Olga Walker's light fruit cake

(499 ratings)

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cherries fruit cake
cherries fruit cake
  • Makes: 1

  • Cooking time:

    (plus 1 hour cooling time)
  • Skill level: Bit of effort

  • Costs: Cheap as chips

You can wrap up this tasty fruit cake and store it for 10 days, but you'll probably want to eat it all at once!


  • Handful of dried dates, chopped
  • 350g (12oz) mixed dried fruit
  • 100g (4oz) demerara sugar
  • 100g (4oz) butter or margarine
  • 1 egg
  • 225g (8oz) self-raising flour
  • 50g (2oz) unwashed glacé cherries
  • 1/2tsp mixed spice

If you wrap this cake in brown paper and foil and store it in a cake tin, it will last for a week to 10 days.


  1. Put the dates and mixed fruit in a large pan with the sugar, butter and 150ml (1/4 pint) water. Put the pan on a gentle heat and slowly melt the butter and sugar. Bring the mixture to the boil and simmer for 20 mins.
  2. Set the fruit to one side to cool completely (about 1 to 2 hours, or overnight if you like).
  3. Line the base and sides of an 18cm (7in) square cake tin (loose-bottomed, if you've got one) with baking paper.
  4. Break the egg into the fruit pan and stir. Fold in the flour, cherries and mixed spice.
  5. Pour the mixture into the cake tin, sprinkle with extra sugar and bake at 150°C, 300°F or gas 2, for 1 hour, 15 mins.
  6. When the cake is ready, let it cool in the tin for 10 mins, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Nutritional information per portion

  • Low
  • Med
  • High
  • Calories 382(kcal)
  • Fat 12.0g
  • Saturates 7.0g
  • Sugars 48.0g
  • Salt 0.6g

This nutritional information is only a guide and is based on 2,000 calories per day. For more information on eating a healthy diet, please visit the Food Standards Agency website.

Guideline Daily Amount for 2,000 calories per day are: 70g fat, 20g saturated fat, 90g sugar, 6g salt.

Your rating

Average rating

  • 3
(499 ratings)

Your comments


I never cook cakes but needed to contribute to a Marie Curie Blooming Great Tea Party event so this was perfect. Added a second egg as recommended and it came out looking like a cake and tasting like one. People doubted I had actually made it! I think the photo is just a generic fruit cake picture though, it doesn't really look like that - much darker. Very nice.


Made this gorgeous cake and used 2 egss as previous comments and, instead of water, used 1/4pt coffee liquer. Very naughty, but very nice.


I made this the other day, nice cake added another egg as suggested. This ones good for anyone who likes minimal washing up as its all made in one pan!..did cook it longer than suggested. Will make again..:)


Love this website and have made the cake a few times now. I also found it was a bit crumbly and so use 2 eggs so it sticks together better and is even more delicious.

Sue Jewell

Fantastic cake....cooked one on Wednesday to put into a craft show auction in aid of charity but it never made it that far...eaten already by Friday.....second cake now in the it!!

Patrick Barber

You can cook this cake in less time if you use a halogen oven. I have an Flavorway turbo and all my cakes cook in a lot less time and they heavenly.


Cut the cake this morning (cooked yesterday), it was a bit crumbly, but maybe that will come right after a day or two. My cake is not as light in colour, but the taste is really yummy. I'll be baking this one again, maybe using white granulated sugar to get the lighter look.


Love this website!! I've just got really interested in baking and think the receipes are great, really easy to follow and even nicer to eat!!!

Ella May

Just found this site (saw it mentioned in Women's Weekly) and think it is brilliant. Well done!


I wanted a quick light, post Christmas fruit cake - going to try this straight away.

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