light fruit cake: my christmas cake

a lovely light nutty fruit cake

It’s hard to decide what  my absolute favourite cake is, as cake for me is it’s own food group.  I love cake. Fruit cake is definitely very high up on this list.

I prefer a slightly lighter cake with lots of fruit and nuts. And from a convenience perspective I could not be bothered to boil all the fruit. I tried this recipe last year for christmas and it was exactly the way I like it so I made it again at the end of October on stirring Sunday (the Sunday you are supposed to bake your christmas cake for optimum maturation prior to Christmas).  Ok I’ve gone a bit over this but it doesn’t matter, it made it to my birthday and became the ‘official’ cake.


  • 230g golden sultanas (you could also use raisins or both)
  • 180g candied pineapple – coarsely chopped
  • 100g candied orange – slices coarsely chopped
  • 50g crystalised ginger chopped
  • 230g whole cherries
  • 50g whole almonds toasted
  • 50g brazil nuts
  • 50g cashew (or pistachio)
  • 50g hazelnuts (toasted skins off)
  •         Total = 200g nuts (any mix and I dont always toast)
  • 230g cake flour sifted
  • 230g caster sugar
  • 230g butter – room temp
  • Zest and juice of half a lemon
  • Zest and juice of half an orange
  • 4 large eggs
  • Pinch salt
  • 60ml (1/4 cup brandy) – plus more

how to make:

  • preheat oven to 140 degrees
  • double line a 20cm round cake tin
  • Mix all fruit and nuts in bowl with a little of the flour to prevent sticking together
  • Cream the sugar and butter in a  mixer
  • Add zest
  • Add the eggs one at a time – mix well after each addition
  • Add the remaining flour & salt (i always sift my flour when baking)
  • Stir in fruit and nuts, lemon and orange juice and brandy
  • bake for 2 ¾ – 3 hours or until when a skewer is inserted into the cake it comes out clean
  • when cooled turn the cake out and sprinkle with brandy
  • wrap tightly and store in an airtight container until ready to serve
  • I sprinkle on a bit of brandy about every 10 days or so

When I made the cake I had enough ingredients to make another, so I used the same ‘cake part’ ingredients, and then I just added around 200gms of any nut I had plus more raisins and cherries than the recipe called for.  I also used a mix of candied fruit (pear, apricot etc) and it turned out wonderfully and was extremely fruit and nutty.  I loved it!

nice with a few bubbles at brunch

slice of fruit cake



15 Responses to light fruit cake: my christmas cake

  1. spin sister January 25, 2010 at 6:23 am #

    This blogspot is NO good for my love handles and has left me salivating. I will def try this cake next year it seems relatively uncomplicated compared to other christmas cake recipes i have seen. thanks

  2. Candice December 10, 2011 at 11:25 pm #

    I see that this recipe needs 23o cherries. Is that correct? It seems like loads!

  3. Candice December 10, 2011 at 11:31 pm #

    Sorry I’m not familiar with cake flour. Is this self-raising flour?

  4. Sam December 11, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

    HI Candice, cake flour is just regular flour. Self raising flour is cake flour with baking powder.

  5. Sam December 11, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

    Hi Candice its 230gms of cherries 🙂

  6. Candice December 11, 2011 at 11:31 pm #

    So no baking powder or soda needed for this recipe then?

  7. Sam December 12, 2011 at 7:42 am #

    Hi Candice, yes there is no baking soda / powder in this recipe. It is a fruit cake so doesn’t need it.

  8. Jo November 21, 2015 at 5:48 pm #

    Could I make this cake in a Bundt pan please.

  9. Sam November 23, 2015 at 9:10 am #

    Hi Jo, I have never actually made a fruit cake in a bundt pan but I cant see how it wont work out.

  10. Linda December 10, 2015 at 5:23 am #

    I’m wondering if almond, coconut flour or even brown rice flour would work as good as cake flour

  11. Sam December 10, 2015 at 7:52 am #

    Hi LInda – Im not to sure – but thisis a dense cake so I am sure almonmd flour would work. It will not be as soft as cake flour

  12. Steph Strange November 2, 2016 at 11:24 am #

    Can anyone tell me if I can cover the light fruit cake I’ve just made , in marzipan and icing will it keep until Christmas?

  13. Sam November 3, 2016 at 1:10 pm #

    HI Steph. Its probably best to keep it uniced until closer to christmas. maybe douse it in brandy every now and again, wrap it in cling film and then ice it closers to the time.


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