Plump fruit cake

Plump fruit cake

By
From
Lucy's Bakes
Makes
1
Prep
20 mins
Cooking time
120 mins
Photographer
Jacqui Melville

Both of us Lucys love fruit cake and both of us have our favourite fast or boiled fruit cake recipe. Which to share with you was the question? So we had a bake off – mine was delicious, although I say it myself, but I had to concede. This recipe, that the other Lucy has been making for years, is simply stunning. Kept for a day it tastes like it has matured over months, is dense with fruit and packed with flavour. Made in one saucepan with no fuss, it is perfect to decorate as your Christmas cake. Use fruit cake mix or any dried fruit – it’s a great opportunity to use up oddments from your store cupboard.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
80g golden syrup
80g black treacle
50g strong-flavoured clear honey
250g soft dark brown sugar
200g double cream
7g mixed spice
250g butter, at room temperature
1 orange, zest grated
1 lemon, zest grated
6 eggs
400g prunes, chopped
100g mixed dried fruit
500g plain flour
3g bicarbonate of soda
brandy, to taste

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 25 cm round, deep cake tin with baking paper.
  2. Gently heat the syrup, treacle, honey, sugar, cream and spice in a saucepan, stirring occasionally, and bring to the boil. Allow to cool slightly, then add the butter, a knob at a time, and stir until melted. Add the orange and lemon zest.
  3. Add the eggs, beat until combined, then add the fruit and mix well.
  4. Sift in the flour and bicarbonate of soda and stir until evenly mixed. Spoon into the tin and bake for about 2–2½ hours, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Dribble over a few spoonfuls of brandy and leave to cool in the tin.
  5. When cold, generously dribble with more spoonfuls of brandy, remove from the tin and wrap well in foil (leaving the cake in the baking paper). If icing the cake, leave for 5 days before icing (giving it a couple more feeds of brandy, if desired). It will keep for a good few weeks in an airtight container.

Note

  • This recipe is vegetarian and nut-free.

Tip

  • This is a BIG cake for a celebration but you can halve the quantities and make a 20 cm cake (reduce the cooking time to about 1½ hours).

What the the testers say

  • IAN COLEBY – ‘Just lots of weighing out – the rest was easy and it has kept really well wrapped in foil in a tin for 3 months.’

    JO CURD – ‘Friends loved it when I made it for a group get together – I didn’t ice it as it looked lovely as it was.’

    JANET MEEKCOMS – ‘I have made many fruit cakes and this is one of the best ever – it is so easy and tastes mature on the first day. I loved the fact I could use up what dried fruit I had in my cupboard.’
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