250 g butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup fruit mincemeat
1 cup apricot jam
4 eggs
3 cups flour
¼ cup cocoa
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
1 cup natural unsweetened yoghurt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts, chopped
½ cup pecan nuts, chopped
extra nuts for decorating plus ½ cup red and green glacé cherries[/one_third]


Preheat oven to 180°C, then grease and flour 3 23cm sponge pans. Cream butter and both sugars in a large bowl. Stir in the fruit, mincemeat, jam and eggs. Mix in the dry ingredients and spices alternatively with the yoghurt. Blend well. Stir in the raisins, walnuts and pecans.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake about 40-45 minutes or until the centre springs back when touched. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before turning out. Then allow to cool completely.

Place one layer on a serving platter and spread the top with Caramel Frosting. Top with the second layer and spread with more frosting, repeat with the remaining layer. Sprinkle with extra walnuts, pecans and cherries to decorate.[/one_third]

Caramel Frosting

150g butter
1 ½ cups brown sugar, firmly packed
½ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 cups icing sugar

Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan. Add the sugar and milk, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring to the boil. Remove from heat. Allow to stand until lukewarm – 30 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and whisk, adding the icing sugar until the mixture is creamy in texture.

This is a deep cake that provides an alternative to the traditional Christmas cake, and it keeps well.