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This delicious classic fruit cake recipe is perfect for special occasions like Christmas. It’s so moist and packed full of classic fruit cake flavours. The richness of the sponge works really well topped with marzipan or icing if you decide to decorate this cake.
This cake takes 20 mins to prepare and 4hrs and 30 mins to bake – it is well worth the wait. This cake can serve between 8-10 people. The Cointreau adds a delicious kick to this cake. This recipe makes a 20cm round cake, an 18cm square cake, or 2 x 1 litre bowl cakes. If you only want 1 bowl cake, then halve the quantities. Decorate this delicious fruit cake with one of our great Christmas designs.
Why not have a go at making a delicious stollen loaf, our easy recipe shows you how to make this tasty treat.
- 250g butter, softened
- 250g light muscovado sugar
- 1 level tbsp ginger
- 1 level tbsp ground cinnamon
- Finely zested rind and juice of 1 orange
- 4 large eggs
- 300g plain flour
- 1kg packet dried mixed fruit
- 2 x 170g packets dried cranberries, eg, Craisins
- 4-6tbsp Cointreau or Grand Marnier
- 20cm round cake tin or 18cm square, lined with baking parchment, or 2 x 1 litre ovenproof pudding basins, well buttered and floured
- To ensure that the cake will be central in the oven, position a shelf just below the centre. Set the oven to 140°C/275°F/Gas Mark 1.
- In a bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, ginger, cinnamon and orange zest until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, adding a little flour with each egg. Beat well before adding the next egg. Beat in the orange juice and remaining flour.
- Fold in dried mixed fruit and cranberries. Spoon mixture into the prepared tin or bowl, level the surface, and smooth with a wet hand.
- Place the cake in the centre of the oven. Round and square cakes take about 4-4½ hours, and basin cakes take about 3-3½ hours, or until firm to the touch in the centre and a skewer comes out clean after being inserted into the cake.
- Place the tin/basin on a wire rack to cool for about 15 mins. Spoon over the Cointreau or Grand Marnier and leave to absorb.
- Let round or square cakes cool completely in their tins, but turn the basin cakes out on to a wire rack to cool.
- To store the cakes, wrap well in baking parchment, then foil. Keep in a cool, airy place for up to 3 months.
Top Tip for making Fruit cake
You can freeze this cake for up to 3 months, but defrost before decorating.
Why does my fruit cake crumble when cut?
Although it will probably be just as tasty if this happens, we know you would definitely rather your fruit cake to stay in one piece as opposed to crumbling when you cut it. A helpful tip to try to prevent your fruit cake ending up crumbly is to make sure you measure your ingredients properly. It might sound like an obvious instruction, however if you have too much fruit, there simply won't be enough batter to hold it all together.
Can a fruit cake be non-alcoholic?
Of course it can! We know that boozy desserts aren't always someone's cup a tea (or kid friendly!), so an easy way to make a fruit cake non-alcoholic is to use a substitute juice instead of the listed alcohol. A good replacement for brandy is grape juice, or if you're looking for a lighter coloured fruit cake you could use orange or apple juice. If you are choosing to make your fruit cake alcohol free, make sure you soak your dried fruits overnight in a glass bowl so the cake doesn't lose any of it's moist qualities.