Rich dark fruit cake

    2 hours 30 min

    This moist, fruit-rich cake is so packed with flavour that you will not notice it has none of the fat of traditional recipes. Makes a great base for a Christmas or wedding cake - decorate as you like.

    389 people made this

    Serves: 32 

    • 375 g (13 oz) ready-to-eat stoned prunes
    • 6 tablespoons brandy, sherry or orange juice
    • 200 g (7 oz) soft dark brown sugar
    • 4 eggs
    • Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
    • Finely grated zest of 1 large orange
    • 350 g (12 oz) plain white flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
    • 750 g (1 lb 10 oz) luxury mixed dried fruit
    • 4-6 tablespoons skimmed milk

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

    1. Heat the oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4). Line a deep 23 cm (9 in) round cake tin with baking paper.
    2. Purée the prunes and brandy, or sherry or orange juice, to a smooth paste in a food processor or with a hand-held mixer. Transfer the purée to a large bowl.
    3. Add the sugar, eggs and lemon and orange zest, and whisk until the mixture is pale, thick and fluffy.
    4. Sift the flour, baking powder and mixed spice onto the prune mixture, then fold them in with a large metal spoon. Fold in the dried fruit and enough milk to make a soft dropping consistency.
    5. Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared tin and smooth over the top. Bake in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 160°C (325°F, gas mark 3). Continue baking for a further 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the cake is well risen, firm to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. If, during baking, the top of the cake appears to be over-browning, cover it loosely with a piece of foil.
    6. Leave the cake to cool in the tin on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes. Then remove the cake from the tin, peel off the paper and leave it to cool completely on the rack. Store it wrapped in foil, or in an airtight container.
    7. Tip: the flavour of this cake becomes even fuller if it is left to mature for a day or two before it is cut.

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    Reviews in English (11)


    This has to be one of the easiest and tastiest fruit cake recipes I've ever used. I've made it with different fruit, different sugar, more spice, different alcohol, no alcohol. It always works and always tastes good. I've made six wedding cakes using this recipe. Highly recommended.  -  03 May 2015


    Brilliant recipe; I used up two cans of prunes that I'd had stored in my cupboard, alongwith leftover dried fruit from the Xmas pudding I'd made a few days earlier and substituted the 6 tablespoons of brandy and 6 x milk with leftover guiness from my Xmas pud. Beautifully moist and so delicious - already passed the recipe to my work colleagues and I will definately make this again  -  21 Nov 2012


    Replace 250g of the mixed fruit with 250g of whole cherries, add more mixed spice than suggested and use really dark sugar.  -  25 Aug 2013