Helen Clarke’s Whisky Double Trouble Christmas Cake

December 14, 2023
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Long-time Member Helen Clarke pulled out this Westward-spiked Christmas cake at our at our recent mystery whisky event in Hobart (it’s not a secret anymore — hello GlenAllachie GlenAllachie Double Sherry 2013 Vintage). One word: delicious. We couldn’t wait to share the recipe with the Club. And a massive thanks to Helen for sharing her secret recipe. Helen opted for Westward in this recipe. But like she says, there’re no rules so you choose which whisky you’d like.

Take it away, Helen!

How to prepare the fruit.

Each year, I prepare a mix of fruit to use for my Christmas Cake, pudding and mince tarts. Basically, it is a combination of any fruits that our family likes. You can use a preprepared fruit mix, or combine sultanas, currants, dates, figs, apricots, raisins and glace fruits of any kind. You can also add nuts. In total, it’s about 3kg of fruit — but there are no rules here.

Once you’ve chopped your fruit up into small pieces and placed in a large airtight container, mix in about a third of a bottle of your chosen alcohol – this year it was Westward Rum Cask (previous winners have been The Balvenie Sweet Taste of American Oak and Redbreast 12).

Pop the lid on and put it in the cupboard. Stir it every day for a month and add extra whisky as required to plump up the fruit. However, the rules are meant to be broken, and sometimes I’m using my fruit after a week. 

Now for the cake


Westward Rum Cask

Westward Muscat Cask

(Or a similarly delicious cask strength whisky)

3kg chopped dried fruit of your choice (you’ll use 4 cups for the cake)

Glace fruit and nuts (as much or as little as you like)

180 grams butter

¾ cup brown sugar

3 eggs lightly beaten

Rind of 1 orange

1 ½ cups of plain flour

½ teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

Mixed spices to taste

Any fruit that you don’t use can be put in an airtight container in the fridge and used as a starter for next year’s treats (I have been doing that for about 5 years now).


1. Preheat oven to 140°C (120°C fan forced). Line base and side of deep 20cm (8-inch) round cake pan with 1 layer of brown paper and 2 layers of baking paper, extending paper 5cm (2 inches) over edge of pan.
2. Take 4 cups of the soaked fruit and put into a saucepan, add about ¼ cup of Westward Rum cask, 180 g butter, ¾ cup of firmly packed brown sugar and as much Christmassy spice as you like (nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon etc). Place on a low heat, stirring occasionally, until all the butter melts and the sugar is dissolved. Take off the heat and leave to cool to room temperature.
3. Transfer mix to a large mixing bowl and add about a cup of chopped glace fruit (again choose your mix, my family loves to add some ginger) and chopped nuts to taste (or not).
4. Stir in rind of 1 orange, 3 beaten eggs and your dry ingredients which are 1 1/2 cup plain flour, 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda and then of course another splash of Westward Rum Cask.
5. Now, depending on how much whisky you have added along the way you might need a bit more flour.
Spread mixture into pan, level top. Bake about 2 hours. Remove from oven and spoon some, you guessed it, Rum Cask over the cake. While cake is still hot, cover cake, still in its pan, tightly with foil, then wrap in a tea towel and leave to cool overnight. Next day remove the towel and place in the fridge for safekeeping.

Note: you can just buy a fruitcake, warm it up, infuse with your whisky and wrap and store. As I said, there are no rules!

Thanks, Helen! Have you got a favourite whisky recipe? We’d love to know. And if you give this recipe a whirl, make sure you tag us on Facebook or Instagram.

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