Deliciously Rich Fruit Cake

Serves: at least 12 people

Difficulty: Easy

Everyone needs a good tried and tested rich fruit cake recipe up their sleeve. Whether you ‘feed’ it with brandy, marsala or alcohol of your choice is upto you, but make sure you make it a few weeks before you plan on eating it. It tastes much better if you let the cake mature, and if you are going to ice it then leave it to dry out around 1 week before so the icing sticks!

This is my go-to fruit cake recipe that I have adapted over the years. I use a 23cm round tin for the recipe, but you can make it square if you wish. Just use a 20cm square tin instead. It’s deliciously rich and full of warming spices.


  • 1 kg dried fruit such as sultanas, raisins and currants (mixture of any)
  • 110 g glace cherries
  • 110 g mixed peel
  • 150 ml alcohol such as brandy, marsala, sherry or orange juice, plus extra for feeding
  • 225 g unsalted butter
  • 200 g light brown sugar
  • zest of 1 orange
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons marmalade
  • 1 tablespoon black treacle
  • 350 g plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • good pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice


1. In a bowl mix together the dried fruit including the cherries and mixed peel.

2. Pour over the alcohol or orange juice, cover and leave to soak for a few days.

3. Prepare your round (23 cm) or square tin (20 cm) by lining it twice with parchment paper so it comes at least 5 cm over the sides. Preheat your oven to 150°C/300°F/gas 2.

4. In a large mixing bowl start by creaming the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.

5. Beat in the orange and lemon zest, and begin adding the eggs one at a time only adding the next one when the mixture is fully combined.

6. Stir in the marmalade and treacle.

7. Sift the flour with the salt and spices and add it into the wet mixture in batches until fully mixed together.

8. Spoon into the lined tin and bake on the bottom shelf of the oven for at least 2 hours. Check on it often and cover loosely with foil if the top is browning too quickly. It shouldn't take longer than 3 hours but insert a skewer to check it is cooked through - it should come out clean.

9. Skewer lots of holes in the top and add a few tablespoons of alcohol before double wrapping in foil and leaving to cool in the tin. The foil with trap any steam and keep the top soft and moist. Once completely cooled remove the tin and parchment and wrap in foil. 'Feed' the cake with more alcohol once a week until you need it, remembering not to feed it for the final week if you wish to ice it. It will keep in an airtight container for at least a month.

Nadia| December 11, 2013 at 8:37 am

I like your blog its really good and informative as well as the cake you have posted is really fabulous. I made the cake and enjoyed with my family.
Thanks for the post and waiting for the next post.

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