This delicious classic fruit cake recipe is perfect for special occasions like Christmas. It’s so moist and packed full of classic fruit cake flavours. The richness of the sponge works really well topped with marzipan or icing if you decide to decorate this cake. This cake takes 20 mins to prepare and 4hrs and 30 mins to bake – it is well worth the wait. This cake can serve between 8-10 people. The Cointreau adds a delicious kick to this cake. This recipe makes a 20cm round cake, an 18cm square cake, or 2 x 1 litre bowl cakes. If you only want 1 bowl cake, then halve the quantities. Decorate this delicious fruit cake with one of our great Christmas designs.
250g butter, softened
250g light muscovado sugar
1 level tbsp ginger
1 level tbsp ground cinnamon
Finely zested rind and juice of 1 orange
4 large eggs
300g plain flour
1kg packet dried mixed fruit
2 x 170g packets dried cranberries, eg, Craisins
4-6tbsp Cointreau or Grand Marnier
20cm round cake tin or 18cm square, lined with baking parchment, or 2 x 1 litre ovenproof pudding basins, well buttered and floured
You can freeze this cake for up to 3 months, but defrost before decorating.
To ensure that the cake will be central in the oven, position a shelf just below the centre. Set the oven to 140°C/275°F/Gas Mark 1.
In a bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, ginger, cinnamon and orange zest until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, adding a little flour with each egg. Beat well before adding the next egg. Beat in the orange juice and remaining flour.
Fold in dried mixed fruit and cranberries. Spoon mixture into the prepared tin or bowl, level the surface, and smooth with a wet hand.
Place the cake in the centre of the oven. Round and square cakes take about 4-4½ hours, and basin cakes take about 3-3½ hours, or until firm to the touch in the centre and a skewer comes out clean after being inserted into the cake.
Place the tin/basin on a wire rack to cool for about 15 mins. Spoon over the Cointreau or Grand Marnier and leave to absorb.
Let round or square cakes cool completely in their tins, but turn the basin cakes out on to a wire rack to cool.
To store the cakes, wrap well in baking parchment, then foil. Keep in a cool, airy place for up to 3 months.