Last-minute fruit cake 54



View Profile

I have been making this since 1986 when I first found the recipe. It’s moist and lovely every time. I often make it in 5″ tins, as that size makes a good sized gift for a next door neighbour, or older single person. I use Ruby Port instead of brandy as it gives a good colour, but either works. I wrap in cling wrap, use Xmas ribbon and tinsel and most people just love them.

Something home cooked is a rarity now days. Use a big spoon of marmalade instead of the fruit rinds if desired and I never cook in a square tin as the corners dry out.

Happy cooking!

If preferred, 1 1/4kg mixed fruit can be used instead of the dried fruit listed in the ingredients below. Decorate cake with glace cherries and almonds, before baking, if desired.



  • 375g sultanas
  • 250g raisins, chopped
  • 250g currants
  • 125g mixed peel
  • 125g glace cherries, halved
  • 60g glace pineapple, chopped
  • 60g glace apricots, chopped
  • 250g butter
  • big pinch mixed spices
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1.2 cup brandy
  • 1.2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange rind
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 tablespoon treacle
  • 5 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 3/4 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cup self-raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda


  1. Line a deep 23cm round cake tin with 3 thicknesses of greaseproof paper, bring paper 5cm above edge of tin.
  2. Combine fruit, butter, sugar, brandy and water in pan.
  3. Stir over heat until butter is melted and sugar dissolved.
  4. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, simmer, cover, 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature.
  6. Stir in orange and lemon rinds, treacle and eggs.
  7. Stir in sifted dry ingredients, spread mixture evenly into tin.
  8. Bake in slow oven 2 to 2.5 hours.
  9. Cover hot cake with foil, cool in tin.


Thanks so much to Virginia Carter for sending through this recipe. If you have a recipe to submit, send it to us here

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. On the other hand you can try the 3 ingredient fruit cake, which is great if you need to watch how much sugar you consume. 1kg mixed fruit 600ml Choc Milk and 2 cups of self raising flour. Soak the fruit in the Choc Milk over night. Mix the flour in well the next day. Pour into a cake tin and bake for about an hour or when the skewer comes out clean. It make the most delicious fruit cake. I used the low fat Choc Milk and it is so easy – even for a non-cook like myself!

    9 REPLY
  2. Yes I make the 3 ingredient cake too ! So easy ! and its great.

  3. This is exactly the same as the Women’s Weekly Favourite Boiled Fruit Cake recipe. I add cinnamon, dried ginger and nutmeg and rum. Never fails and keeps for 3 months if stored well, though never lasts that long.

    2 REPLY
    • Is that the one in their Cakes book? We are away at moment and probably won’t be able to find this recipe again but if in women’s weekly cookbook I will be all set

    • Joy Diane Lattin – I got it from the Women’s Weekly Cakes & Slices cookbook which must be more than 20 years old! But you can now find it on the web if you search “favourite boiled fruitcake”. I even mix up the fruit a bit and use dried apricots instead of glazed pineapple as it is hard to get. The cake is so easy, the most time consuming job is lining the cake tin. Also if you use a fan forced oven, it only takes about 1.5 hours to cook (whereas conventional oven is about 2.5 hours. Hope this helps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *