Rich & Moist Fruit Cake

Indulge in the decadence of a rich and moist fruit cake, a timeless treat perfect for any occasion. Packed with a delightful assortment of dried fruits and nuts, this recipe promises to elevate your baking experience. Follow these simple steps to create a delectable masterpiece that will tantalize your taste buds and delight your senses.


  • For the fruit mix (soak overnight):
  • 100 g dried apricots
  • 100 g dried prunes
  • 100 g currants
  • 75 g golden raisins
  • 50 g glace candied cherries
  • 50 g mixed citrus peel
  • 2 – 2½ cups of rum or unsweetened apple/orange juice, as needed
  • For the cake batter:
  • Fruit mix drained (reserve soaking liquid)
  • 200 g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 175 g unsalted butter softened at room temperature
  • 200 g brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 3 tbsp sweet rum or fruit juice from reserved soaking liquid
  • 100 g walnuts chopped


  1. Make and soak the fruit mix:
  • Cut larger dried fruit into similar sizes as the smaller ones.
  • Combine all dried fruits in a glass bowl.
  • Pour enough rum or juice to cover all the fruits and stir well.
  • Cover tightly and let it soak overnight at room temperature, or 3 – 5 days for deeper flavor.
  • Drain the fruit mix when ready to bake, and reserve 3 tbsp of the soaking liquid.
  1. Bake the fruit cake:
  • Pre-heat oven to 150°C (300°F) and place a tray of hot water on the bottom.
  • Line a 9 x 5″ loaf pan with baking paper and grease it.
  • Sift flour, baking powder, and spices three times.
  • Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in eggs one at a time.
  • Fold in sifted flour mixture, syrup, milk, and sweet rum until smooth.
  • Fold in drained fruit mix and chopped walnuts by hand until well combined.
  • Bake in a water bath for 2 – 2½ hours until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Cover with foil when the top is golden to prevent over-browning.
  • Allow the cake to cool in the pan on a rack.
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  • Use a variety of dried fruits to enhance flavor complexity.
  • Soaking the fruit mix overnight or longer intensifies the flavor of the cake.
  • Be patient when folding in the fruit mix; it will result in a chunky, delicious batter.
  • Maintain a steady oven temperature for even baking.
  • Brushing the cake with brandy or liquor while maturing enhances its richness.

Treat yourself and your loved ones to the irresistible allure of this rich and moist fruit cake. With its heavenly blend of fruits, nuts, and spices, it’s sure to become a cherished favorite for any occasion. Follow these simple steps, and savor the delight of homemade goodness with every slice.

  1. Can I substitute the alcohol with fruit juice in the fruit mix?
  • Absolutely! If you prefer to avoid alcohol or are making the cake for those who don’t consume it, you can substitute rum with unsweetened apple or orange juice. The juice will still impart moisture and flavor to the dried fruits, though the depth of flavor may differ slightly from using rum. Ensure the fruits are fully submerged in the juice for the soaking process to be effective.
  1. How can I adjust the baking time and temperature if I’m using a different pan size?
  • If you’re using a different pan size than the suggested 9 x 5″ loaf pan, you may need to adjust the baking time and temperature accordingly. For smaller pans, the cake may bake faster, so consider lowering the temperature slightly and keeping a close eye on it to prevent over-browning. Conversely, for larger pans, you may need to increase the baking time, checking for doneness with a skewer inserted into the center of the cake.
  1. Can I make this fruit cake in advance? How should I store it?
  • Yes, you can make this fruit cake in advance, especially if you’re planning for special occasions or holiday celebrations. Once the cake has completely cooled after baking, you can wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to retain moisture. For additional flavor enhancement, you can periodically brush the cake with brandy or liquor before wrapping it. Store the wrapped cake in an airtight container or cake tin at room temperature. Properly stored, the fruit cake can last for several weeks, allowing its flavors to mature and develop over time.
  1. What can I do if my fruit cake turns out dry or crumbly?
  • If your fruit cake turns out dry or crumbly, there are a few steps you can take to salvage it. Firstly, ensure that you haven’t overbaked the cake, as this can result in a drier texture. To add moisture back to the cake, you can brush it with a simple syrup or additional fruit juice before serving. Alternatively, you can slice the cake and serve it with whipped cream, custard, or a fruit compote to add moisture and enhance the overall taste experience. For future batches, consider adjusting the baking time slightly or adding a bit more liquid to the batter to achieve a more moist and tender texture.
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