Ye Olde Scots-Irish Christmas Cake Recipe


Last weekend I was invited to an elegant Christmas Brunch in Atlanta, at the home of very close friends I met at the local ‘Highland Games’ a few years back. The brunch buffet table was laden with Southern biscuits filled with country ham and pimento cheese, sausage egg casserole, cheesy grits, scones with clotted cream and the old Scots Irish Christmas fruit cake- och yes!  The cake was incredibly moist and it definatley reminded me of home so -I asked for the recipe (of course!). 

You see -there’s a story to this -when I first moved the USA I attended a recipe party around the holidays, and, being from the ‘old country’ I could think of no better treat than to share how to make my grandmother’s fruit cake. Well, to my horror, shouts of laughter went up as I mentioned the recipe I wanted to swap and quite frankly ‘did not get it’.  One of those many embarrassing times when my Irish cultural background needed enlightened with American humor. (oh, for those who are Irish or Scottish whi are reading this you must know that in America giving a fruit cake as a gift over the holidays is considered quite ‘tacky’).  Quite a shock to us who consider a home-made fruit cake the best gift ever! 

But here I am, years later ans as my two worlds are constantly colliding I am finally getting up the courage to share yet again a Christmas cake recipe, this time the recipe though comes from my dear Southern friend who said it was handed down by her Scots-Irish grandmother….scoff if you dare!   

Finally, my friends, I suggest making this cake in your pajamas & slippers, turn up the Christmas music and it may be one of the best baking experiences you have ever had.  Here it goes….


1 cup unsalted Kerrygold Irish butter
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup pecans (chopped)
1tsp baking soda
1 cup brown sugar
1tsp lemon juice
bottle of Irish Whiskey

How to make it:

Sample whiskey (single malt is preferred) to check for quality(ha!) Take a large bowl, check the whiskey again to be sure it is of the highest quality (ha ha haaa!). Pour 1 level cupful of whiskey and drink. Repeat.(many more ha’s!) Turn on electric mixer and beat one cupful of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one spoon of sugar and beat again. Make sure the whiskey is still ok. Turn off the mixer. Beat eggs and add to bowl. Chuck in the cup of chopped pecans. Mix on the turner.  If the nuts get stuck in the beaters, pry them loose with a srewscriver.  Sample the whiskey again to check for tonicity(um, ha!). Next, two cups of salt or something.. who cares?  Check the whisky(hee hee ha!).  Now sift the lemon juice and strain the nuts.  Add one spoon of brown sugar, or whatever colour you can find.  Mix well.  Grease the oven.  Turn the cake pan to 350 degrees.  don’t forget to beat off the turner.  Throw the bowl out of the window.  Check the whiskey once again. (ho ho ha!)

Go to bed!

Merry Christmas from the Shamrock and Peach
(…and please don’t take this post too seriously!….ho ho ho!)

Judith x