2. Fruit Cakes

Dark & stormy fruit cake


  • 1kg mixed dried fruit or mixed dried fruit with mixed peel (we used a mixture of raisins, sultanas and currants)
  • 150ml spiced rum, plus extra for feeding
  • 250g butter
  • 200g dark muscovado sugar
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 175g plain flour
  • 125g ground almonds
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 5 balls of stem ginger, chopped
  • 5 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • STEP 1Put the mixed dried fruit in a large pan with the rum, butter, sugar and citrus zest and juice. Set the pan over a medium heat, bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and heat until the butter has melted. Leave to cool for 30 mins.
  • STEP 2Meanwhile, heat the oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Line a deep 20cm cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment, then wrap a double layer of newspaper around the outside and secure with string.
  • STEP 3Tip the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and spices into a large bowl. Add the cooled fruit mix along with the syrupy liquid in the pan, then the stem ginger, eggs and vanilla. Stir with a wooden spoon until there are no pockets of flour.
  • STEP 4Tip the mix into the tin, level the top with a spatula and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 2 hrs until cooked through and golden. Remove from the oven, poke holes into the top with a skewer and spoon over 2 tbsp rum. Leave to cool completely in the tin.
  • STEP 5Once cool, peel off the baking parchment, then wrap in fresh parchment and store in an airtight cake tin. Feed the cake with 1-2 tbsp rum every fortnight, or up to four times until you ice it. Don’t feed the cake for the final week to give the surface a chance to dry before icing. Once iced, the cake will keep in a tin for four weeks. The uniced cake will keep in the freezer for six months.

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