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Old fashioned fruit cake decorated with almonds, with a red ribbon wrapped around it, on a gold plate, with holly decorations and a Christmas star in the background.

Old fashioned fruit cake

Author: Sarah Brooks
This old fashioned fruit cake is my great grandmother's recipe. It is easy to make and makes a fantastic Christmas cake for the festive season.
4.80 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Austalian, British
Servings 12 slices, approx.
Calories 648 kcal


  • 1 x 8 inch cake tin


  • Extra butter or margarine to grease the cake tin
  • 2 and ⅓ cups (12 oz /340gms) packet dried fruit mix
  • ½ cup (70gms) chopped dates
  • cup (65gms) dried apricots
  • ½ cup (125mls) orange juice or water
  • 2 sticks plus one table spoon (250gms) butter or margarine
  • ¾ cup (165gms) tightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon (15mls) brandy (optional)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups (300gms) self raising flour
  • 1 cup (110 gms) whole blanched almonds


  • ¼ cup (125mls) apricot jam
  • ½ tablespoon (7.5mls) brandy (optional)


  • Chop apricots and dates into small pieces.
  • Combine dried fruit, dates, apricots, brown sugar, orange juice, butter, mixed spice, cinnamon and ginger to a large saucepan.
  • Stir over a low head heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves.
  • Increase heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about five minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat, cover and allow to cool completely, about two to three hours.
  • Pre-heat oven to 335°F (170°C) (fan forced).
  • Heavily grease and line an 8 inch square or round cake tin with butter or margarine, then line with foil, then baking paper, allowing plenty of over hang.
  • Lightly beat eggs. Add eggs, self raising flour and brandy if using to cold boiled fruit mix and mix well. You can add this directly to the pot if you like, or transfer to a mixing bowl first.
  • Pour cake mix into prepared cake tin. Decorate with blanched almonds if using. I like to do a pretty circular pattern.
  • Bake in the oven for one hour. The cake will be cooked when its starting to go a lovely golden brown color on top and a skewer will come out clean when inserted.
  • Optional: to help preserve the cake and keep it moist you can pour one shot (30mls) of brandy over the cake while it is still warm. For a lovely shinny glaze mix apricot jam with brandy and brush liberally over cake.
  • To store this cake leave it wrapped in the foil and baking paper. Fold over the over hang at the top, then gently remove from the cake tin. Wrap well with baking paper, then foil. This cake will keep for up to a month a room temperature.


This recipe was made in a fan forced oven at sea level.  All oven can vary, so adjust them temperature and baking time as needed for your oven and location.


Calories: 648kcalCarbohydrates: 92gProtein: 13gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 87mgSodium: 155mgPotassium: 692mgFiber: 9gSugar: 50gVitamin A: 814IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 163mgIron: 3mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate based on an online database. The nutritional content of ingredients may vary by brand. If you require accurate nutritional information, you should calculate this based on the specific brands and products you are using.

Keywords: Christmas cake, traditional fruit cake
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