Festive fruit & nut cake

Festive fruit & nut cake

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(16 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins - 40 mins Cook: 2 hrs

Easy

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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Ingredients

  • 250g butter, at room temperature
    Butter

    Butter

    butt-err

    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
    Eggs

    Egg

    egg

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

  • 280g plain flour
  • 85g ground almond
    Almond

    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
    Ginger

    Ginger

    jin-jer

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

  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
    Cinnamon

    Cinnamon

    sin-ah-mun

    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

    Marzipan

    mah-zuh-pan

    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
    Hazelnuts

    Hazelnut

    hay-zl-nut

    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

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.

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Comments (27)

vrog's picture
5

Used it as last year's Christmas cake. Easy, kept moist by the marzipan inside. Will definitely do again.
I also found it cooked in less time than stated.

natalie54's picture

Wow.... I made 3 of those as presents this year and even had the opportunity to taste one, it taste as good as it looks. I'll definetly make that one again. When i told my friend about it she decided to make a few too! So we are now really fast and good at making it! And also realised if you make a few mistakes it still taste really good! Thank you!

mobsech2's picture
5

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
1

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
5

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
5

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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