Rich fruit cake

Rich fruit cake

Vanessa Levis

This rich fruit cake is traditionally the base for a wedding cake because it keeps longer (it will keep until the christening, is what they used to say!). It’s also good as a Christmas cake or any celebration cake.



Quantity Ingredient
250g raisins, chopped
250g sultanas
250g currants
185g mixed candied peel, finely chopped
60g glace cherries, diced
60g glace apricots, diced
1/2 cup brandy or rum
3 tablespoons sherry

Cake mixture

Quantity Ingredient
250g butter, softened
295g firmly packed brown sugar
1 lemon, grated rind
2 tablespoons marmalade
5 eggs
375g plain flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
125g blanched almonds, chopped whole blanched almonds, (optional)
extra brandy


  1. Put all the fruit into a bowl and sprinkle with the brandy or rum and the sherry. Leave overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Grease a deep 20 cm round or square cake tin and line it with one layer of brown paper and two layers of baking paper or greased greaseproof paper.
  3. To make the cake mixture, beat the butter and brown sugar with the lemon rind until light and creamy. Add the marmalade and beat well. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add 1 tablespoon of the flour with the last egg.
  4. Sift together the remaining flour, the mixed spice, cinnamon and salt, and stir into the creamed mixture alternately with the fruit and chopped almonds.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin. If not icing the cake with almond paste and royal icing, decorate with whole almonds arranged in a pattern on top. Bake for 3–3 1/2 hours or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon extra brandy. Remove the cake from the tin, leaving the paper on the cake. Wrap in a tea towel and leave on a wire rack to cool. Remove the towel and wrap the cake in foil, then store in an airtight tin.
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