Easy fruit cake

Lisa Harris's easy fruit cake comes topped with nuts and dried fruits
By Lisa Harris
Easy fruit cake
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 16
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 450 g margarine
  • 450 g soft brown sugar
  • 8 eggs, beaten
  • 450 g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 110 g ground almonds
  • 1 lemon, rind and juice only
  • 1 orange, rind and juice only
  • 110 g glacĂ© cherries
  • 700 g mix of raisins, sultanas and currants
  • 110 g mixed candied peel
  • 3 tbsp warmed apricot jam
  • selection of dried fruit and mixed nuts, , such as aprictos, glacĂ© cherries, pistachios, macadamias and almonds

Tips and Suggestions

You can learn how to decorate this cake by looking at our How to make a fruity Christmas cake gallery.


1. Grease and line a 9" springform tin. Preheat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 4.

2. Beat the margarine until soft using an electric mixer. Add the sugar and cream the two together until pale and fluffy.

3. Add the eggs bit by bit, whisking and adding a little flour as you go to hold the mixture together. Do not overbeat whilst adding the eggs you just want to combine the ingredients.

4. Once all the egg has been added, add the rest of the flour and give the batter a good beating in your mixer.

5. Sprinkle the spices, ground almonds, lemon juice, and lemon and orange rind on top of the mixture and fold in until evenly distributed. Add a pinch of salt for luck.

6. You can toss all the dried fruit in a handful of flour before adding it to the mixture, as that helps prevent the fruit sinking. Fold the dried fruit into the mixture and then pour the mix into the lined tin.

7. Place on the middle shelf of the oven and cook for 2 hours. Depending on your oven, the fruit cake may take a little more or less time. Test the cake after 1.5 hours by inserting a skewer or sharp knife into the centre of the cake - if it comes out clean, it's ready. Leave to cool in the tin.

8. Once cooled, position your chosen nuts and fruits on top of the cake and, when you are happy with the design, gently push down on them using the palm of your hand.

9. Warm 3 tbsp jam and, using a pastry brush, gently brush the nuts and fruit with jam to give a sparkling effect. Finish with a few well-placed star anise and cinnamon sticks, if desired.

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