Rich Fruit Cake

12:30 pm on 24 December 2014

Rich Fruit cake

Modified from Phil Vickery’s Gluten Free Christmas recipe.


For the cake

  • 75g currants
  • 75g sultanas
  • 350g raisins
  • 50g mixed peel
  • 150ml whiskey or rum
  • grated zest and juice of 1 small lemon
  • vegetable oil, for oiling
  • 150g gluten-free plain flour (Zoe recommends Edmonds)
  • 1t gluten-free baking powder
  • 1t powdered gelatine or powdered agar agar
  • 1t mixed spice
  • 1t ground allspice
  • 150g unsalted butter, softened
  • 150g soft dark brown sugar
  • 3 medium eggs, at room temperature
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 2T semi-skimmed milk
  • 50g whole almonds
  • 100g glacé cherries, roughly halves
  • 1T molasses
  • 1T clear honey

For the top

  • 2T smooth apricot jam, warmed
  • 100g mixed glacé fruits; eg red or green cherries, ginger, mixed peel
  • 100g nuts eg almonds, walnuts, pecan halves


  • Place the dried fruit and mixed peel in a pan, add the whisky (or rum) and lemon juice and zest, and bring up to the boil. Take the pan off the heat, cover and leave to soak overnight (or longer if preferred).
  • Preheat the oven to 150°C. Grease and line the base and sides of a 6-8cm deep round or square 18cm cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment, including a tall collar sticking up.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, gelatine (or agar agar) and spices together. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy and light. Gradually add the eggs and flour, alternately, and then add the ground almonds. Stir in the milk and mix in the dried fruit mixture, almonds and cherries. Finally stir in the molasses and honey and give the whole cake mix a good, strong stir.
  • Spoon the mixture into the tin, level, and bake for about 1½–2 hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.
  • To decorate, brush the surface of the cake with half the warmed jam. Arrange, or pile, a selection of glacé fruits and nuts over the top and brush over a second layer of jam to glaze.

You can eat this cake straight away but it will be slightly crumbly. But a great fruit cake should be left to cure. Wrap an undecorated cake in tinfoil and put into an air tight container for about 6 weeks. For something decadent, heat gently in the microwave for about 25-30 seconds and serve with vanilla ice cream and brandy sauce.

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