Fruit Cake Recipe

A good old-fashioned recipe that never lets me down.  In fact, this was recipe was passed down to me from my mother – and I still make it every single Christmas.  It just works and tastes fantastic.


  • 1 1/4 kg (2.75lb) sultanas
  • 500g raisins (1.1lb) (chop)
  • 250g (8.8oz) currants
  • 250g (8.8oz) mixed peel
  • 250g (8.8oz) glace cherries (chop into quarters)
  • 1/3 cup marmalade
  • 1 cup of rum, brandy, whiskey or sherry (your choice)
  • 500g (1.1lb) butter
  • 2 teaspoons orange rind (grated)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon rind (grated)
  • 2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 8 eggs
  • 4 cups plain flour
  • 1/3 cup rum brandy, sherry or whiskey (extra)
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice

This mixture makes 2 fruit cakes.


  1. Have butter and eggs as room temperature.  Combine fruit, marmalade and 1 cup of alcohol in a large bow and mix well.
  2. In a large bowl cream butter with lemon and orange rinds with an electric mixer until just smooth. Add sugar and beat until just combined. Add eggs, 1 at a time and beat only until ingredients are combined between additions. (Note: The faster the eggs are added, the less likely mixture will curdle.)
  3. Add creamed mixture to combined fruit mixture and mix with wooden spoon until combined.
  4. Sift dry ingredients (plain flour and mixed spice) and add. Thoroughly mix in dry ingredients.
  5. Divide mixture between tins that have been previously prepared.
  6. In a slow oven (150°C/ 300° F) bake the cakes. Depending on the size of your cake tins – smaller tins 2 – 2 1/2 hrs and larger 3 – 3 1/2 hrs. Cakes can be cooked on the same shelf in the oven, provided cakes do not touch each other, the wall or door of the oven when it is closed. If cooking cakes on different shelf positions, swap the cakes around halfway through the cooking time to ensure they both cook through.
  7. Test cakes are cooked through. After the minimum cooking time gently touch the surface of cake (in the middle) to see if it feels firm. If so, take a fine, sharp pointed knife and insert gently through the cake centre.  Withdraw the knife and check the blade. If it has cake mixture on it or feels sticky, cake should be returned to oven for longer cooking time.
  8. Longer cooking time darkens the cake. The cake also darkens as it cooks.
  9. Cut away the lining paper above the rim of the cake tins.
  10. Brush top of the cakes with extra alcohol.
  11. While still warm cover the tins, tightly, with aluminum foil. (I then firmly wrap the cakes, while in the cake tins, over the aluminum, with a t-towel).
  12. Invert tins (wrapped) onto a rack on the bench. The cakes will flatten as they cool.
  13. Cover the cakes with a towel to slow-down cooling process.
  14. The following day, removed cold cakes from tins.
  15. Leave baking paper in place and wrap cakes tightly in plastic wrap. Then wrap in foil or t-towels.
  16. Cakes can be stored in a cool dark place for up to 6 months. Note: if you live in a humid or wet climate, store cakes in the refrigerator. 

My additions:

Between step 14 and 15, I usually brush the top of the cakes lightly, again, with the alcohol I’ve chosen before storing.

You can give your cakes a little drink occasionally

If storing the cakes for several weeks (or months) you can open the cakes and give them a little drink after a few weeks. This means another light brush over with your chosen alcohol.


How to prepare cake tins:

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