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Simple Last Minute Christmas Fruit Cake (spelt, GF or regular flour)

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Course: Cake
Cuisine: British


  • 500g mixed fruit (I used cranberries, figs, apricots, sultanas and dates)
  • 125ml liquid (spirits such as rum or brandy) or fruit juice (I used orange juice)
  • 2 oranges (both the zest and juice)
  • 150g honey
  • 175g butter
  • 175g muscovado (or any dark sugar)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 30g cocoa
  • 3 large eggs
  • 225g flour (see note 1)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • Add all of the ingredients up to the eggs (last ingredient is the cocoa powder) in a large pan and cook for around 15 minutes until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for around 30 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 150ºC and prepare a springform pan (see note 2).
  • Whisk the eggs and then add to the mixture. Combine the flour with the baking powder, soda and salt and stir in gently with a spatula. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for around 65 minutes. The cake is ready when inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • Leave the cake to cool completely and then wrap up in clingfilm and kitchen foil until ready to eat. Before serving, sprinkle with icing sugar and a little Christmas decoration, or wash with honey and add some walnuts or other nuts (see note 3)


  1. The original recipe calls for 150g flour and 75g almond meal (ground almonds). However, the recipients had nut allergies, so I simply used 225g flour and omitted the almonds. For the second cakes I made, I used 150g gluten free flour and 75g ground almonds. You can also use all regular plain or spelt flour.
  2. You can pretty much use any size pan you like. For the first cake, I used a 9" round springform but for my others, I divided the mixture between two regular loaf tin (9x5"). Please note that baking times will vary depending on thickness but aim for 60 minutes before you start checking whether it is ready.
  3. For my loaf cakes, I topped them with a wash of honey and attached walnuts, then gave them a sprinkling of icing sugar.