I have baked hundreds of cakes for Christmas and celebrations. This fruitcake always gets rave reviews so I have decided to share the recipe. There looks to be a long list of ingredients and some unique instructions, but this is an easy fruit cake. For best results start the cake three days in advance by soaking the mixed fruit in about half a cup of sweet or cream sherry. Use a plastic container with a tight sealing lid so you can flip it over each day to let the alcohol marinade through every piece of fruit. Don’t faint when you see the cooking time, fruitcakes need a long slow bake for best results.

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Easy Fruit Cake

Estimated Cooking Time: approx 8 hours Oven Temp: 150 C for 1/2 hour then reduce to 110 C Fan forced

Serves: Recipe makes one 20cm high sided round cake

Easy Fruit Cake  Easy Fruit Cake  Easy Fruit Cake 


250g unsalted butter

250g brown sugar

3 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/2 tsp bicarb soda

1/2 tsp each of vanilla, almond and lemon essence

2 tsp mixed spice

1/4 cup marmalade

375g plain flour

1 kg mixed fruit (presoaked in half a cup of sherry)

extra 1/3 cup of sweet or cream sherry.


Melt the butter and milk together in the microwave and set aside to cool.

Place mixed fruit into a large mixing bowl, pick through and chop glace cherries and larger raisins

Add spices, essences, bicarb soda into the bowl and mix in well.

Add brown sugar and mix well

Easy Fruit Cake  Easy Fruit Cake  Easy Fruit Cake

Add cooled melted butter and milk and mix well

Add eggs one at a time and mix well

Add marmalade and mix well

Sift in flour and gently fold through adding sherry at intervals

Easy Fruit Cake  Easy Fruit Cake  Easy Fruit Cake 

Place mixture into a round, straight sided, 20cm cake tin lined with baking paper.

Bang tin on the bench a couple of times to eliminate any trapped air bubbles.

Wet a clean hand under a running tap and pat a little moisture on top of the cake, this helps to prevent cracking.

Easy Fruit Cake  Easy Fruit Cake  Easy Fruit Cake

Place the cake tin on a baking tray on top of 20 sheets newspaper which have been wrapped in foil. Wrap a newspaper/foil baking strip around the cake tin and secure in place with a bulldog clip or string. Cover the top of the tin in foil. This method helps with even cooking and prevents the cake from doming.

Bake at 150c for 30 mins then 110c for another 7 - 71/2 hours. Turn the tin every few hours to ensure even cooking. Remove top foil cover for the last hour of baking.

To check if cooked, test with a serated steak knife. Cake is done when a few damp crumbs stick to the knife blade. 

Cool cake in the tin. Place a piece of baking paper on top of the cake and wrap it in a big towel. Set aside for 24 hours. When the cake is cool remove from the tin, remove the cooking paper then wrap in a layer baking paper and a layer of foil. Store in a cool dry place until required. 

Easy Fruit Cake  Easy Fruit Cake  Easy Fruit Cake

Fruit cakes can be baked a month in advance. I prefer to store mine for at least a week before cutting, but theres really no need to wait.

Easy Fruit Cake  Easy Fruit Cake Easy Fruit Cake

Additional Tips:

To make the baking strip: Use several sheets of newspaper and fold these into thirds to form a long strip. You may need to join a couple together to make the correct length to fit the tin. Dampen the newspaper with a few sprays from a water sprayer then wrap it in a length of foil. I like to have  about twenty layers of newspaper surrounding and underneath the tin during baking. Always use caution when using newspaper baking strips in the oven. I have never had a problem using them in my electric oven, however I only use them for low temperature baking. Baking strips can be reused a few times. 

Cooking time: Actual cooking time will depend on your oven, I have had ovens that cook this cake faster or slower. The best way to gauge cooking time for your oven is to check the cake from time to time.

To Store after cutting: Wrap cake in baking paper and store in an airtight container. For iced cakes place some cling film over the cut side. Avoid storing fruit cakes in direct contact with a metal tin or foil, they will develop an odd flavour.