Rich fruit ring cake

    2 hours

    Most rich fruit cakes are high in fat and added sugar, but this one is an exception. It's relatively low in fat, and depends mainly on dried fruits soaked in apple juice for natural sweetness. Decorated with nuts, and glacé and crystallised fruits, it makes a healthy cake that would be festive enough for Christmas.

    58 people made this

    Serves: 18 

    • 85 g (3 oz) dried cranberries
    • 85 g (3 oz) sultanas
    • 85 g (3 oz) dried pears, chopped
    • 85 g (3 oz) stoned prunes, chopped
    • 85 g (3 oz) dried figs, chopped
    • 85 g (3 oz) stoned dried dates, chopped
    • 250 ml (8½ fl oz) apple juice
    • 50 g (1¾ oz) pecan nuts, chopped
    • 50 g (1¾ oz) candied ginger, chopped
    • finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
    • 5 tbsp sunflower oil
    • 1 egg
    • 75 g (2½ oz) molasses sugar
    • 115 g (4 oz) self-raising white flour
    • 115 g (4 oz) self-raising wholemeal flour
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 2 tsp ground mixed spice
    • 3–4 tbsp semi-skimmed milk, as needed

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:1hr30min  ›  Ready in:2hr 

    1. Place all the dried fruit in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the apple juice, place over a moderate heat and bring slowly to the boil. Cover and simmer gently for 3–4 minutes or until the fruit begins to absorb the liquid.
    2. Remove the pan from the heat and leave, covered, until completely cold. Stir in the pecan nuts, ginger, and lemon zest and juice.
    3. Preheat the oven to 150ºC (300ºF, gas mark 2). Brush a 23 cm (9 in) ring tin with a little oil. In a bowl, beat together the sunflower oil, egg and sugar until smooth.
    4. Sift the white and wholemeal flours, baking powder and mixed spice into a large bowl, tipping in any bran in the sieve. Add the soaked fruit and the egg mixture, and stir well to combine thoroughly. Stir in enough milk to make a fairly soft mixture.
    5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Bake for 1¼–1½ hours or until risen, firm and golden brown, and just beginning to shrink away from the sides of the tin.
    6. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for at least 1 hour before running a knife around the edge and turning it out. Wrap in greaseproof paper and foil, and store for 2–3 weeks before serving, to allow the flavours to mature.
    7. To decorate the cake, gently heat the jam with 1 tsp water, then press through a sieve. Brush the top of the cake with the jam. Arrange the cherries, nuts and candied ginger on top, pressing them gently into the jam. Finally, dust with sifted icing sugar.

    Some more ideas

    For easier slicing, bake the cake in a long loaf tin, about 1.4 litres (2½ pints) in capacity. * Soak the fruit in cherry brandy instead of apple juice.

    Plus points

    Dried figs are a good source of fibre and also contain compounds known to have mild laxative effects. Drying the fruit concentrates their nutrients, making them a useful source of calcium and iron. * Pecans are a good source of protein and unsaturated fats, and they provide useful amounts of vitamin E, folate and fibre.

    Each serving provides

    Useful source of copper, vitamin B6.

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    Reviews in English (5)


    Used different ingredients. I didn't know what molasses sugar was, so I used dark brown soft sugar instead.  -  04 Dec 2008


    This cake was just as satisfying and rich as a typical christmas cake. i might even like it better because it's just that bit lighter, not so heavy like most christmas cakes. Thank you - a great recipe!  -  04 Dec 2008


    My grandma who is now 92 loves this as a Christmas cake as it dose not have the sickly layers of icing but has plenty of taste. I make as a 8 inch round cake and add plenty of glazed fruit and nuts to the top  -  19 Nov 2012