I love making fruit cakes at Christmas time as the smell reminds me of my childhood. I have many recipes for this wonderful cake and I tend to try out a different one every year. Mum tends to make a 10″ boiled fruit cake which was so moist, while I have made many different ones including a delicious dense sugee fruit cake recipe which I love. This year I am making Nigel Slater’s small rich fruit cake recipe which was one of the first recipes I made when I moved to the UK. This year with Staffordshire being in Tier 3 lockdown, we won’t be having our friends come visit, so I have opted to make this small sized cake which is the perfect size to last us from Christmas to the New Year.
Fruit Cakes are usually made three months before Christmas but I tend to make mine on Stir up Sunday, which is the last Sunday in November. This is the day, most British bakers make their Christmas puddings. If you are making this cake, remember to double line the cake tin and to feed the cake brandy to keep it moist. In the UK with the cold temperature, cakes keep easier. I double wrap mine with parchment paper and foil and store it in an airtight cake tin. Perfect to be eaten with my favourite tipple, a glass of warm mulled cider or wine.
Here’s a youtube video of how to make this delicious fruit cake recipe for a small family.
Feel free to Pin this image on your Pinterest Account so you can remember to try this for Christmas
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- 450g dried fruits (I've added citrus peel and cherries to mine, you can add pru
- 3 tbsp brandy
- 1 orange (zest and juice)
- 125g butter
- 70g light muscovado sugar
- 55g dark muscovado sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 70g chopped hazelnuts
- 40g ground almonds
- 125g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- a knife point ground cinnamon
- a knife point ground nutmeg
- pinch of allspice
- brandy for feeding the cake
1. Chop dried fruits and pre-soak it with 3 tbsp brandy and add the orange juice and zest. You can leave this for a few hours or best kept for 3 days in a closed tupperware.
2. Heat the oven to 160C. Double line an 8" round cake tin or a 2lb loaf tin. I have used a loaf tin today as I had run out of parchment paper. If you are using a round cake tin, line the tin twice at the bottom, and make sure to also line the side of the tin so that the parchment paper is at least 5cm above the edge of the tin.
3. Beat butter and castor sugar till fluffy. Texture should be like soft ice-cream.
4. Add eggs one at a time and mix thoroughly. If mixture curdles, add 1 or 2 tbsp of the flour.
5. Mix in the dried fruits, ground almonds and chopped hazelnuts
6. Mix in the flour, baking powder and spices
7. Bake the cake at 160C for around 60-80 minutes until the cake is cooked. If you find that the cake is browning too quickly, cover it with foil.
8. Pour a few tablespoons of brandy when cake is still warm and continue to feed the cake with brandy until Christmas Dy to keep the cake moist. This cake can easily be made a month before Christmas. Keep it covered in parchment paper and foil and store in in an airtight cake tin.