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Rich dark fruit cake recipe

Rich dark fruit cake recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Cakes with fruit
  • Fruit cake

This moist, fruit-rich cake is so packed with flavour that you will not notice it has none of the fat of traditional recipes. Makes a great base for a Christmas or wedding cake - decorate as you like.

360 people made this

IngredientsServes: 32

  • 375 g (13 oz) ready-to-eat stoned prunes
  • 6 tablespoons brandy, sherry or orange juice
  • 200 g (7 oz) soft dark brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
  • Finely grated zest of 1 large orange
  • 350 g (12 oz) plain white flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
  • 750 g (1 lb 10 oz) luxury mixed dried fruit
  • 4-6 tablespoons skimmed milk

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:2hr ›Ready in:2hr30min

  1. Heat the oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4). Line a deep 23 cm (9 in) round cake tin with baking paper.
  2. Purée the prunes and brandy, or sherry or orange juice, to a smooth paste in a food processor or with a hand-held mixer. Transfer the purée to a large bowl.
  3. Add the sugar, eggs and lemon and orange zest, and whisk until the mixture is pale, thick and fluffy.
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder and mixed spice onto the prune mixture, then fold them in with a large metal spoon. Fold in the dried fruit and enough milk to make a soft dropping consistency.
  5. Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared tin and smooth over the top. Bake in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 160°C (325°F, gas mark 3). Continue baking for a further 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the cake is well risen, firm to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. If, during baking, the top of the cake appears to be over-browning, cover it loosely with a piece of foil.
  6. Leave the cake to cool in the tin on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes. Then remove the cake from the tin, peel off the paper and leave it to cool completely on the rack. Store it wrapped in foil, or in an airtight container.
  7. Tip: the flavour of this cake becomes even fuller if it is left to mature for a day or two before it is cut.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(11)

Reviews in English (11)

This has to be one of the easiest and tastiest fruit cake recipes I've ever used. I've made it with different fruit, different sugar, more spice, different alcohol, no alcohol. It always works and always tastes good. I've made six wedding cakes using this recipe. Highly recommended.-03 May 2015

Brilliant recipe; I used up two cans of prunes that I'd had stored in my cupboard, alongwith leftover dried fruit from the Xmas pudding I'd made a few days earlier and substituted the 6 tablespoons of brandy and 6 x milk with leftover guiness from my Xmas pud. Beautifully moist and so delicious - already passed the recipe to my work colleagues and I will definately make this again-21 Nov 2012

Replace 250g of the mixed fruit with 250g of whole cherries, add more mixed spice than suggested and use really dark sugar.-25 Aug 2013

Rich Fruit Cake Recipe

Rich, dark and moist, this traditional cake cuts well without crumbling.

The cakes are scaled to vary in depth, from 2½in (6.5cm) for smaller cakes, up to 4in (10cm) for larger cakes. This gives a tiered wedding cake a balanced look. See chart below for ingredients.

1. Prepare a cool oven 300F, 150C or Gas 2.

2. Grease and double-line cake tins with greaseproof paper. Draw around base of tin and cut out 2 squares measure sides of tin and cut greaseproof paper to fit sides (avoid joins, as these could spoil the shape of cake). Cut the strip 2in (5cm) higher than the depth of the cake tin fold down 1in (2.5cm) along the strip and snip at intervals up to the fold. Brush tin with oil and place strip in tin, the folded paper at the bottom. Press paper to sides of tin fit squares of paper in base brush again with oil.

3. Halve, wash and dry the cherries and place in a large bowl. Weigh and add the flour, currants, sultanas, raisins, mixed peel, nuts and spice.

4. In another large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs, beating well after each addition. Add a little of the flour and fruit if the mixture begins to curdle.

5. Add essences and a little gravy browning to give a darker mixture if liked. Mix in the rest of the fruit and flour mixture.

