Traditional British Fruit Cake

  • PrepTime: 30 Mins
  • CookTime: 2 Hrs 30 Mins
  • TotalTime: 3 Hrs


  1. 450 g./1 lb.  mixed dried fruit
  2. 300 ml./10 fl. oz. black tea (cold, strong)
  3. 225 g./8 oz. all-purpose (or plain flour)
  4. 150 g./5 1/2 oz. butter (slightly softened)
  5. 150 g/5 1/2 oz. dark Muscovado sugar
  6. 4 medium-sized eggs
  7. 1 tablespoon dark treacle (cane molasses)
  8. 100 ml./3 f.l oz. brandy (or sherry)
  9. 1/2 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
  10. 2 tsp. lemon juice
  11. 1 tsp. baking powder
  12. 110 g./4 oz. ground almonds
  13. 225 g./8 oz. candied peel (chopped)
  14. 225 g./8 oz. glace cherries (halved)


  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. The day before place the dried fruits in a large bowl, add the tea and stir well. Cover and leave overnight.  
  3. Preheat the oven to 325 F/170 C/Gas 3.
  4. Line an 8-inch round cake tin with greaseproof paper or baking parchment.  
  5. Place the butter and sugar into a large baking bowl.  
  6. Using an electric hand whisk or fork, cream the butter into the sugar until light, smooth and creamy.  
  7. Beat one egg into the creamed butter, then beat in a quarter of the flour. Repeat until all the eggs and flour are used up.  
  8. Add the treacle, brandy or sherry, nutmeg, lemon juice to the cake mixture and stir gently using a spoon or spatula. Finally, stir in the baking powder.
  9. Drain the dried fruits and add the ground almonds, glace cherries, and mixed peel. Stir well then add to the cake mixture stirring gently until all the fruits are incorporated into the mixture. Stir gently so as not to 'flatten' the cake mixture.  
  10. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and gently level the surface.  
  11. Cook in the preheated oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until dark, golden brown.
  12. Serve and enjoy!


  1. The success of this deliciously rich, moist cake lies in soaking the dried mixed fruits in strong dark tea the evening before; the tea adds a subtle depth of flavor to the cake. For this reason, you will need a little planning to allow time to soak the fruits. It is worth it though so don't be put off.