Dark Fruit Cake

Here we have a simple and classic fruit cake recipe, perfect for Christmas and other special occasions. We use dark spiced rum, but other spirits can be used (such as brandy, whisky or even sherry).

Boozy fruit:
300g currants
200g sultanas
200g raisins
100g cranberries
60g glace cherries
50g mixed candied peel
1 tbsp vanilla extract
200g dark spiced rum

225g muscavado sugar
225g plain flour
225g butter, unsalted at room temperature
Large pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of ground mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
4 eggs
1 teaspoon of black treacle
100g halved pecans
1 teaspoon of lemon extract or zest of 1 lemon

  1. Combine all the boozy fruit ingredients and soak for 2-3 days.
  2. Preheat the oven to 140C.
  3. Grease and line a 20cm tall cake tin.
  4. Add the cake ingredients (apart from the pecans) in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light, fluffy and fully combined.
  5. Add the nuts and pre-soaked fruit.
  6. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin.
  7. Wrap the sides of the tin in more baking paper and tie with a string.
  8. Cover the top with a square of baking paper (with a small hole in the middle), big enough to hang down the sides and tie with a string.
  9. Bake for 4-4.5 hours until the top is springy when lightly pressed.
  10. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes and then finish cooling on a wire rack.
  11. The cake is ready for ‘feeding’ with more rum.
  12. We put ours back in the tin and pour a shot over it every few days and keep it wrapped in clingfilm in a cool dry place.