Festive fruit & nut cake

Festive fruit & nut cake

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(17 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins - 40 mins Cook: 2 hrs


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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  • 250g butter, at room temperature



    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



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

  • 280g plain flour
  • 85g ground 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



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

  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon



    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



    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



    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
    Golden syrup

    Golden syrup

    goal-dun sir-rup

    Golden syrup is a clear, sparkling, golden-amber coloured, sweet

To decorate

  • 1 metre of wide ribbon


  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, questions and tips

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1st Dec, 2010
Julie..as the recipe was originally printed in the Magazine..'overleaf' meant the next page..
21st Oct, 2010
anyone any ideas what is 'overleaf'. Looks good and will try it this Christmas
18th Sep, 2010
This cake has become a firm family favourite - I've had requests for this Christmas already!
22nd Apr, 2010
Angel - sorry probably too late to tell you but 11/4 means 1 and a quarter - there should have been a space between: 1 1/4 (or 1 hour 15 mins) to avoid confusion. Hope you got it worked out anyway. I've just done one for a birthday cake with 'Zesty Orange Marzipan'.
28th Oct, 2009
I have also made this cake for a few years now. It is absolutely delicious, moist and nutty! Ideal for those who do not like too much icing. Tying a newspaper around the outside of the tin stops the outer edge being too dry.
25th Sep, 2009
can someone please tell me how long to cook this cake for what does 11/4 hours mean?
6th Sep, 2009
This recipe is amazing! Everyone who tries it loves it! 'Now our staple Christmas Cake. (Another fave is cranberry, pecan loaf.) I always scale this down to 3/4 of the ingredients otherwise its too big for my cake tin (20cm). I also often dont put the topping on and íts non the worse for that. Amaretto or sherry instead of Rum also makes it lighter. With the scaled down recipe I've made 6 small loaf cakes before (like to old penny loaf size not 450g / 1lb)! and they are great as presents. Go on, try it.
5th Feb, 2009
Tried this at christmas, was very sweet and moist inside but hard on the outside. Next time I will reduce the amount of sugar required as it didnt go down well with the family.
21st Dec, 2008
we loved the ginger flavour of this cake the first time i made it so subsequently added some stem ginger from a jar (about three pieces, coarsely chopped) into the topping mix, plus some of the ginger syrup from the jar, reducing the golden syrup by the same amount. also reduced the glace cherries in the topping to 100 grams.
4th Jun, 2008
tried this cake last Christmas and it is fab. Have made it several times since and it is a really popular cake with the family. This will now be my Christmas Cake in future, easy and simple to make.


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