Saturday, September 27, 2008

Easy Fruit Cake Recipe

Yields about 36 pieces (6cm by 4.5cm by 2cm)

We recommend making this cake at least a few days before serving as the flavour and texture improve over time.

This cake contains sherry, but you could substitute brandy, rum, whiskey or water if preferred.

We have specified the types of dried fruit, glace fruit and nuts that we use in the cake. If you don't wish to use a fruit or nut that we've specified, we suggest that you replace it with an equivalent quantity of something similar. For example, the pecans could be replaced with walnuts and the glace cherries could be replaced with glace apricots.

When chopping the dates, prunes and pecans, cut them into pieces about the size of a raisin.

We use a 20ml tablespoon and 250ml measuring cup for all of our recipes.

125g butter, roughly chopped (if using unsalted butter, add 1/4 teaspoon fine table salt)
170g (3/4 cup, lightly packed) brown sugar
125ml (1/2 cup) sweet sherry
125ml (1/2 cup) water
200g (1 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons) raisins
200g (1 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons) sultanas
100g glace cherries, chopped into thirds (slightly rounded 1/2 cup)
50g (about 7) deseeded dried dates, chopped
50g (about 7) deseeded prunes (dried plums), chopped
1 teaspoon ground mixed spice (a combination of cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg)
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
150g (1 cup) plain flour
150g (1 cup) self-raising flour
50g (rounded 1/3 cup) chopped/broken pecans
2 large eggs, lightly beaten with a fork (we use eggs with a minimum weight of 59g)

Grease the base and sides of a deep 19cm (inside side measurement) square cake pan. We use a silver-coloured cake pan; if a dark-coloured pan is used the sides and base of the fruit cake may overbrown. Line the base and sides of the pan with three layers of baking paper, extending the paper about 2.5cm above the top of the pan.

Place butter, brown sugar, sherry, water, raisins, sultanas, cherries, dates, prunes, mixed spice and bicarbonate of soda in a large saucepan.

Place saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.

Remove saucepan from heat as soon as the mixture boils (most or all of the fruit will be covered by a layer of foamy bubbles).

Transfer mixture to a large heatproof bowl, or leave in the saucepan (the cake batter can be mixed in the saucepan if desired). Set mixture aside for about 40 minutes to cool to lukewarm or room temperature.

While the fruit mixture is cooling, adjust the oven rack to the lower half of the oven, so the top of the cake will be in the centre of the oven. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. We find that the cake cooks more evenly when the oven fan is off. If you have a fan-forced oven and are unable to turn the fan off, preheat your oven to 140 degrees Celsius.

Place the plain flour and self-raising flour in a medium bowl, stir until well combined, and set aside. ©

After the fruit mixture has cooled for about 40 minutes, add the pecans and lightly beaten eggs.

Stir until well combined.

Add the combined flours and stir until the flour is completely incorporated.

Transfer mixture to the prepared pan. Smooth the surface of the mixture with a spatula or the back of a spoon.

Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until a thin-bladed knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out without any batter attached.

Leave cake in pan, loosely cover with greaseproof paper, and then tightly wrap in a clean tea towel. Place wrapped cake on a wire rack and leave until completely cooled (this will probably take at least six hours).

Remove cooled cake from pan and store in an airtight container. If storing the cake for an extended time, we store it in the refrigerator. Cut the cake into pieces with a sharp serrated knife.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

mmm, I can smell Christmas around the corner :) how long do you think this cake can be kept in the fridge for? I am wondering how far in advance from Christmas I should make this :)

30/9/08 8:27 am  
Blogger Poornima said...

Looks yummy and moist.Thanks for the recipe.I am off to get the stuff to bake it!

30/9/08 9:05 am  
Anonymous Jodie said...

Hi, Firstly i would like to say what a wonderful site and great recipes. Just wondering with this fruit cake could you use milk instead of the sherry?? I can't have alcohol (breastfeeding).

30/9/08 12:04 pm  
Blogger Anna said...


14/10/08 2:01 am  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

Hi Anonymous

We aren't sure what the maximum keeping time would be as the cake is eaten fairly quickly when we make it. However, it should be fine to make the cake now and store it in the refrigerator until Christmas.

Hi Jodie

We haven't tried using milk in this cake, but we have tested the recipe with water as a replacement for the sherry.

