Festive fruit & nut cake

Festive fruit & nut cake

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(13 ratings)

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Cooking time

Prep: 30 mins - 40 mins Cook: 2 hrs

Skill level

Easy

Servings

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

Additional info

  • Freezable
Nutrition info

Nutrition per slice

kcalories
780
protein
14g
carbs
95g
fat
40g
saturates
14g
fibre
4g
sugar
28g
salt
0.67g

Ingredients

  • 250g butter, at room temperature
  • 140g light muscovado sugar
  • 6 large eggs, beaten
  • 280g plain flour
  • 85g ground almonds
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 700g luxury mixed fruits (including raisins, currants, sultanas, mixed peel and glace cherries)
  • 3 tbsp dark rum
  • 140g white marzipan, diced

For the florentine topping

  • 50g each whole skinned hazelnuts and blanched almonds
  • 85g each Brazil nuts and flaked almonds
  • 140g whole glacé cherries
  • 100g golden syrup

To decorate

  • 1 metre of wide ribbon

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Method

  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.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, December 2002

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Comments

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mobsech2's picture
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Great cake...devoured by all the family! Didn't take as long as it suggests to cook, but didn't cause an issue whatsoever! I was concerned about it being dry, as fruit cake can be, but the fruit and the marzipan certainly resolved that worry! Will certainly make another!

biwanjiru's picture
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Tried it but it was dry and hard. Gave it to my aunt to try and she too said it was dry and hard.

contentment's picture
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I make this cake on a regular basis as my family love the different textures. It is so easy to make but when served to
guests they think that the preparation has taken a long time and are very impressesd.

jnich2's picture
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This recipe first appeared Christmas 2002 and I've baked it several times both for Christmas and during the year.
It's easy to make, as long as you remember to take some of the mixture out for the florentine bit and keeps for ages. Although the nuts do soften over time.
A friend and colleague of mine who has at least 2 every year says it's the best cake in the world!! No more traditional cake for him!!

aliboo1's picture

I have used this recipe several years running- can't remember when it was first in the magazine! It is a wonderful, moist cake, and great if you don't like loads of icing. My family love it.

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