Posh spice cake

Prep: 15 mins - 20 mins Cook: 1 hr, 45 mins


Cuts into 12 slices
A fruit cake for those who like theirs light, spicy, fruity and moist, with a tart cranberry topping

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per slice

  • kcal345
  • fat17g
  • saturates7g
  • carbs47g
  • sugars33g
  • fibre0g
  • protein4g
  • salt0.42g
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    For the cake

    • 85g self-raising flour
    • 140g wholemeal plain flour
    • 1 tsp baking powder
      Baking powder

      Baking powder

      bay-king pow-dah

      Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

    • 175g golden caster sugar
    • 4-5 cardamom pods
    • zest 1 small orange



      One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

    • ½ tsp cinnamon



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

    • ½ tsp mixed spice
    • ¼ tsp nutmeg
    • 140g butter, cut into pieces



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

    • 100g pecan
      Pecan nuts



      Related to the walnut, pecans are native to America, and grow enclosed in a glossy, browny-red…

    • 85g raisin, preferably golden or green
    • 85g sultana
    • 85g dried cranberry


      A tart, ruby-red coloured berry which grows wild on shrubs throughout northern Europe and North…

    • 1 egg



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

    • 125ml milk



      One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

    • ribbon, to decorate

    For the topping

    • 85g frozen cranberry, thawed


      A tart, ruby-red coloured berry which grows wild on shrubs throughout northern Europe and North…

    • 25g golden caster sugar


    1. Butter and base-line a deep 18cm round, loose-bottomed cake tin. Heat oven to 170C/fan 150C/gas 3. For the cake, stir together the flours, baking powder and sugar. Slit open the cardamom pods and remove the tiny seeds (discard the pods). Grind the seeds to a powder using a pestle and mortar, then stir into the flour mixture with the orange zest and all the other spices.

    2. Rub the butter into the mix until it looks like coarse crumbs. Coarsely chop half the pecans and stir into the mix with the raisins, sultanas and cranberries. Beat the egg, pour in the milk and stir into the cake mixture. Spoon the mixture into the tin, level the top and scatter over the remaining pecan halves. Bake for 45 mins, then lower the heat to 150C/fan 130C/ gas 2 and bake for another 45 mins.

    3. While the cake bakes, prepare the topping. Pat the cranberries dry on kitchen paper, then toss with the sugar in a small bowl. After the second 45 mins of baking, spoon the sugared cranberries over the top of the cake. Return to the oven for another 15-20 mins, or until the cranberries are sticky and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

    4. Leave the cake to cool in the tin, then turn out onto a wire rack. Decorate with ribbon. The cake is best kept overnight for the flavours to mellow before slicing. Will keep in an airtight tin for up to 2 weeks.

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    Comments (15)

    cshobbs's picture

    I made a gluten free version by using Dove's gluten free flours, 1tsp xanthan gum plus a little extra liquid.
    Also, I used dried cranberries + 1 tbsp. water for the topping, rather than the frozen fruit.

    gfinbow's picture

    But I'm sure it is delicious :)

    gfinbow's picture

    How can it have 0% fibre per slice when it's using wholemeal flour? Surely there has to be some fibre in it? Xylitol might work to keep the calories down and the level of unnecessary sugar of 33g per slice - and 17g of fat - hmmm!

    catarinart's picture

    How do you think I could convert the baking times for turning this cake into muffins? I would like to offer it individually but I'm not sure how to do it because of the double baking and temperatures...

    alicehill45's picture

    This cake was great, my family are huge fruit cake fans and I was scared it was going to be quite dry but it wasn't! I replaced some of the raisins with figs which worked fine

    catarinart's picture

    This was, for me and my family, the ultimate Christmas cake. My father actually calls it the "St Nicholas Cake", buch better than the tradicional portuguese Christmas cake (Bolo Rei). As there are no cranberries in Portugal, I substituted for sour cherries, and it also worked really well.

    boiledover's picture

    Absolutely delicious! We aren't keen on traditional christmas cake this is much tastier with a fresher taste. Will make this again and again.

    boiledover's picture

    Absolutely delicious! We aren't keen on traditional christmas cake this is much tastier with a fresher taste. Will make this again and again.

    northyorkmoors's picture

    I made this cake a couple of days ago and it worked really really well. It even LOOKS like the picture in the recipe! I was a bit more generous with the spices than suggested but the result is a cake which has been highly praised (including one 'it's the best cake I've ever had')! Easy to make and the results are very satisfying.

    juleps's picture

    Fantastic spice flavour and the cranberries add a lovely tartness. My cranberry topping didn't carmelised either but I plan to put them on earlier next time. A great alternative to Christmas cake that can made anytime!

    susiefoodie's picture

    I made this as an alternative to the traditional Christmas cake, it is fabulous everybody loved it and it looked so nice on the table good choice!

    miffycat's picture

    First time I made this, I accidently put all the nuts into the mix! Still tasted fab. So much so, I made it again, (correctly this time) the following week for Christmas. I only had a 20" tin so baked it in my fan oven for 30 mins at 150 then a further 30 mins at 130. Only thing that didn't work either time was the caramalisation of the cranberries. Might try putting them on top earlier another time. Used a blow torch which sort of worked!

    elainegrima's picture

    The first time i cooked it it turned out great... but i cannot get it right again... it is turning out very dry.... HELP! as i love to make it right again.

    juliegates's picture

    I made this ahead and had a go at freezing it (I think it suggests not to do this but if you leave off the fruit and nuts at the last stage and wrap in foil to freeze - it works perfectly). Once defrosted I just made up some pecans and cranberries and mixed them with a little brown sugar and cinnamon to sprinkle on top- this works a treat. This cake tastes superb and all my guests were very impressed - I have just eaten the last piece as I write this and will definitely make again !

    juliegates's picture

    I made this with my four year old one evening for a girls drinks party at Christmas and have frozen it! it is the first time I have frozen a cake as well as been so organised as to make it ahead! Will let you know what it comes out like on the night but it looks lovely and my daughter commented on how 'Christmassy' it looked!

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