Traditional Dark Fruitcake Recipe
A traditional fruitcake is must-have Christmas cake. Loaded with delicious moist fruits such as raisins, sultanas, cherries, and currants soaked in brandy overnight. This is a simple, easy and effortless dark fruitcake recipe which does not need much preparation.
The fruits used below are quite traditional but can be substituted for other dried fruits such as dates, cranberries, and more fruit peels. The alcohol used is again traditional but can be substituted with orange or cranberry juice for a non-alcoholic fruitcake recipe.
Apart from Christmas, a fruitcake is perfect for wedding cakes, christening cakes, and communion cakes during the year. Traditionally, a fruitcake would be iced with marzipan and royal icing. The modern approach these days is to ice with marzipan and then cover with fondant instead of royal icing.
A note on black treacle. Treacle is what makes this a dark fruitcake. If you do not have treacle you can omit it but the fruitcake will not be dark brown. More plain ivory. You can use 1 tbsp cocoa powder for color but do not that you may end up with a slight chocolate taste. Some love it very much. Personally, I like to keep it traditional and leave the cocoa powder out.
Christmas Gift Idea
This dark fruit cake makes perfect gifts to family and friends during Christmas and festive celebrations. As well as edible favors for wedding and other celebrations such as christening and communion. Instead of baking it in an 8-inch round pan bake them in these mini loaf pans. The baking time will be reduced considerably so check them at about 20 minutes.
Tools you will need
- 8-inch round baking pan or 7-inch square baking pan
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
- Chopping boardand Kitchen knife (if cutting fruits yourself)
- Parchment paper
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- 400 grams (14.11 oz) Raisins
- 400 grams (14.11 oz) Sultanas
- 400 grams (14.11 oz) Currents
- 200 grams (7.05 oz) Candied peel / mixed peel
- 200 grams (7.05 oz) Cherries
- 300 ml (1.21 cups) Brandy
- 4 large (4 large) Eggs
- 170 grams Butter unsalted
- 250 grams (2 cups) All-purpose Flour
- 200 grams (0.91 cups) Brown Sugar
- 1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp ) Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) Nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) Orange zest
- 1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp ) Lemon zest
- 1/2 tbsp (0.5 tbsp ) Treacle
- 1 tsp (1 tsp) Vanilla Extract
Alcohol for feeding
- 100 ml (0.4 cups) Brandy
Soak Fruits (preferably overnight)
- Use a glass mason jar or stainless steel bowl. Do not use aluminum or copper as it will react with the alcohol.
- Combine the fruits and alcohol. Mix well.
- The fruits can be left to soak overnight or used immediately. I highly recommend giving it at least an hour or two to soften the fruits. The resulting cake will be very moist.
- When ready to use drain the fruit from alcohol. Any leftover brandy can be used for feeding the cake after it has been baked.
- Preheat the oven at 160C / 320 F
- Line a 9-inch round cake pan or 7-inch square pan with parchment paper twice. Which means you line the pan once – spay it and line it again. This will prevent the outside from drying while the center cooks slowly.
- Drain the fruit and set aside in a colander to drain completely
- Measure all ingredients including alcohol before you start mixing.
For the batter
- Sift flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together.
- Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add treacle, orange, and lemon zest – combine well.
- Next, add the eggs one at a time
- Followed by the vanilla
- Add just one-third of the flour mixture and combine well.
- Finally, combine the remaining flour mixture to the wet fruits mixture. Gently combine them but do not over mix.
- Fold it to the batter – do not over mix at this stage
- Pour into the prepared baking pan
- Bake into a preheated oven for an hour or until a skewer inserted in the center comes clean.
- When baked cool in the pan for 20 to 30 minutes. Then invert on a cooling rack to cool completely.
Feeding the fruitcake
- Remove parchment baking paper.
- Gently poke holes in the cake.
- Pour remaining brandy all over the cake
- Wrap well in cling wrap.
- If stored in a cool dry place this cake will keep for 3 months.
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