- STEP 1
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Place the dates in a saucepan, and add the water. Bring the mixture to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.
- STEP 2
Sieve the plain flour, wholemeal flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add the mixed spice and cinnamon.
- STEP 3
Pour the wet date mixture into the dry mix, then add the dried fruit and the orange juice. Stir gently with a wooden spoon until well combined.
- STEP 4
Spoon the mixture into a greasproof paper-lined loaf tin, or divide it between 6 smaller tins. Bake for 40-45 minutes if making one large loaf, or 30 minutes for the mini mollies. A skewer stuck in the centre of the cake should come out clean.
- STEP 5
Leave the cake to cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. To make the iced topping (if using), melt the jam and water together in the microwave. Add wet mixture to the icing sugar, and stir well. Drizzle over the cake, and sprinkle the chopped apricots and cherries on the top. Alternatively, decorate with ready to roll icing, cut into shapes.