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York for Europe

Celebrating the European city of York

Yorkshire Christmas Spice Loaf ~ Meryl

This Yorkshire regional recipe is adapted from the 1913 edition of The Imperial Cookery Book and make a scrumptious Yorkshire Christmas Spice Loaf.

yorkshire cake


  • 1lb 11oz/750g strong plain flour
  • 8oz/225g butter
  • 1 sachet fast action yeast
  • ½ pint/300ml warmed water
  • 4oz/110g demerara sugar
  • 11oz/300g raisins
  • 5oz/150g currants
  • 5oz/150g dried cranberries
  • 30z/75g mixed peel
  • 2 tsps mixed spice
  • 2 tsps cinnamon
  • 2 tsps ground nutmeg

How to bake

Rub in the butter into the flour in a large bowl until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Add the yeast, sugar and water, mixing until a dough is formed. Knead for around 5 -10 minutes on an oiled surface until the mixture is soft and smooth or use a dough hook until the dough separates from the mixer bowl. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl.

Cover with a tea towel or cling film and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size. This can be up to a couple of hours. Oil 2 x 2lbs/1kg loaf tins.

Add the dried fruit and spices to the dough and mix in well.

Knead for around 5 minutes and then divide the dough into two.

Place the mixture in the 2 tins. Leave to prove for another hour or more in a warm place until the dough has risen again and it springs back if you push it lightly with your finger.

Preheat the oven to 220C/Gas 7/425F. Bake the loaves for about 30-35 minutes until cooked through.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool before turning out.

Meryl’s tips : Make a glaze by warming with 2 tbsps of apricot jam and 2 tbps redcurrant jelly in a pan to brush over the loaves once they came out of the oven. Enjoy a slice or two on Christmas morning. A happy and peaceful Christmas to all!