A moist fruit cake.


  • 700 g mixed dried fruits
  • 350 ml dark rum
  • 5 tblsp cherry brandy
  • 225 g dried pineapple pieces
  • 125 g dried cranberries
  • 200 g glace cherries
  • 75 g blanched almonds (chopped)
  • 1 tblsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • finely grated rind of 1 orange
  • 350 g softened butter
  • 350 g soft, light brown sugar
  • 6 medium eggs
  • 350 g self raising flour


  • Firstly, put the mixed dried fruit, rum and brandy in a pan and bring to the boil.
  • Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Cool, and leave it to soak for one to four days, depending on how much of a hurry is on you.
  • The longer you're able to leave it, the more moist the end product will be.
  • Grease a 23cm/9inch round cake tin and line the base and sides with double thickness baking parchment so that it comes three quarters of an inch above the rim.
  • Place one third of the soaked dried fruit in a food processor and give it a whizz until it's finely minced.
  • Set aside, and add the dried pineapple pieces, cherries, cranberries, almonds and ground spices to the remaining soaked dried fruit.
  • Stir this well to mix it up, add the grated orange rind and stir again.
  • In a separate bowl beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs, one by one, adding 2 tablespoons flour with each.
  • Sift over the remaining flour and beat thoroughly until the mixture is pale and soft.
  • Heat the oven to 170°C (340°F/Gas 4).
  • Fold in the mixed fruit.
  • Gently, stir in the remaining fruit.
  • Spoon into the tin and spread level, making a well in the centre.
  • Reduce the temperature of the oven to 150°C (300°F/Gas 2), cover the cake loosely with foil and bake for two and a half hours.
  • Because oven temperatures tend to vary, check the cake after two and a quarter hours, by sticking a skewer into the middle.
  • If it comes out clean, the cake is cooked.
  • Leave to cool in the tin for 20 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
baking christmas winter desserts and sweets