Waitrose and Partners
Tropical Christmas cake

Tropical Christmas cake

Baking this lightly spiced treat a few weeks ahead will allow it to mature beautifully – and give the family plenty of time to look forward to devouring it. It won’t need icing or marzipan, just a final sprinkling of nuts and jewel-like fruit is enough.  

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  • Serves12
  • CourseCake
  • Prepare45 mins
  • Cook3 hrs 15 mins
  • Total time4 hrs
  • Plussoaking and cooling

Please note that while we take every care to ensure the product and recipe information displayed on our website is correct, in the event that a product is unavailable, alternatives may be displayed and/or a substitution may be given. This may affect the nutrition and allergen information, therefore if you have any allergy or intolerance, please ensure you have reviewed the product label to ensure it is suitable for you to consume.


  • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthwise
  • 250g sultanas or raisins
  • 150g dried apricots, chopped
  • 100g pack Urban Fruit Gently Baked Pineapple
  • 125g pack No.1 Perfectly Soft Mango, roughly chopped
  • 50g balls stem ginger in syrup, drained and roughly chopped
  • 50g Cooks’ Ingredients Provençal Glacé Cherries, halved
  • 50g Waitrose Italian Cut Mixed Peel
  • 175ml dark rum, plus extra to feed the cake
  • 250g butter, softened, plus a little for greasing
  • 250g light brown soft sugar
  • 4 Waitrose British Blacktail Free Range large Eggs
  • 200g plain flour
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • ¼ whole nutmeg, very finely grated
  • 1 lemon, scrubbed, zest
  • 1 orange, scrubbed, zest
  • 200g Brazil nuts, 50g chopped

For the decoration

  • 25g Brazil nuts
  • 30g Cooks’ Ingredients Provençal Glacé Cherries, halved
  • 2 balls stem ginger in syrup, drained and cut into large chunks
  • 25g Urban Fruit Gently Baked Pineapple, roughly chopped (optional)
  • 25g No.1 Perfectly Soft Mango, roughly chopped (optional)


  1. Combine the vanilla pod, all the dried fruit, ginger, glacé cherries, mixed peel and 125ml rum in a large bowl. Cover and leave in a cool place for at least 2 hours, until the fruit has absorbed most of the liquid and the pineapple has plumped up. Remove the vanilla pod, scraping the seeds into the fruit.

  2. Preheat the oven to 150°C, gas mark 2. Butter a round, 23cm cake tin and line with 2 layers of nonstick baking parchment (it should stand 2cm above the tin). Wrap the outside of the tin in 2 layers of parchment or parcel paper and secure with string.

  3. Beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy and light. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Sift in the flour, baking powder, spices and citrus zests, then gently fold in.

  4. Fold in 50g chopped Brazil nuts, the soaked fruit and any liquid. Spoon into the tin, scooping out a slight hollow in the middle to prevent the cake forming a domed centre. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes.

  5. Remove from the oven and place the remaining 150g whole Brazil nuts on the surface. Cover with baking paper and bake for 2 hours more, until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

  6. Cool the cake in the tin for 15 minutes. Pierce the top a few times with a fine skewer and sprinkle with the remaining 50ml rum. Turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks, occasionally sprinkling with a couple of tablespoons of rum. To serve, top with the Brazil nuts, glacé cherries and ginger, and the pineapple and mango, if using.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


2,564kJ/ 612kcals



Saturated Fat












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