Chocolate fruitcake

Chocolate fruitcake

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(20 ratings)

Prep: 35 mins Cook: 2 hrs


Cuts into 10 slices
If anyone in your family isn't keen on traditional fruitcake, this might be the compromise you've been looking for

Nutrition and extra info

  • Un-iced cake can be frozen

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal683
  • fat30g
  • saturates14g
  • carbs97g
  • sugars79g
  • fibre5g
  • protein9g
  • salt0.63g
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  • 200g butter



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

  • 200g dark brown soft sugar



    Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…

  • 100g dark chocolate (we used 80%) broken into chunks
  • 75ml brandy



    Brandy is a distilled spirit made from virtually any fermented fruit or starchy vegetable.…

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g raisins
  • 250g currants
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • 100g dried sour cherries
  • 100g mixed peel
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 3 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 3 eggs, beaten with a fork



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


  1. Put the butter, sugar, chocolate, brandy, vanilla and dried fruits into a large saucepan. Heat gently, stirring occasionally until everything has melted together. Remove from the heat.

  2. Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Line a deep cake tin, 20cm round or 18cm square, with a double layer of baking parchment. Wrap a few layers of newspaper around the outside and secure with string.

  3. Mix the flour, almonds, cocoa and spice together. Stir the eggs into the slightly cooled chocolate mixture in the saucepan, followed by the flour mixture. Scrape into your prepared tin and bake for 1½ hrs- 1 hr 45 mins or until a skewer poked in comes out clean. Cool in the tin, then decorate (see 'Goes well with', right, for decoration ideas). Greaseproof-wrapped cake will keep for 2 months in an airtight container.

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Comments (50)

alreidzzz's picture

Has anyone made this recently? Would also like to know times and quantities for smaller cake.
Thank you

SoftKitty2061's picture

have made 10 large Muffins in Tulip cases instead of the cake with the mixture , fingers crossed they turn out okay

bakergirl89's picture

I made this for Xmas this year... It's lovely!! I was worried it would be dry but it was actually quite moist. I can't say I could really taste chocolate but I think it gives it a richness I haven't had from any previous Xmas cake. I also added chopped figs and dates instead of some of the other dried fruits. Also I made it end of November and fed it with rum a couple of times then iced it... Beautiful! Highly recommend

roztrudgon's picture

I've been making this cake every Christmas for about five years. It's simply gorgeous and can be made really close to Christmas. For those who say they found it dry, I wonder how long before Christmas they made it. This is best made and eaten as fresh as possible. There's no need to feed it, I never do.
Sour cherries and dried cranberries are available in most supermarkets. I use 70% chocolate which is a bit more chocolatey than 80%.

Namraj's picture


I also made this cake for Christmas and was very disappointed . I thought this would be a lovely moist fruit cake but it was dry and just crumbled when I cut it. A total waste of money on ingredients and brandy which I fed it with over 3 months.
It's the first disaster I've had with a recipe from this website .

foodguide's picture

i was looking forward to trying this receipe but unfortunatly i found it quite dry and crumbly when i cut into it.I expected it to be moist. The receipe didnt say to feed it with brandy, perhaps that was way it was dry. I also couldnt taste the chocolate either so i was disapointed overall and will go back to a tradional christmas cake next year. You can find sour cherries in deli's and asian supermarkets.

strongmansj's picture

This must be the easiest cake ever to put together and after 1 1/2 hours in a fan oven it was perfectly cooked. Apart from substituting ordinary dried cherries for the sour ones (couldn't find these anywhere) I followed the recipe to the letter. Smelt wonderful whilst baking and is currently cooling down as we speak. Can't wait to try it.

proofofthepudding's picture

Likewise, strongmansj - I looked everywhere and couldn't find sour cherries in ANY supermarket...ordinary dried works fine. :)

milalsal's picture

Made this last year for first time and it was scrummy. As in previous posts it took slightly longer than stated but what a fantastic cake. I baked it at end of October and fed it with brandy up to Christmas.
I baked it for a friend who was over the moon with it.
It definitely is one you should try. Go for it.

