat Christmas cake and the general practice of eating Christmas cake.



Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.