My ultimate indulgent fruitcake recipe

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A delicious fruitcake recipe

I developed this fruitcake recipe for Pierre Jourdan Ratafia, a delicious sweet fortified dessert wine made from Chardonnay. Tasting very much like the wine equivalent of a fruitcake itself, this is the perfect tipple to enjoy this Christmas. Not only did I soak the fruit in the Ratafia overnight, but I anointed the finished cake with a generous drizzle. I daresay it’s a more delicious way to preserve your fruitcake than brandy. Since I made it a good few weeks ago, I have doused it a couple of times again since. I cannot wait to share it with my family soon.

Pierre Jourdan Ratafia

The Ratafia bottle is utterly exquisite and over-delivers in every way with its R100 price point, making this a lovely festive gift. Serve it with my fruitcake and your friends and family will be wowed.

A delicious fruitcake recipe
A delicious fruitcake recipe

I love to make my cake around Stir-up Sunday (the last week of November) and when traditionally the Christmas pudding is made. It gives the cake time to mature into itself and obviously soak up all the booze you pour on it. 

A delicious fruitcake recipe
A delicious fruitcake recipe

This light fruitcake recipe makes two 18cm round fruit cakes. So one for yourself and one to giveaway. You can also make it into two or more loaves depending on the size of your pans. Adjust the baking time accordingly if you do.

More Christmas baking:

Apple & mince pie crumble bars

Pear mince pies

Mince pies cinnamon sticky buns

Fruitcake shortbread

An easy and classic Madeira cake with fruit

A delicious fruitcake recipe

A delicious light fruit cake recipe loaded with dried fruit and nuts.
Print Recipe
A delicious fruitcake recipe
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:2 hours


Fruit to soak:

  • 140 gms raisins
  • 140 gms sultanas
  • 120 gms dried cranberries
  • 120 gms soft dried apricots roughly chopped
  • 120 gms candied citrus peel
  • ¾ cup 180ml Ratafia plus more for drizzling over the top


  • 225 gm butter at room temperature
  • 330 gms sugar
  • ¼ cup golden syrup of light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp salt if using unsalted butter otherwise a pinch
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Grated zest of an orange
  • 5 large free-range eggs
  • 445 gms cake or all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 200 gms glace cherries cut in half
  • 200 gms Pecan nuts roughly chopped
  • Additional blanched almonds to decorate optional


  • Place all the fruit in a bowl and cover with the Ratafia. Cover and allow to soak overnight at room temperature. Give it a stir every now and again if you remember.
  • When you are ready to make the cake, preheat the oven to 150C / 300F and line the cake tins with baking paper on the bottom and sides.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until well combined. Add the syrup, salt, spices and orange zest and mix until well combined.
  • Add the eggs one at a time ensuring they are well mixed after each addition.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder together and alternate adding this with the 1 cup of milk until well combined. Then add all the soaked fruit (with any liquid) and the cherries and nuts and briefly mix until well combined. Scrape down the bowl by hand ensuring all the fruit is evenly distributed.
  • Dived the batter between to the 2 cake tins and smooth out the top. Decorate with whole blanched almonds if you are using and bake for 1.5 to 2 hours depending on the size of your pans. The cake is done when it’s golden brown and firm to the touch. Insert a sharp knife into the middle and if it comes out clean it is down. Bake for a little longer if it needs to as ovens do vary. Loosely cover with tin foil form about halfway through if you feel it needs it to prevent over-browning.
Author: Sam Linsell


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  1. Lovely. So it’s like a port? made from a chardonnay? interesting. I’ll have to see if it even exists where I live. This is a fabulous fruitcake!

  2. happy cyclist says:

    Beautiful cake! I will definitely make this. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Its a pleasure and I hope you love it as much as I do

  4. Beverly Haley says:

    They are in the oven right now, the kitchen smells terrific. It’s a cold day here on Vancouver Island Canada,
    We are looking forward to the tasting.
    Bev Haley

  5. I Hope you enjoyed the fruitcakes Bev

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