English Christmas Fruit Cake


The English Christmas fruit cake has a long and storied history, dating back to the medieval era, where most likely it used different ingredients (for instance a lot of puddings in medieval times were savory, but with time and new ingredients the same recipes turned sweet), but nowadays, this cake is a mix of dried fruits and nuts mixed with flour and lots of flavorings like molasses, brown sugar, brand, nutmeg and lemons to create a dense delicious cake that ca be stored for long periods of time.

And that’s a bit of the point of a traditional English Christmas cake, it’s a cake that you want and should bake a couple of weeks before Christmas, so the cake has time to dry up and get a more intense creamy flavor, this is a perfect cake because it will last all season easily, also it’s a cake that serves well with whipped cream, with ice cream, with custard, with fruit, I love it, let’s check the recipe.

English Christmas Fruit Cake

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print

The English Christmas fruit cake remains a beloved holiday treat, its very common to bake or buy from a nice bakery during the christmas holiday season.


  • Dried Fruits – 450gr (Several types of sultanas and or currants)
  • Black Tea – 300ml (Cold and Strong)
  • Flour – 225gr
  • Baking Powder – 1 Tablespoon
  • Butter – 150gr (Softened)
  • Brown Sugar – 150gr
  • Eggs – 4 L
  • Molasses – 1 Tablespoon
  • Brandy – 100ml
  • Nutmeg – 1 Teaspoon
  • Lemon – 2 Tablespoons of Juice
  • Almonds – 110gr (Grated)
  • Candied Peel – 225gr
  • Preserved Cherries – 225gr
  • Brown Sugar – To taste for Sprinkling
  • Salt – a pinch


  1. Start by making a strong black tea the day before you are going to bake and let it cool down, then add the 450g of dried fruit and the black tea in a bowl, cover and place in the fridge to hydrate the dried fruit overnight.
  2. The next day preheat the oven to 170ºC, then line a 22 cm baking tin with butter and non-stick paper on the bottom and sides.
  3. Now in a bowl add the butter and sugar, whisk well until creamy.
  4. Add the eggs one by one, always whisking well between each addition, then add the sifted flour and whisk some more.
  5. Now add the brandy, nutmeg, lemon juice, baking powder and salt, mix well with a wooden spoon.
  6. Finally, remove the hydrated dried fruits from the tea, squeeze them to remove excess liquid, followed by the grated almonds, coarsely chopped candied peels and the halved candied cherries.
  7. Pour the mixture into the cake mold, mix it gently and smooth the top, sprinkle generously with brown sugar, bake in the oven for 2 to 2 hours and a half until the cake turns a caramel color, prick with a toothpick if the toothpick comes out dry, then the cake is good and that’s it, Bon appétit and Merry Christmas!
Notes: You can hydrate the nuts with brandy, it’s also quite common after the cake comes out of the oven, you can chop this one and soak it with brandy until the cake can’t hold anymore, for a more grown up version of this cake ;D

This recipe for English Christmas Fruit Cake was originally created on BakeAfter.com. Esta receita de Bolo Inglês de Frutos Secos foi publicada em português no Iguaria.com.


Per Serving: 362.3 calories; 12.6 g fat; 59.3 g carbohydrates; 5.2 g protein.

Did you try this recipe?

Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below ;D


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