Mary Berry’s Christmas fruit cake recipe

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makes: 1
Skill: easy
Cost: mid
Prep: 15 min
Cooking: 2 hr 15 min

Nutrition per portion

Calories 746 kCal 37%
Fat 29g 41%
Carbohydrates 112g 37%
  -  of which Sugars 74g 82%
Protein 10g 20%
Salt 0.7g 12%
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  • The queen of cakes shows you how easy it is to knock up an old-fashioned Christmas fruit cake, packed with luxury dried fruit, ground almonds, and nuts, and a twist of pineapple.

    This recipe is speedier than Mary Berry’s classic Christmas cake recipe, requiring just two and a quarter hours to bake. But it still should be made several weeks in advance to allow time to mature. Cut the cake too soon and you risk a crumbly texture. If you prefer a classic iced cake, simply cover the fruitcake with marzipan and fondant icing or royal icing once it’s fully matured.


    • 350g (12 oz) red or natural glacé cherries
    • 225 g (8 oz) can of pineapple in natural juice
    • 350 g (12 oz) ready-to-eat dried apricots
    • 100 g (4 oz) blanched almonds (skins removed)
    • Finely grated rind of 2 lemons
    • 350 g (12 oz) sultanas
    • 250 g (9 oz) self-raising flour
    • 250 g (9 oz) caster sugar
    • 250 g (9 oz) softened butter
    • 75 g (3 oz) ground almonds
    • 5 large eggs
    • To decorate:
    • Blanched almonds
    • Red or natural glacé cherries
    • Glacé pineapple (available from health-food shops)
    • 100 g (4 oz) sifted icing sugar


    • Pre-heat the oven to 160°C fan/140°C/gas mark 3. Grease a 23 cm (9 in) deep round cake tin then line the base and sides with a double layer of baking parchment.

    • Cut the cherries into quarters, put in a sieve and rinse under running water then drain well. Drain and roughly chop the pineapple, then dry the pineapple and cherries very thoroughly on kitchen paper. Snip the apricots into pieces. Roughly chop the almonds. Place the prepared fruit and nuts in a bowl with the grated lemon rind and sultanas and gently mix together.

    • Measure the remaining ingredients into a large bowl and beat well for 1 min until smooth. Lightly fold in the fruit and nuts then turn the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Level the surface and decorate the top with blanched whole almonds, halved glacé cherries and pieces of glacé pineapple.

    • Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 2¼ hours or until golden brown. A skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean. Cover the cake loosely with foil after 1 hour to prevent the top becoming too dark.

    • Leave to cool in the tin for 30 mins then turn out, peel off the parchment and finish cooling on a wire rack. Mix the icing sugar with a little water, and drizzle over the cake to glaze.

    Top tips for preparing Mary Berry's fruit cake recipe

    Try glazing the fruitcake with a generous brushing of warmed apricot jam.

    Please note, nutritional info is per person based on this cake serving an average of 10 people.

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