Festive fruit & nut cake

Festive fruit & nut cake

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(16 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins - 40 mins Cook: 2 hrs


Cuts into 12-16 slices
This fabulously moist and nutty Christmas cake is baked with a syrup and nut topping - a bit like a Florentine biscuit

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per slice

  • kcal780
  • fat40g
  • saturates14g
  • carbs95g
  • sugars28g
  • fibre4g
  • protein14g
  • salt0.67g
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  • 250g butter, at room temperature



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 140g light muscovado sugar
  • 6 large eggs, beaten



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 280g plain flour
  • 85g ground almond


    arr-mund or al-mund

    Sweet almonds have a subtle fragrance that lends itself well to baking and also works well with…

  • 2 tsp ground ginger



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon



    A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into…

  • 700g luxury mixed fruit (including raisins, currants, sultanas, mixed peel and glace cherries)
  • 3 tbsp dark rum
  • 140g white marzipan, diced
    Marzipan cake



    One of mankind’s oldest sources of sweet pleasure, marzipan needs to contain only ground…

For the florentine topping

  • 50g each whole skinned hazelnut and blanched almonds



    Grown in Europe and the US, hazelnuts are encased in a smooth, hard brown shell but are most…

  • 85g each Brazil nuts and flaked almonds
  • 140g whole glacé cherries
  • 100g golden syrup

To decorate

  • 1 metre of wide ribbon


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4/fan 160C and lightly grease and line the base and sides of a deep 22-23cm round loose-based cake tin with Bake-o-Glide or baking parchment (see overleaf). Beat the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, ground almonds and spices until thoroughly mixed and creamy, preferably with an electric beater or in a food mixer.

  2. Measure off 100g/4oz of the cake mixture, put in a bowl and set aside. Fold the fruit and rum into the remaining mixture, then gently stir in the marzipan. Spoon this mixture into the prepared cake tin and flatten with a spatula to make a smooth even surface, then make a slight dip in the centre of the cake. This simple trick will give the finished cake a nice flat top. Bake for 11⁄4 hours.

  3. While the cake is in the oven, make the fruit and nut topping. Mix all the nuts, cherries and syrup into the remaining cake mixture (see tip overleaf). Spoon the mixture on top of the part-cooked cake (once it has had its 11⁄4 hours), evenly distributing the mixture of nuts and cherries across the surface of the cake. Loosely cover the top of the tin with foil.

  4. Return to the oven for 40 minutes more, then take off the foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes, so the nuts can turn golden. Keep an eye on them, so they don’t get too dark. To test the cake mixture is cooked, insert a fine skewer into the cake – if it comes out clean then it's ready. Cool in the tin then turn out, keeping the lining on, and wrap with foil. (The cake will keep for up to 2 weeks or can be frozen for up to 2 months.)

  5. To serve, remove the cake from the foil and strip away the lining. Place on a board or serving plate and tie with a decorative ribbon.

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Comments (27)

SueSand's picture

I have just made this cake, two weeks before Christmas. I wondering whether to freeze it or will it be OK to keep until Christmas and the following week?

smaclusky's picture

I have been baking this recipe for the last 5 years and love it. Making it again this afternoon. I find it is moist and full of flavour.

KittyStir's picture

I am surprised this recipe gets such great reviews as I found it was dry and not at all sweet. I much prefer the simmer and stir cake which is also on this website and which I was wowed by. This cake looks fab though and for nut lovers it's perfect.

dustybear's picture

I first made this following the recipe and it was lovely but a little rich for my taste. To make a lighter version I reduced the sugar to 100g and fruit to 550g, used only 1.5 tbsp. rum and left out the marzipan but added some whole blanched almonds to the cake mix. It was very popular!!

cnpfriend's picture

I made this for five years in a row, until last year when I tried a different recipe for a change, I was complained at! I hasten to add, i'll be making this one again this year! Quite pricey though with all the nuts involved.

janeerevell's picture

I made this cake for my husband for his birthday as he's not mad on icing.He absolutely loved it and told me to make sure I didn't loose the recipe.I am just about to make one for my Mom for Mothers Day.The only thing I did as an extra was to soak the fruit in rum overnight as well as adding rum into the cake mixture.A big thumbs up for this cake I think.

mandik's picture

I tried this cake out for the first time this Christmas and have already made 4 more, as gifts, because it has proved so popular! I have never eaten fruit cake so I haven't tried this, but the number of people who have asked for the recipe is amazing. Hoops51 did you remember the syrup? It does make it look like the photo.

deehooper's picture

As recipe had loads of good comments I had a bash at it. Flavour-wise it was very nice indeed - I'm always disappointed though when the camera-man has been given artistic licence, as there is no way the topping could look like it did in the picture with 4 oz/100g of cake mix stirred in with the nuts and fruit. Tasted lovely, but didn't look as good as I thought it would.

cnpfriend's picture

This is the fourth year on the trot i've made it and is fantastic, given the recipe to tons of people now. Shame you can't make it in advance due to florentine topping though.

harrisan's picture

Made this for Christmas and can recommend it, with edible glitter on it looked fab!. It wasn't dry at all. I also didnt put quite as much marzipan in as was suggested & it was fine. I used my Sister's free range eggs which made it even nicer!

patsy121105's picture

Julie..as the recipe was originally printed in the Magazine..'overleaf' meant the next page..

jdanby's picture

anyone any ideas what is 'overleaf'. Looks good and will try it this Christmas

79hayley's picture

This cake has become a firm family favourite - I've had requests for this Christmas already!

vrog's picture

Angel - sorry probably too late to tell you but 11/4 means 1 and a quarter - there should have been a space between: 1 1/4 (or 1 hour 15 mins) to avoid confusion. Hope you got it worked out anyway. I've just done one for a birthday cake with 'Zesty Orange Marzipan'.

jfjclarach's picture

I have also made this cake for a few years now. It is absolutely delicious, moist and nutty! Ideal for those who do not like too much icing. Tying a newspaper around the outside of the tin stops the outer edge being too dry.

shertid's picture

can someone please tell me how long to cook this cake for what does 11/4 hours mean?

bremen's picture

This recipe is amazing! Everyone who tries it loves it! 'Now our staple Christmas Cake. (Another fave is cranberry, pecan loaf.) I always scale this down to 3/4 of the ingredients otherwise its too big for my cake tin (20cm). I also often dont put the topping on and íts non the worse for that. Amaretto or sherry instead of Rum also makes it lighter. With the scaled down recipe I've made 6 small loaf cakes before (like to old penny loaf size not 450g / 1lb)! and they are great as presents. Go on, try it.

peace95's picture

Tried this at christmas, was very sweet and moist inside but hard on the outside. Next time I will reduce the amount of sugar required as it didnt go down well with the family.

cherylanne's picture

we loved the ginger flavour of this cake the first time i made it so subsequently added some stem ginger from a jar (about three pieces, coarsely chopped) into the topping mix, plus some of the ginger syrup from the jar, reducing the golden syrup by the same amount. also reduced the glace cherries in the topping to 100 grams.

tisserddt2's picture

tried this cake last Christmas and it is fab. Have made it several times since and it is a really popular cake with the family.
This will now be my Christmas Cake in future, easy and simple to make.


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