6. Put into a prepared tin and level top with the back of a spoon. Place cake in oven and reduce the temperature to very cool (275F, 140C or Gas1). Cook for the time stated in the chart. Check the cake 30mm before end of cooking time. When cooked, the cake should feel firm to touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in tin.

7. When quite cold, remove from the tin (leave the greaseproof paper on, as this helps to keep the cake moist). Turn the cake upside down and wrap in greaseproof paper, then loosely in polythene. Keep in a cool, dry, dark place. The cake improves with keeping. To increase the keeping time and to improve flavour, pierce the top of the cake with a skewer and spoon over a little brandy, sherry or rum. The cake is at its best 4 months after baking.

1.Cream Butter and Sugar

Add softened butter into a bowl and then add sugar and cream them together until light and fluffy.

2.Add eggs (one at a time)

Add eggs one by one.And if you are using vanilla extract ,you can add at this point.

3.Add in the flour mix (combination of baking powder,salt and vanilla sugar)

Now add in the flour mix into the bowl.

4.Add in the citrus zest,spices and dried fruits into the batter

Add in all the dry fruits and spice mix along with the citrus zest.This is something that adds to the smell and flavor of this rich fruit cake.

5.Bake it at 350 F preheated oven for 2-3 hours.

As this type of rich fruit cake requires longer baking time and little less baking temperature than normal cakes.Cooking times will vary from oven to oven

Keep the cake tin on the lower rack of the oven and after one hour of baking,Cover the top of the cake tin with an aluminum foil and continue baking .

After two hours,check the doneness of the cake by poking a skewer into the center of the cake and if it comes out clean,our cake is done!

Enjoy making this easy simple tasty christmas fruit cake:)

Rich, Dark Christmas Cake and General Purpose Fruit Cake Recipes

  • 30 g (1 oz chopped hazelnuts
  • 70 g (2 oz) ground hazelnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • pinch of salt
  • 250 g (8 oz) plain flower
  • 4 eggs
  • 250 g (8oz) butter
  • 250 g (8 oz) molasses or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 bottle of dark or spiced rum
  • 175 g (6 oz) glace cherries, halved
  • 60 g (2 oz) dried dates, stoned and chopped
  • 250 g (8 oz) dried currants
  • 250 g (8 oz) sultanas
  • 500 g (1 lb) seedless raisin
  • juice of one orange
  • finely grated rind of one orange

Place the cherries, dates, currants, sultanas, raisins and orange rind, in a bowl and mix.
Add the freshly squeezed orange juice and about 1/4 pint (150 ml) of rum to your bowl and mix. Cover and set the mixture aside for a several of days, mixing every day (all the liquid should be absorbed by the dried fruit).

Grease your baking tin (20 cm 9 inch) and line with 2-3 layers of baking parchment paper. Cream the butter and sugar together and mix by hand until fluffy or use a beater or food processor. Add the eggs one at a time, and keep mixing until light and fluffy. Sift the flour, spices and salt together into a bowl. Transfer the creamed butter and sugar mixture to a large mixing bowl and fold in the flour. Add the chopped nuts, ground nuts and soaked fruit mixture and gently mix it all together.

Transfer the mixture to your prepared cake pan. Place a double layer of greaseproof paper over the top of your cake tin. Bake the at 150 degrees C (300 degrees F) for a conventional oven 140 degrees C (280 degrees F), for a fan-forced oven. Bake the cake in the centre of the oven for about 2 hours. Then test for doneness using a finger to press against the surface. If it springs back the cake is probably cooked. Use a skewer to check that the core of the cake is cooked. If the cake has not finished cooking, remove the baking paper from the top, and return the pan to the oven for 10-15 minutes. Repeat and check again until the cake is cooked.

