Traditional British Rich Fruitcake Recipe

Traditional British fruitcake on a stand and on a plate

The Spruce

  • Total: 3 hrs
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins
  • Servings: 10 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
454 Calories
24g Fat
52g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 454
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 10g 49%
Cholesterol 124mg 41%
Sodium 408mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 52g 19%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Protein 9g
Calcium 124mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

What could be more delicious for a tea time treat than a slice of fruitcake? This Yorkshire fruitcake recipe comes from Yorkshire sculptor Dominic Hopkinson, based on his mother's recipe.

You can use a prepared dried fruit mixture available in most supermarkets, or blend your own to create an individual cake, balancing the mixture to your preferences.

Be warned, though, one slice will never be enough.


  • 1 pound/450 grams mixed dried fruit
  • 10 ounces/300 milligrams black tea (cold, strong)
  • 5 1/2 ounces/150 grams butter (slightly softened)
  • 5 1/2 ounces/150 grams dark muscovado sugar
  • 4 medium-sized eggs
  • 8 ounces/225 grams all-purpose or plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon dark treacle (cane molasses)
  • 3 ounces/100 milliliters brandy (or sherry)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 ounces/110 grams ground almonds
  • 8 ounces/ 225 grams glace cherries (halved)
  • 8 ounces/225 grams candied peel (chopped)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    All of the ingredients to make a traditional British fruitcake
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  2. The day before baking, place the dried fruits in a large bowl, add the tea and stir well. Cover and leave overnight.

    prepping the dried fruit in tea
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  3. Preheat the oven to 325 F/170 C/Gas Mark 3. Line an 8-inch round cake tin with greaseproof paper or baking parchment.

    Pan lined with parchment paper
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  4. Place the butter and sugar into a large baking bowl.

    Combined butter and sugar
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  5. Using an electric hand whisk or fork, cream the butter into the sugar until light, smooth, and creamy.

    The butter has been creamed into the sugar
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  6. Beat 1 egg into the creamed butter, then beat in a 1/4 of the flour. Repeat until all the eggs and flour are used up. Add the treacle, brandy or sherry, nutmeg, lemon juice to the cake mixture, and stir gently using a spoon or spatula. Finally, stir in the baking powder.

    Mixing the batter with a wooden spoon
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  7. Drain the dried fruits and add the ground almonds, glace cherries, and mixed peel. Stir well, then add to the cake mixture, stirring gently until all the fruits are incorporated into the mixture. Stir gently so as not to "flatten" the cake mixture.

    The batter with ground almonds, glace cherries, and mixed peel
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  8. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and gently level the surface.

    Batter is added to an 8-inch round cake pan
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  9. Cook in the preheated oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until dark, golden brown.

    Traditional British fruitcake out of the oven
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  • The success of this deliciously rich, moist cake lies in soaking the dried mixed fruits in strong dark tea the evening before; the tea adds a subtle depth of flavor to the cake. For this reason, you will need a little planning to allow time to soak the fruits. It is worth it though, so don't be put off.

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