This fruitcake recipe is perfect in every way. It’s packed full of flavour, and, you don’t need an electric mixer to make it. We recommend baking it at least six weeks in advance, feeding it with a bit of brandy every two weeks, so that the flavours develop. So, if you’re planning your Christmas cooking and baking, this one goes to the top of the list to be done in mid-November. We love it covered with marzipan and royal icing!
For the fruit mix:
- 500g currants
- 450g raisins
- 300g sultanas
- 200g glacé cherries, halved
- 50g candied peel
- 225ml brandy
For the cake:
- 250g butter
- 260g dark Muscovado sugar
- 2 tbsp treacle
- 5 eggs
- 200g flour
- 100g ground almonds
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- (Brandy soaked fruit mix, as seen above)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3-4 tbsp brandy, for feeding
- Prepare the brandy soaked fruit mix the day before. Combine all the fruit mix ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Cover with clingfilm and leave at room temperature to steep overnight. This can be done up to 3 days in advance.
- For the cake, line a deep 20cm (8 inch) round baking tin with two layers of parchment paper. You can use a springform tin or a regular baking tin, but it should be at least 6cm (2.5 inches) deep. As the mixture will completely fill the tin, the double layer of parchment should form a 5cm (2inch) collar above the rim of the baking tin.
- Preheat oven to 140°C / 120°C fan assisted / gas 1.
- Place butter and sugar together in a medium sized pot over medium low heat, stirring occasionally. Once melted, stir or whisk so that the melted butter and sugar are thoroughly combined, then remove from heat and pour into a large mixing bowl. Add the treacle and eggs and mix to combine.
- Sift in the flour, then add the remaining dry ingredients. Mix with a wooden spoon or electric mixer just until combined, scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the brandy soaked fruit mix and the vanilla then use a wooden spoon to mix together.
- Spoon mixture into prepared baking tin and bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 3 hours.
- Remove from oven and leave to cool on a wire rack. Once completely cool, remove cake from tin and poke the cake with a wooden skewer. Drizzle 1 tbsp of brandy over the top and leave to soak in. Wrap fruitcake in a layer of parchment paper and 2 layers of tinfoil and store in a cool area. Every two weeks, feed or drizzle the cake with another 1 tbsp brandy up until the point you’re ready to cover and decorate your cake with marzipan and royal icing or ready-to-roll fondant icing.
- Once covered with marzipan and icing, cake will keep for up to 6 months at room temperature. To freeze, wrap well with parchment paper and tinfoil, it will keep indefinitely.