Leave your cake to cool completely in the tin before removing it. Take some some rum, sherry or brandy and drizzle lightly over the cake. Transfer the cake to a suitable container and store in a cool place. If you don't have a lid you can use foil. Add extra sprinkles of brandy or sherry every two or three days. Flip the cake over between these additions to ensure the liquid penetrates evenly. Don't use too much liquid or the cake will turn into a pudding and become soggy.

Astray Recipes: Rich dark fruitcake

BAKE at 275 degrees for 2½ to 3 hours. MAKES-see sizes below. Sift together into large bowl the flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Add candied fruit, candied pineapple, candied cherries, raisins, dates and nuts. Mix to coat fruit with dry ingredients. Beat 4 eggs until foamy.

Gradually add brown sugar, beating until well combined. Blend in 1 cup liquid, ¼ cup molasses, and the cooled, melted butter. Add to flour-fruit mixture stir until well combined. Prepare one 10-inch tube pan, two 9 x 5 x 3-inch pans, four 1-lb coffee cans or six NO. 2 cans by greasing well and lining with waxed paper. Turn batter into pans, filling ⅔ to ¾ full.

Bake in slow oven (275 degrees) 2 ½ to 3 hours. Cool thoroughly before removing from pans. (To remove cakes from No. 2 cans, cut out bottom of can and loosen cake from sides with spatula." *For use with Pillsbury's Best Self-Rising Flour, omit baking powder and salt.

NOTES : "Developed by Ann Pillsbury" Recipe by: Best Loved Foods of Christmas, Pillsbury, undated booklet Posted to MC-Recipe Digest V1 #886 by NGavlak [email protected] > on Nov 6, 1997

Rich dark fruit cake recipe - Recipes

In England the first Sunday in Advent is sometimes called Stir-up Sunday. There are only twenty-four days to Christmas, and the plum puddings and fruit cakes that need to ripen must be begun on this day. The whole family helps to cut up fruit and crack nuts while mother makes the basic dough. It becomes quite a ritual, and is one more way to draw the family together in mutual activity, sentiment, and affection.

The richness and spiciness of fruit cakes and plum puddings bring to mind the gifts of the Magi to the Christ Child — gold and frankincense and myrrh.

This is an typical fruit cake, made in the traditional manner. Make it ahead of time, and let the cake "age."


Cream shortening add brown sugar gradually. Beat egg yolks add with molasses. Beat egg whites stiff fold in. Sift 1 cup flour with spices add. Mix remaining flour with fruit add. Add grape juice. Dissolve baking soda in water add. Mix well. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake at 325° for 2-1/2 to 3 hours or until done. Cool. Store in tightly covered container. Sprinkle with grape juice or brandy from time to time to moisten.

Recipe Source: Cook's Blessings, The by Demetria Taylor, Random House, New York, 1965


In a very large bowl (or roasting pan) combine dried fruits stir in rum or brandy. Let stand overnight.

The next day, preheat oven to 275 degrees F.

Grease four 4 x 9-inch loaf pans. Line with parchment paper. Add nuts to fruit mixture toss thoroughly with 1/2 c. flour until well-coated.

In a medium bowl, sift together remaining flour with soda and spices. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars. Beat in eggs, one at a time.

Beat in milk and almond extract. Stir flour mixture into creamed mixture. Blend well. Turn batter into floured fruit and nuts. Mix well. Spoon into loaf pans.

Bake at 275 degrees F for 2 1/2 hours, or until tester inserted in center comes out clean. When cool, wrap airtight and store for at least 2 weeks before slicing. Brush periodically with additional brandy or rum if desired.

**This can also be made up into two 9-inch square, 4-inch tall baking pans with removable bottoms. Increase the baking time to 3 1/2 hours.

Jamaican Fruit Cake Recipe

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) Unsalted Butter
  • 2 cups Brown Sugar
  • 8 large Eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon Lime Zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Lime Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 teaspoon Rose Water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
  • 3 cups Blended Fruits
  • 4 to 6 Tablespoon Homemade Browning Sauce
  • 3 Tablespoon Molasses
  • 2 3/4 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mixed Spice


Cream together the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Sift flour and mix with spices.