jerseybean68's picture

I am in the middle of cooking this cake and it seems to be going well i am coming up to 120mins of cooking time and will need to cook for at least another 30mins. I swapped the fruit for dried mix fruit and added crushed hazel nuts but the rest of the recipe is the same. I am using a round cake tin and baking paper that is too inches above the top of the tin and i am cooking it at 135c the cooking is over and it looks and smells fantastic it did need another 30mins so all in all it took 150mins. I will do it again maybe ill do it and feed it with brandy for Christmas.

mrscooper2's picture

I made this recipe for Christmas last year, after tasting a cake with chocolate the previous year I was dying to try one myself. It was lovely, moist and moreish. My husband loved it. While making it I substituted the cranberries and sour cherries with dried apricots and mixed fruit, but next time I will be trying harder to get the original recipe. It was baked for a bit longer as I was afraid it would end up uncooked in the middle and it was fine. Will be making again for sure, can't wait!

marzipanfeind's picture

Really pleased how this came out and everyone enjoyed it. It took about 2 hours to cook. I made it in October and fed it with brandy three times before Christmas. I covered it with marzipan, and the icing from the 'classic winter fruit cake' from this site. I'll probably make it again next year, but might only feed it once, as it was almost too moist - too difficult to cut!

vickyhinde's picture

I made this 2 weeks before Christmas....I am English but live in the U.S., my son thought i was crazy making a cake 2 weeks before Christmas.
It was easy to make and the cooking time was spot on for me, my advice to anyone having trouble is to get an oven thermometer...
I couldn't find dried sour cherries so just omitted them, worked out fine.
I fed my cake, but i must say i think i was too heavy handed, the bottom of the cake was much stronger than the top.
My 10yr old son loved the it's a keeper for me, even my Yankee husband who hates most English food, loved is a good compromise for those who hate fruit cake, the chocolate really makes a difference....will be making this every year now...

heets123's picture

Can we make it without brandy??

yamgma's picture

Made this cake today on the recommendation of a friend. Don't know what everyone is on about regarding the cooking time. I have a fan oven and the cake was cooked in one and a half hours, just a minute or two over. I did cook it in a square tin - perhaps this is what makes the difference! Have yet to taste it as it is for Christmas but it smells lovely. Will also be feeding it periodically. It was also a breeze to put together.

emsmith's picture

At the moment I'm rating this based on the raw batter and the smell of it baking since I've baked it ready for the festive period and am letting it 'mature' in a tin as we speak. As several others above have done I fiddled with the dried fruit mixture a bit, swapping the cranberries for natural glace cherries. I also used cherry brandy in place of regular brandy and will also be 'feeding' it the odd measure of cherry brandy over the coming weeks. So although I can't comment on the flavour and texture of the finished product yet I can confirm that the batter was divine and the house smelled amazingly festive while it baked....which (as others have also pointed out) took closer to three (yes, THREE!) hours than the stipulated 1 3/4. Not that that caused too much bother. Will rate the finished article closer to Chrimble.

luketalibudeen's picture

I made this cake about 2 weeks before Christmas and when I took a bite on Christmas day I was a little disappointed because I thought it would be more chocolatey than it was. However, I started to eat the left overs after Christmas and the flavour just seemed to get better and better, in the end I was quite addicted to it! I particularly like the cranberries and cherries. I would definitely recommend this cake (I'm having to stop myself making another one now) but I would make it at least a month before Christmas.

proofofthepudding's picture

Updated thus: "fed" the cake twice over the week running up to Christmas, with about 40ml each time of Brandy. Covered with a medium-thin layer of marzipan (not a huge marzipan lover but a wee bit's o.k., in my book!) and to finish, a layer of white icing ("Ready To Roll" icing).
The finished cake was absolutely GORGEOUS! Very rich, a small portion at a time is great, but this definitely is an ideal "special occasion" cake. REALLY good.

proofofthepudding's picture

OK, its out...took 3 hours though until skewer test showed it was ready, bit of a nuisance checking it every extra 15 mins, as I wanted it cooked (er, obviously!) but not burnt. Covered the top with foil after the 1h45m recommended in recipe, just in case. Now its out, it looks ice or not to ice? Big question. The jury's still out on that one! The hardest part is keeping it intact until Christmas!
Taste test verdict will follow then. Wish it was Christmas already!


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