Easy apple fruit cake

Easy apple fruit cake

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(94 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 1 hr


Cuts into 12 slices
This cake has all the flavours of Christmas, but won't take ages to make - you can decorate it any way you like. Ideal for a wedding cake too

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per slice

  • kcal350
  • fat16g
  • saturates9g
  • carbs51g
  • sugars18g
  • fibre1g
  • protein4g
  • salt0.63g
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  • 200g butter, softened plus extra for greasing



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 200g dark muscovado sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten



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

  • 1 tbsp black treacle
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 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…

  • 2 eating apples, grated (approx 100g each)



    Grown in temperate regions, apples are one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits. There are…

  • 300g mixed sultanas and raisins


  1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter and line the bottom of a deep, round 20cm cake tin with greaseproof paper. Beat the first seven ingredients together in a large bowl (electric hand- beaters are best for this), until pale and thick. Using a large metal spoon, gently fold in the fruit until evenly combined.

  2. Spoon the batter into the tin and bake for 50 mins-1 hr or until the cake is dark golden, springy to the touch and has shrunk away from the tin slightly. A skewer inserted into the centre will come out clean when it’s ready. Cool completely before decorating. Will keep, wrapped in an airtight container or iced, for up to a week, or can be frozen un-iced for up to a month – defrost fully before decorating.

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Comments, questions and tips

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8th May, 2020
Delicious. Made with grated carrot instead of apple. Did not add any treacle and 10g less sugar as I don’t like things too sweet, added a teaspoon of cinnamon as an extra and it was absolutely lovely and still quite sweet. I used a square 20” tin and it was cooked in about 1hr. Best fruit cake I’ve ever made.
Catherine Maris's picture
Catherine Maris
29th Jan, 2019
Just made this cake as one tier of a friend's Birthday cake after he requested a fruit cake last minute. It's absolutely delicious! I made an 18cm cake using an online cake scaler to modify quantities. I followed suggestions of others and halved the apple and squeezed out the juice. I also soaked the raisins/sultanas in Kraken rum overnight and I've steeped the cake again once cool (as my friend loves his booze). Mine took exactly 60mins at 160Fan. I would say the texture is perfect - a little crumb but certainly not overly crumbly, and thankfully not as dense as a 'traditional' fruit cake.
4th Dec, 2017
So pleased that I tried this recipe. After reading all the comments, I only used 1 Apple and squeezed the moisture out as it was very juicy. I got distracted and only used one and a half teaspoons of spice (silly me) next time I’ll use the full amount and maybe grate a little extra nutmeg in too. I had to use a mixture of brown sugar, no problem. Also soaked the fruit and added cherries in a little rum for about an hour beforehand. The amount made 24 generous cupcakes which took 20 minuets to bake. They were delicious and I’ll make the large cake for Christmas this year.
22nd Sep, 2017
For the first time a complete disaster following a BBC recipe. Looking back over previous comments, I am not the only one, but why? Burnt on the top an liquid inside.
25th Apr, 2016
My favourite fruit cake recipe, thanks Ms Hornby. I usually soak sultanas and raisins (in tea or whatever you fancy) but also use prunes and sometimes apricots (unsoaked as they are normally squidgy-er). I make bigger cakes and it does take a long time to cook so don't make when you're in a hurry! Covering with foil from the beginning and taking it off carefully after about an hour or so seems to work well (this makes 'wet' cakes rise up nice and evenly). Using some Chinese five spice powder as well as the mixed spice is a tasty twist if you're a spice fan like me.
9th Nov, 2015
Pre soaked fruit in tea and brandy, then followed recipe. Baked in stated time and turned out perfectly. Definitely tasted better for keeping, ( five days). Really lovely flavour, lots of good comments, will make again.
19th Sep, 2015
Just made this cake for Macmillan coffee morning. Oh dear what a mess I had a hunch this was not going to be good after grating the 2 apples . But I thought stick to recipe , as others have said cooking time not long enough. I gave it about an extra 25 minutes but the whole cake fell to bits when it came out of tin. It does appear to have more a pudding texture than cake. Very disappointing!! My husband will eat it with custard!! I wouldn't risk it for Christmas or a Wedding.
7th Mar, 2015
Nice tasting cake and really easy to make but was very crumbly when I cut into it. Think in future I will stick with Mary Berry's Christmas cake mixture which never fails and won't try this one again.
24th Feb, 2015
I really liked this recipe but the 20cm cake tin was not big enough - 22cm would have been better as some of the filling spilled over the edges burnt a little. The cake tasted really nice though and I only used one apple because it was quite large. Also the cooking time was 90 mins and not 1 hour. I too soaked the fruit in cherry brandy the night before which I think helped moisture and flavour.
23rd Feb, 2015
Delicious! Light and moist. I soaked the fruit in alcohol the night before and added a teaspoon of ground ginger. I was also heavy handed with the spice and added a teaspoon of vanilla essence. It took about 1 hour 20 minutes to bake and was so easy to make.


6th Oct, 2019
Can i have it?
goodfoodteam's picture
6th Oct, 2019
Thanks for your question. You'll need to get the ingredients and make it as this one's been eaten.
Sharon Northcott's picture
Sharon Northcott
21st Nov, 2018
Can someone tell me if I need to peel the apple first before grating please?
goodfoodteam's picture
22nd Nov, 2018
Thanks for your question. You do not need to peel the apple.
30th Oct, 2015
It is a great recipe but the cake was crumby. Is there a way I can make it firm?
13th Nov, 2014
I left out the apple and instead used Sainsbury's Mixed Fruit with Cranberries & Apricots... It tasted absolutely amazing but my cake sunk both times I have tried this! Does anyone know why this could be? Thanks! (Definitely recommend though!)
goodfoodteam's picture
26th Nov, 2014
Hi there, thanks for your question. When a cake sinks in the middle it is usually for one these three main reasons: 1/ The oven door has been opened before the cake has set. 2/ The cake didn't go in the oven as soon as the mixture was ready. 3/ There's too much raising agent in the mixture.
10th Nov, 2014
Hi...I am thinking of making this recipe to use as individual christmas cakes....im hoping to make them pretty soon , and was wondering once made how long these would last??? Thanks in advance for the reply :)
MB seastar
11th Mar, 2019
This is a lovely cake recipe! I only used 110g butter and only 150g sugar and it came out fine. I added 2 tbsp apple juice but squeezed out the moisture of the apples. I also added 1tsp cinnamon and 1tsp ginger. Drizzle over icing made with fresh orange juice and zest and enjoy this moist, a little crumbly cake with a cup of tea!
28th Jan, 2018
Pulse chop the apples roughly in food processor. Can replace half dried fruit with whole glacé cherries. Coat all fruit in a tablespoon of the flour and grated nutmeg before adding to the processed cake mixture to prevent it sinking to bottom. Bake for up to 2 hours until skewer comes out completely clean. After 45 minutes, can position baking sheet on shelf above cake to prevent top burning.
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