Classic winter fruitcake

Classic winter fruitcake

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(5 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins


Enough icing for the top
This festive icing is easy to use, looks amazing and makes a lighter end to a meal. The perfect centrepiece for Christmas tea

Nutrition and extra info


  • kcal-
  • fat-
  • saturates-
  • carbs-
  • sugars-
  • fibre-
  • protein-
  • salt-
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    For the decoration

    • 1 egg white
    • 50g caster sugar
    • small bunch black grapes
    • holly or bay leaves
    • 20cm/8 inch round fruitcake
    • 1-2 clementines



      The smallest and sweetest variety of tangerine is sweet and tangy, contains no seeds and is…

    • 1-2 just ripe figs



      Although not juicy, the fig is an incredibly luscious fruit, with a delicate aroma and sweet…

    • a few kumquat



      It looks like a small, oval orange, but the kumquat, which originates in Asia, is a member of…

    • a few physalis (Cape gooseberries)
    • approx 65cm red or gold ribbon

    For the frosting

    • 2 egg white
    • 175g icing sugar


    1. Lightly beat the egg white in a shallow bowl and spread out the caster sugar on a baking sheet or tray. Dip the grapes and the holly or bay leaves into the egg white, or use a paintbrush. Shake off the excess, then coat in the sugar. Set aside to dry for at least 10 mins, ideally about 30 mins.

    2. When you’re ready to decorate, make the frosting. Put a large bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Put the egg whites and icing sugar into the bowl and whisk for 5-7 mins until you have a thick, very glossy frosting. Use a spatula to clean around the edges of the bowl every so often as you whisk. Scoop the frosting onto the top of the cake and spread it around with a flat-edged knife, swirling as you go to create a snowy effect (see Knowhow, below).

    3. Halve the clementines, figs and kumquats, then arrange on top of the frosted cake with the physalis, frosted grapes and leaves. Fix a ribbon around the base and leave the cake somewhere cool – but not the fridge – until your guests arrive.

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    Comments (14)

    Nicole Richards's picture

    Really delicious! Will try again!!!!

    marzipanfeind's picture

    Just used the frosting recipe with my own decoration. Worked really well and looks very 'snowy'. I'd also like to know how long it'll keep - as long as the cake itself?

    juliebahrain's picture

    How long does this icing keep? How far in advance can I decorate a cake with this icing?

    mirscooks's picture

    were do you get the receipe for the cake before you decorate
    thank you

    trulyscrumpsious's picture

    Thie icing looks fabulous on this cake, but the recipe for the actual fruit cake was not there. It was the cake recipe I am after.

    angbrads's picture

    I made this cake for my 1st christmas day dinner with my husband's family. Everyone was very impressed with the very easy to do decoration on top which I had made up on Christmas morning. I needed to take the fruit off the remainder of the cake on boxing day though. I will Def use this topping again. it great alternative to royal icing and sugarpaste.

    dunkyrose's picture

    Forgot to rate it, 5 stars for me...I'd definately be using this recipe again!

    dunkyrose's picture

    I think this is a great frosting, its easy to do and doesn't take long to make. I found that the frosting I made was enough to cover the top and the sides which was great as I really fancied doing that.

    Over all I am very happy and this frosting is miles better than bought frosting, hand-made beats it all the time.

    I am very happy with my cake and looking forward to tasting it tomorrow.

    Thanks for the great recipe.

    cowanv's picture

    I made this cake this year and it worked out reall well. It is very easy to make and it tasts really moist - I would definately recommend it. I did keep it moist by putting on the brandy and honey, as recommended. The icing is simple also and looks really really well.

    cowanv's picture

    I made this cake a few weeks ago and iced it today and it look FANTASTIC. Everyone that has seen it has complimented it, even my sons who rarely compliment anything! I hope it tasts as good at it looks....

    hornbjw6's picture

    Hi ASF
    The frosting is based on a classic cooked meringue quantity of 85g icing sugar to one egg white - so for 2 whites that would be 170g, but our nearest conversion is 175g/6oz. I wonder if perhaps the problem you had was due to variations in egg sizes (I used large but they do differ). Also the water under your bowl may not have been quite hot enough to cook the meringue as you whisked. With enough cooking and whisking this mix should come up really nice and thick. Also, is there a chance there may have been a speck of grease in your bowl or on your beaters? That's a very common cause of floppy meringue. It sounds like you were happy with the result in the end - many thanks for your comment and if anyone else has the same problem do let us know. Merry Christmas! Jane

    angelamccarthy's picture

    I made this frosting which was great, however I think the proportions are slightly out! Use 1 egg white to 175 g icing sugar.
    2 whites made mine far too runny. Is this right?

    easygo's picture

    Test using italian meringue for longer stability.
    Could also try sugar frosted fruits

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