It’s hard to decide what my absolute favourite cake is, as cake for me is its 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 a stir-up 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 glace 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


  1. spin sister

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

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

  4. Sam

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

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

  6. Sam

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

  7. Sam

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

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

  9. Sam

    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

  10. 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?

  11. Sam

    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.

  12. Michelle

    This cake is utterly delicious and so nutty which my husband and mother absolutely love as they are not huge fans of dark really intense fruit cakes! The fresh cherries and candied fruit make this cake so fresh tasting. I used a combination of pineapple peach and apricot instead of the candied orange. I also used Brazil nit, hazelnut and pistachio combination for the nuts. This will be my go to fruit case very Christmas from now on so thank you so much for the recipe, I’ve been searching for a very nutty fruit cake recipe for years and this is the best yet.

  13. Sam

    HI Michelle, I’m so glad you like the recipe as much as I do.

  14. This cake is so delicious and absolutely fab!! I didn’t have rum but drizzled a cream sherry on top of the cake after baking and every couple of days after. It matured really well and increased the depth of flavours. Scrumptious!

  15. Sam

    I’m So glad you enjoyed this cake Yvette and it does improve with age (and booze 🙂

  16. How far in advance can i make the cake if i want it for a birthday or Christmas?

  17. Sam

    Hi Mel, You could make this up to 6 weeks before Xmas but make sure you drizzle with brandy every other week and keep it tightly wrapped. You could also make it 2 – 4 weeks before and do one dose of brandy. Without the brandy it might dry out. I have a very nice fruit cake that can be made closer to the time on my site.

  18. Hello I’ve been making this cake for a couple of years now using fresh whole cherries but I am just wondering when you say “whole cherries” do you actually mean fresh or whole glacé ones? It’s just that they look like glacé in the pic … curious. My cake always turn out lovely though using fresh pitted cherries.

  19. Sam

    Hi Michelle – it’s definitely glace cherries. I don’t know of any fruit cake made with fresh cherries. I always use dried fruit. Glad it worked out for you with fresh I will modify teh recipe. Sorry I made an assumption that people would know.

Write A Comment