Christmas cake with a twist!

The stars of Ros na Run have shared with us the secret recipe to Seamus Mhicil Tom’s Poitín Cake

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The late Séamus Mhicil Tom was one of Ros na Rún’s most legendary characters who sadly passed away late last year. There was never a dull moment in the life of the roguish Séamus Mhicil Tom; and his 20 years on the show were filled with mischief, from illicit poitín-making to his many run ins with the authorities!

Ros na Rún have unearthed the recipe for his signature Christmas Cake complete with his secret ingredient: a splash of poitín! To avoid a run-in with the authorities but staying true to Séamus Mhicil Tom’s favourite tipple, Ros na Rún recommends using the (legally) Connemara distilled Micil Poitín!

It's a firm favourite in Ros Na Run
It’s a firm favourite in Ros Na Run

Serves 12

Preparation Time: 25 minutes

Cooking Time: 3 hours

Oven Temperature:  165°C/325°F


  • 225g raisins
225g sultanas
  • 50g candied peel
  • 50g  sliced glacé cherries
  • 25g chopped almonds
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1/2 cup poitín 
250g flour 
pinch of salt
  • 175g butter/margarine
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 eggs


  1. Soak the fruit, spices & chopped almonds in the poitín for a couple of hours/overnight.
  2. Line and grease a deep 8-inch tin.
  3. Sieve flour, baking powder and salt together. Cream butter or margarine and sugar together, and beat in the eggs until fully incorporated. Beat in the flour & salt.
  4. Add soaked fruit, spices and chopped almonds to the cake mixture and pour into your cake tin, spreading out the mixture evenly.
  5. Cover the cake with a double sheet of greaseproof or brown paper and bake for three hours. When it’s done, remove cake from oven and leave in the tin until cold.


almond paste

Preparation Time: 20–30 minutes

  • 275g ground almonds
  • 275g icing sugar
  • 275g caster sugar
  • A few drops almond essence
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2–3 tablespoons whiskey or spiced rum
1 tbsp. apricot jam (sieved and heated)

Method for almond paste: 

  1. Put ground almonds into a bowl and sieve in the sugars.
  2. Add almond essence, egg yolks and spirits.
  3. Mix to a smooth paste, using hands in preference to a wooden spoon.
  4. Turn out onto a board or work table dusted with icing or finely granulated sugar, and knead until smooth. Avoid over-kneading as this can cause the paste to become too oily and unmanageable.
  5. Apply to top of cake.

To Decorate: ROYAL ICING

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To cover: an 8-inch cake

Preparation time: 20 minutes


  • 675g icing sugar
  • 3 free-range egg whites
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1½ tsp glycerine
  • Extra egg white to thin icing if required


  1. Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl.
  2. Put the egg whites into a seperate bowl, add the glycerine and strained lemon juice.
  3. Beat a little with a fork before adding the icing sugar to the mixture and beat it is very stiff and white and stands in peaks.
  4. Keep the icing covered with a damp cloth.
  5. Apply icing to cake by spreading almost all of the mixture on top (saving a little for decorating the cake); with a palate knife or spatula work the icing out to the edge and down the sides.



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