26/11/08 5:17 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rather than water (which dilutes the flavour) it is better to use any juice, I have used a concentrate apple juice, also orange juice -but if using juice cut down on the sugar

4/12/08 10:52 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am getting the ingredients together to bake this fruit cake.
In the picture the cake tin looks to be rectangular. Would i be able to us a lamington tin for this recipe?

7/12/08 12:12 pm  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

We use a deep 19cm square pan for this cake. The pan may look rectangular because of the angle the photo was taken at. If you use a lamington pan, the cake will be very thin and the baking time will need to be reduced.

7/12/08 12:34 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Half my in-laws are allergic to nuts so i was thinking of substituting nuts with pineapple pieces. Would it make the cake too moist? I thought adding more dried fruits then changed my mind. Thanks.

7/12/08 1:03 pm  
Blogger Brindarica said...

....umm..I thought its an easy cake as per the name "Easy fruit cake", but doesnt look easy at all:-( lots of pre n post heating stuff to be done! anyway thanks for sharing the recipe:-)

8/12/08 4:09 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is definitely an easy cake fruit cake. I have just put mine in the oven. It didn't take long to come to boil at all and the mixture looked yum!!This is my first attempt at a far so good.

8/12/08 11:46 am  
Anonymous Kim said...


Just wondering if I can use this recipe to make individual fruit cakes, say in a muffin pan? If so, what adjustments would I need to make to the temp and cooking time?

Thank you and love your recipes :)

8/12/08 12:47 pm  
Anonymous Kera said...


Thanks for the recipe. I was wondering if it is possible to use a 9 inch dark round cake pan instead of the recommended square pan in your recipe? If so, what are the adujustments to cooking time/temp that needs to be made?

9/12/08 5:11 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My fruitcake turned out yum! Thanks for the lovely recipe. One of my friends who is a baker suggested that i cut my raisins and sultans so it doesn't drag when the cake is sliced. Taste is making another one.

12/12/08 2:06 pm  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

To the person who asked about a nut substitute: Because pineapple contains a lot more water than pecans, we would need to test the recipe with pineapple to determine whether it is a suitable substitute for the nuts. If you decide to use pineapple, please let us know how the cake turns out. You could omit the nuts without substituting another ingredient.

14/12/08 6:51 pm  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

Hi Kim

The cake batter should be suitable to bake in a muffin pan. We would use the same temperature as specified in the recipe. Unfortunately, we can't help with the cooking time as we have only tested the time required for a single square cake. We suggest that you keep an eye on the cakes, and when they look/feel ready, test with a sharp knife to ensure they are cooked through.

15/12/08 4:22 pm  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

Hi Kera

A nine inch round pan would be suitable. Due to the slightly larger pan size and darker pan colour, a small reduction in the baking time may be required.

16/12/08 12:47 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FANTASTIC cake time ever made fruit cake so easy to follow and husband loves it for lunches and snakes at work.

13/1/09 5:25 pm  
Anonymous Donna said...

I have made this recipe twice in a week! It is fantastic both my Dad and Husband fight over it so I made a double mixture in a bigger tin and then cut it in half for them to share. Thank you so much for your wonderful site I recommend it to everyone. I have a list of your recipies and am trying them one by one - would be over 50% done on the list and NOT one failure! Terrific Keep up the good work

17/1/09 12:53 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i made this cake for christmas and it turned out great.
it was a hit. very moist and for person who likes it full of fruit its the best
so easy and simple, just like saying 1,2,3
thank you very much amanda and debbie lovely recipes on this site.keep it up!
gonna try making the cheesecake.

23/1/09 10:26 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Amanda & Debby...

thank you for sharing this recipe,
just want to know, which fruit cake taste better? the easy fruit cake or the fruit cake?

will try it soon.....thanks

21/5/10 10:49 pm  
Anonymous Martha said...

should i reduce the ingredients , if i bake it in 6 inch heart shaped pan?
half the recipes?
thanks for your help.

25/5/10 11:55 am  
Anonymous Catro said...

Made this fruit cake this week and turned out perfect. Will be making a few more as gifts this Christmas, yummo!

19/12/10 12:53 am  
Blogger PottersHouseIndia said...

Onto number #35 of this cake - so easy and so yummy. Thank you so much for making my Christmas baking a joy :) Hope you can post more Christmas recipes on your site for next year. This is my favourite recipe site and I recommend it to everyone I know!
Merry Christmas and many heartfelt thanks :)

23/12/10 11:02 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

COuld you add a fruit and nut topping to this recipe (i.e. glace cherries, pinapple and nuts) and drizzle with toffee when cooked

19/12/13 12:55 pm  

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