This fruit cake recipe is an excellent base for lots of varieties of Christmas cake. Make it in advance for a full-flavoured cake. Follow along in this step-by-step recipe video
- 250g (8oz) butter, softened
- 250g (8oz) light soft brown sugar or light muscovado sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 300g (10oz) plain flour
- 1 level tbsp ground mixed spice
- 250g packet dried apricots, chopped
- 2 x 170g packets dried cranberries, eg, Craisins
- 500g (1lb) sultanas
- 6tbsp brandy
- 20cm (8in) round, or 18cm (7in) square, cake tin, lined with baking parchment
To ensure that the cake will be central in the oven, position a shelf just below the centre. Set the oven to gas mark 2 or 150°C.
In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a little flour with each egg. Beat the mixture well before adding the next egg. Sift the remaining flour, add to the bowl with the ground mixed spice and beat well again.
Tip the chopped apricots, dried cranberries and sultanas, into the bowl and then fold the ingredients together.
Spoon the mixture into the lined tin and level the surface. Smooth over the surface with a wet hand.
Place the cake in the centre of the oven and bake for 3-3½ hrs, or until the cake feels firm to the touch in the centre, and a skewer comes out clean after being inserted into the cake.
Remove cake from the oven, place the tin on a wire rack and leave it to cool for about 15 mins. Spoon the brandy over the cake and then leave it to cool completely in the tin.
The cake can be stored for up to six months, wrapped in baking parchment and then in foil. Keep in a cool, dry place.