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Ragus is one of the world's leading pure sugar manufacturers. It sources raw sugar from across the world to manufacture sugars, syrups and special formulations from its advanced UK factory. Ragus ships its sugars globally, delivering on-time and in-full to customers across the baking, brewing, confectionary, and pharmaceutical industries

Christmas Cake Recipe – A Classic From Ragus

22/11/2018 By Kay Sandhu in Recipes Baking, Black treacle

It’s that time of the year – and you know what that means! As the festive season approaches, we all start thinking about making Christmas cakes. A great cake makes for a great time, so Ragus has come up with the perfect recipe to make life simpler for you as the festive season draws nearer. 

Planning in advance 

The idea behind making a Christmas cake a few weeks before the big day is simple: All the flavours of the dried fruits baked together with the spices, eggs, flour, and butter have time to mature and get to know one another, which in turn makes the flavours more intense. Ideally, a Christmas cake should also be fed at regular intervals with a little of your chosen alcohol to produce a deep, moist, rich-flavoured cake. 

This speaks on the importance of planning well in advance for your Christmas cooking and cake crafting! This kind of recipe is far from one that you can simply make the night before; to ensure you get a great result with minimal stress and hassle, be sure to look at your chosen recipe weeks in advance to plan around purchasing your ingredients, cooking your cake, and feeding it that all-important alcohol – or otherwise – to ensure it reaches the moisture it needs to be at its best.  

The Christmas cake is a staple of households across the UK and beyond.

A little history 

Christmas cake is an English tradition that began as plum porridge. People ate the porridge on Christmas Eve to line their stomachs after a day of fasting. Soon dried fruit, honey and spices were added to the porridge mixture to give it more flavour and texture, and finally Christmas pudding was born. The traditional Christmas fruit cake that we all know and love is a derivative of the Christmas pudding. 

Talking treacle 

One of the key ingredients in a Christmas cake is black treacle, a product that Ragus makes and supplies to manufacturers world-wide. Ragus’ Black Treacle is a mixture of 50% refiner’s syrup and 50% molasses. It has a robust flavour similar to Cane Treacle, with a more rounded, smoother flavour than molasses. Black treacle is a thick, dark, sugar syrup which is used in rich bakery products, Christmas puddings, rich fruit cakes, toffees, savoury sauces and marinades for cooking. 

Ragus’ Christmas Cake Recipe 

Of course, we have a recipe all of our own to share with you! This tried-and-true set of instructions and ingredients will result in a great cake that has all the hallmarks of a Christmas classic. 


  • 225g plain flour
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 200g butter/margarine
  • 200g Ragus’ dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp Ragus’ Black treacle
  • 4 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
  • 800g mixed dried fruits, sultanas, currants, dates
  • 100g mixed peel
  • 150g glacé cherries, quartered
  • 100g blanched, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Brandy, Sherry or Whiskey


  • Cream together butter and sugar
  • Mix in lemon rind and black treacle
  • Add beaten eggs, alcohol and stir
  • Add mixed dried fruit, spices, candied peal, almonds, cherries quartered and dusted in flour, and stir
  • Add flour, stirring all the time. Don’t over beat!

To decorate 

  • 200g/7oz marzipan
  • 1-2 tbsp warmed apricot jam

For the royal icing 

  • 3 egg whites
  • 600g sieved icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

close up of golden syrup pouring into a bowl

Golden syrup can be used as a substitute.

Substituting treacle 

If you don’t have Ragus’ Black Treacle you can always use Ragus’ Golden Syrup instead. With a distinctive mellow tone, our Golden Syrup performs the same task as invert syrups but with added flavour and subtle golden colour. It is used in baking, biscuits, cakes, flapjacks and puddings. 

Happy holidays and have fun cooking! The Ragus team welcomes you to browse our product finder to learn more about our great range of sugar products. If you’d like to speak to the customer services team, simply call (0)1753 215424 or email To see more news from the company, follow Ragus on LinkedIn. 

Kay Sandhu

Kay ensures that our customers’ orders are delivered, on time and in full.

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