Traditional British Rich Fruit Cake Recipe

Traditional British Fruit Cake

The Spruce

Ratings (75)
  • Total: 3 hrs
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins
  • Yield: Serves 10
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
454 Calories
24g Fat
52g Carbs
9g Protein
(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 fruit cake? This Yorkshire fruit cake recipe comes from Yorkshire sculptor Dominic Hopkinson.
Not only is Dominic a talented sculptor, but he is also an avid foodie and developed this recipe from one his Mum used to make.

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.

You can use a prepared dried fruit mixture available in most supermarkets, or blend your own to create an individual cake, balance the mixture to your preferences (I love more sultanas and less chopped dates in mine). Want to see how to make the cake before you start, check out

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

Thanks to Dominic for his delicious recipe.


  • 450 g./1 lb.  mixed dried fruit
  • 300 ml./10 fl. oz. black tea (cold, strong)
  • 225 g./8 oz. all-purpose (or plain flour)
  • 150 g./5 1/2 oz. butter (slightly softened)
  • 150 g/5 1/2 oz. dark Muscovado sugar
  • 4 medium-sized eggs
  • 1 tablespoon dark treacle (cane molasses)
  • 100 ml./3 f.l oz. brandy (or sherry)
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 110 g./4 oz. ground almonds
  • 225 g./8 oz. candied peel (chopped)
  • 225 g./8 oz. glace cherries (halved)

Steps to Make It

The day before place the dried fruits in a large bowl, add the tea and stir well. Cover and leave overnight.

Preheat the oven to 325 F/170 C/Gas 3.

Line an 8-inch round cake tin with greaseproof paper or baking parchment.

Place the butter and sugar into a large baking bowl.

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

Beat one egg into the creamed butter, then beat in a quarter 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.

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.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and gently level the surface.

Cook in the preheated oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until dark, golden brown.