Posh spice cake

Posh spice cake

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(13 ratings)

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



      One of the most useful of spices for both sweet and savoury

    • 140g butter, cut into pieces



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

    • 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…

    • 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, questions and tips

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    9th Jan, 2020
    Made this cake for Christmas but it was so good I made another in January! I used a mixture of defrosted frozen berries on top.
    27th Dec, 2018
    I've been making this on and off for years and it never fails to delight. This year, I've made seven for colleagues, secret Santa and family and once again, people have loved this cake. The flavours are complex and the cranverry/sugar topping adds a lovely sharpness that cuts through the sweetness of the cake. Recommend without hesitation.
    Sarah Masson's picture
    Sarah Masson
    3rd Jan, 2018
    I really liked the flavour of this cake. I much prefer it to regular fruit cake. However, a lot of liquid came out of the cranberries whilst baking and pooled in the centre preventing the cake from cooking properly. It did cook properly once I syringed off the extra fluid (the kids calpol syringe worked a treat) but did need a lot longer bake time as a result leaving the cake very dry. I will make it again but will probably cook the cranberries separately and put them on once baked.
    11th Apr, 2015
    Excellent! 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.
    9th Sep, 2013
    But I'm sure it is delicious :)
    9th Sep, 2013
    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!
    17th Dec, 2012
    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...
    26th Jun, 2012
    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
    20th Jan, 2011
    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.
    23rd Dec, 2010
    Absolutely delicious! We aren't keen on traditional christmas cake this is much tastier with a fresher taste. Will make this again and again.


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