Boozy-Woozy Fruit Cake

Posted on December 1, 2010


I love fruit cake! Out of all the cakes in the world, a nice, rich fruit cake does it for me!

I love it’s sweetness, it’s denseness and it’s moistness. I love that it’s always there at the really special occasions (weddings, christenings, birthdays, Christmas…). I love that baking it is a labour of love, from soaking your fruit, to the slow, patient baking and then the frequent alcoholic feeds. The anticipation of a slice of this cake perfection is hard to endure but so, so worth the wait.

Clearly, this cake recipe is perfect for Christmas, either served ‘nude’ or covered in smooth marzipan and sweet, white icing. If you make it now, you’ll have a month to feed it, before you get creative with your coverings and enjoy over the festive period. This year, I’m going to just cover the top of the cake and decorate with icing stars, but for now I’m just glorying in the cake itself.

There are a multitude of fruit cake recipes, so why is this one better you might ask?! This one, from Good Food Magazine, is my favourite because it’s so flexible. Rather than specifying all the ingredients, it just states you need 1kg of dried fruit and 100g of nuts of your preference (in addition to the basic sugar, egg, flour etc…). This means for me the cake is a little different each time I make it, depending on what’s in the cupboard! This year, my fruit mix included glace cherries, mixed peels, figs, dates and sultanas and my nuts were brazils, walnuts and almonds.

It’s also really easy! An overnight soak of your fruit in brandy and then it’s mixed into your creamed butter and sugar with all of the other ingredients. From then, it’s into the oven and a few hours later fruit-cake pride will emerge. The other really good thing about fruitcake is it’s keepability. This cake will keep for up to 6 months, if wrapped tightly in foil and kept in a dark place – make a few in one go and your covered for future events!

Boozy-Woozy Fruit Cake


1kg dried fruit of your choice, 150ml brandy/sherry/rum, zest and juice of 2 oranges, zest and juice of 2 lemons, 250g unsalted butter (room temp), 250g light brown sugar, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 4 eggs, 200g plain flour, 2 tsp mixed spice, 100g chopped nuts of your choice.

Day 1: Soak dried fruit in alcohol and lemon and orange juice overnight.

Day 2: Heat oven to 140c (fan)/GM 3. Grease and line medium-sized cake tin with baking paper (20cm round or 18 cm square). Beat butter, vanilla and sugar together until creamy. Beat in eggs one by one. Tip in the flour, spices, dried fruit and nuts. Stir together and then tip into cake tin. Bake for 90 minutes, then cover the top of the cake with foil/baking paper, turn down the heat to 120c (fam)/GM 1 and cook for 140-180 minutes until a skewer comes away from the center clean (after 120 minutes I advise the skewer test every 20 minutes). Remove from the oven, cool in tin, wrap in paper and store until needed.

Feeding: To feed your cake, choose the same alcohol as used to soak the fruit. Using a skewer, create small holes through the cake and dribble over the alcohol. This can be repeated every 1-2 weeks until the cake is eaten.

 Helen x