Combine all the fruits and nuts and mix with one cup of the spiced flour. Add remaining flour alternately with the well-beaten eggs, fruit juices and coffee to the creamed butter and sugar. Add fruits and nuts.

Butter 4 (5x9-inch) loaf pans and line with brown paper and wax paper and butter again. Spoon in batter.

Bake in a very slow oven (250 degrees F.) for about 3-1/2 hours, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.

Keep a shallow pan of hot water in the bottom of the oven. Set cakes in pan on wire racks to cool remove from pans. Wrap each cake in a cloth moistened in brandy. Wrap individually in 2 layers of foil, sealing to make airtight.

Store in tins and age at least 1 month. Chill before slicing. If you wish, you may cover the tops with almond paste (marzipan) and candied fruit.

Mary Berry's classic rich Christmas cake

This is a wonderful, rich traditional fruit cake and can be made up to three months in advance. Allow plenty of time to &lsquofeed&rsquo the cake with brandy and let it mature.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes plus overnight soaking, plus time to marzipan and ice the cake.
Cooking Time: 4 ¾ hours
Serves: 18 &ndash 20

100g red or natural glacé cherries/100g ready-to-eat dried Fairtrade apricots/275g currants/ 175g Fairtrade sultanas/175g Fairtrade raisins/ 50g finely chopped/candied peel/¼ level tsp freshly grated nutmeg/½ level tsp ground mixed spice 3 tbsp brandy
225g plain flour
225g softened butter
225g dark Fairtrade muscovado sugar
4 large Freedom Food eggs
50g chopped Fairtrade almonds
1 scant tbsp black treacle
grated rind of 1 Fairtrade lemon, grated rind of 1 Fairtrade orange

To finish
Brandy, to feed/675 g almond paste or marzipan/ 675 g fondant or ready-to-roll icing

To decorate
Almond paste (leftover from putting over the cake)/green food colouring/ribbon/holly or your favourite decorations

Begin this cake the night before you want to bake it. Cut the cherries into quarters, put in a sieve and rinse under running water. Drain well then dry thoroughly on kitchen paper. Snip the apricots into pieces. Measure the fruits into a large bowl, mix in the brandy, cover and leave in a cool place overnight.

Preheat the oven to 140°C / Fan 120°C / Gas 1. Grease a 20 cm (8 in) deep round cake tin, then line the base and sides with a double layer of baking parchment. Measure the flour, spices, butter, sugar, eggs, almonds, treacle and lemon and orange rinds into a large bowl. Beat well, then fold in the soaked fruits. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread out evenly with the back of a spoon. Cover the top of the cake loosely with a double layer of baking parchment. Bake in the preheated oven for about 4½&ndash4¾ hours or until the cake feels firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin.

When cool, pierce the cake at intervals with a fine skewer and feed with a little brandy. Wrap the completely cold cake in a double layer of baking parchment, and again in foil, and store in a cool place, feeding at intervals with more brandy. Don&rsquot remove the lining parchment when storing as this helps to keep the cake moist. Cover the cake with almond paste about a week before icing.

Cover the cake with fondant or ready-to-roll icing. Colour the almond paste (left over from putting the almond paste on to the cake) dark green. Roll out on a board that has been lightly sprinkled with icing sugar and cut into 2.5 cm (1 in) wide strips. Cut these into diamonds and then, with the base of an icing nozzle, remove half circles from the sides of the diamonds to give holly-shaped leaves. Make vein marks on the leaves with a sharp knife, bend the leaves over the handles of wooden spoons and leave to dry. Decorate the top of the cake with the almond-paste holly leaves and finish by tying a ribbon around the sides of the cake.

When shopping for your baking ingredients this Christmas think of farm animal welfare and look for labels such as the RSPCA's Freedom Food to help improve farm animal welfare.