Fruit Cake


On Thursday I made a fruit cake as I was off to see my friends Christine and Nathan. I don’t often make fruit cakes as James doesn’t like them. Can someone explain to me the whole American dislike of fruit cakes – what is all of that about?

Fruit cakes are lovely – and I won’t hear a word said against them. I am going to make another one this week for me to eat all by myself. This fruit cake is mainly fruit with a tiny bit of cake holding it all together – perfect. Obviously you can add any type of dried fruit that you like. I used what I had to hand.

I eat my fruit cake with butter and a slice of cheese – how do you eat yours?

Here is the recipe – go on …. make a fruit cake …..

Fruit Cake: 1kg dried fruit (I used currants, raisins, and dried apricots); 4 tbs whiskey n(you can substitute orange juice here); 50g crystallised ginger; grated rind and juice of a lemon; 300g plain flour; 250g butter; 250g muscovado sugar; 1 tsp ground cinnamon; 2 tsp ground mixed spice; 5 beaten eggs; lots of almonds to decorate.

Soak the dried fruit and lemon rind in the whiskey and lemon juice over night or for an hour if you forget and need to make the cake right there and then!Β  Cream the butter and sugar together in a food mixer until pale and creamy. Mix the flour and spices together. Add some flour and some beaten egg a bit at a time, still beating gently. Add in the dried fruit and any whiskey that hasn’t been absorbed – and the chopped ginger. Mix. Put the mix into a 20cm deep cake tin that you have already greased and lined with baking paper. Arrange the almonds on top in a pretty pattern.


Cook for 3-3.5 hours in an oven set to 140C (275F) or until a skewer comes out clean when stuck in the middle of the cake.

Leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes to an hour and then cool on a wire rack.


My friend Mike used to make the most lovely fruit cakes with almonds on top when we went to parties or on picnics – hi Mike – I thought about how lovely they were while I was making this one.

N.B. Happy belated birthday to Nathan and Mike πŸ™‚

11 responses to “Fruit Cake

  1. I believe in America the general rule is to use store bought fruit cakes. They are heavy, we jokingly use them for door stops, and mostly made with horribly preserved and dyed fruits. They are often very sweet and stick to your teeth. Soaked with rum in many cases. Like many of us, James was probably traumatized by these nasty versions of food.
    I’d love to try a real, fresh Claire version!! Yours sounds and looks terrific. Hope that helps you understand why we avoid them!!

  2. I will have to give your recipe a try and see if it makes me “forget” my past awful experiences with fruit cake. I have friends who send the same fruit cake year after year back and forth as a joke present… they don’t have to worry about anyone eating that old cake since anyone in their right mind avoids eating fruit cake… as a kid I wondered if they were just table decoration or a possible punishment for kids who didn’t finish there vegetables during Christmas dinner.

    • James says something similar about American fruit cakes and them being given as joke presents. Fruit cake over here is certainly not a joke present. You should give the recipe a go sometime – I think fruit cakes are delicious πŸ™‚

    • Been thinking of you lots recently and especially your lovely cakes. I have some special heather honey (from my bees) waiting here for you for the next time we see each other. Hope everything is well with you all in Birmingham – miss you all xx

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