Festive fruit & nut cake

Festive fruit & nut cake

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(21 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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 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 translucent, golden-amber coloured, sweet syrup, which can only be produced…

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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11th Dec, 2015
I have just made this cake, two weeks before Christmas. I wondering whether to freeze it or will it be OK to keep until Christmas and the following week?
16th Dec, 2014
I have been baking this recipe for the last 5 years and love it. Making it again this afternoon. I find it is moist and full of flavour.
8th Mar, 2014
I am surprised this recipe gets such great reviews as I found it was dry and not at all sweet. I much prefer the simmer and stir cake which is also on this website and which I was wowed by. This cake looks fab though and for nut lovers it's perfect.
22nd Dec, 2013
I first made this following the recipe and it was lovely but a little rich for my taste. To make a lighter version I reduced the sugar to 100g and fruit to 550g, used only 1.5 tbsp. rum and left out the marzipan but added some whole blanched almonds to the cake mix. It was very popular!!
25th Nov, 2013
I made this for five years in a row, until last year when I tried a different recipe for a change, I was complained at! I hasten to add, i'll be making this one again this year! Quite pricey though with all the nuts involved.
16th Mar, 2012
I made this cake for my husband for his birthday as he's not mad on icing.He absolutely loved it and told me to make sure I didn't loose the recipe.I am just about to make one for my Mom for Mothers Day.The only thing I did as an extra was to soak the fruit in rum overnight as well as adding rum into the cake mixture.A big thumbs up for this cake I think.
21st Jan, 2012
I tried this cake out for the first time this Christmas and have already made 4 more, as gifts, because it has proved so popular! I have never eaten fruit cake so I haven't tried this, but the number of people who have asked for the recipe is amazing. Hoops51 did you remember the syrup? It does make it look like the photo.
3rd Jan, 2012
As recipe had loads of good comments I had a bash at it. Flavour-wise it was very nice indeed - I'm always disappointed though when the camera-man has been given artistic licence, as there is no way the topping could look like it did in the picture with 4 oz/100g of cake mix stirred in with the nuts and fruit. Tasted lovely, but didn't look as good as I thought it would.
12th Dec, 2011
This is the fourth year on the trot i've made it and is fantastic, given the recipe to tons of people now. Shame you can't make it in advance due to florentine topping though.
2nd Jan, 2011
Made this for Christmas and can recommend it, with edible glitter on it looked fab!. It wasn't dry at all. I also didnt put quite as much marzipan in as was suggested & it was fine. I used my Sister's free range eggs which made it even nicer!


Sourav Sen's picture
Sourav Sen
28th Dec, 2019
Is that really 11/4 hrs of baking or a typo? That makes it 2 hrs 45 minutes. It seemed well done at 1 hr 15 mins. I eventually pulled it out at 1 hr 45 when the top had started to burn. It didnt make sense to send it to oven again with the topping. .
21st Oct, 2018
I would like to make this cake in smaller tins, to include in Hampers, how should I adjust the cooking time?
goodfoodteam's picture
23rd Oct, 2018
Thanks for your question. Unfortunately, we are unable to give exact timings for different tin sizes without testing. We'd suggest reducing both the first and second cooking times. You'll need to make a calculated guess depending on the size of tin you've chosen. Ultimately you can test the cake with a skewer and if it needs longer but the topping is getting too brown you can recover it.
26th Oct, 2017
I have made this cake and it was a great success! Can I make the cake (without the topping) and store from now until christmas? Will it keep ok?
goodfoodteam's picture
28th Oct, 2017
Thanks for your question. We'd suggest freezing the cake to ensure it's still nice and moist at Christmas.
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