Traditional Fruitcake Recipe and Decoration
This recipe makes 1x 20 cm (8 in.) cake layer of 6 cm (2⅓ in.) high, for a taller cake layer multiply the recipe by 1¼ or 1½ and bake for longer.
1.2 kg (8 cups/ 2 lb 10¾ oz) mixed dried fruits such as raisins, sultanas, apricots, glacé cherries, mixed peel and preserved figs
125 ml (½ cup / 4½ fl oz) brandy or orange liqueur (use orange juice to make a non-alcoholic cake)
30 ml (2 tbsp) golden syrup or apricot jam
230 g (1 cup/ 8¼ oz) salted butter, softened or at room temperature
150 g (¾ cup/ 5¼ oz) soft brown treacle sugar or demerara sugar
3 large eggs
240 g (2 cups/ 8½ oz) cake flour
5 ml (1 tsp) cinnamon
5 ml (1 tsp) ginger
60 ml (¼ cup / 2¼ fl oz) brandy or orange liqueur (use orange juice to make a non-alcoholic cake)
1) Assemble your ingredients and preheat the oven to 150 °C (300 °F).
2) Prepare 1x 20 cm (8 in.) round cake tin (7.5 cm/3 in. deep) with baking paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
3) Mix the dried fruit, brandy or orange liqueur and golden syrup or apricot jam together in a microwave-safe bowl. Place cling wrap over the bowl.
4) Microwave the fruit mixture on 100% power for 5 minutes so that the fruit can absorb some of the moisture. Set the bowl aside until the mixture is at room temperature or leave to stand overnight.
5) Beat the salted butter and brown sugar together with an electric mixer until just combined and beat in the eggs one at a time.
6) Stir the butter mixture into the fruit mixture.
7) Sift the cake flour, cinnamon and ginger together and fold the flour mixture into the fruit mixture.
8) Spoon the cake batter into the cake tin and flatten the mixture with the back of the spoon.
9) Fold a newspaper into a long strip and fold it around the outside of the cake tin. Tie the newspaper with a piece of string.
10) Bake for 2 hours and 30 minutes or until a skewer or toothpick inserted comes out clean.
11) As soon as you take the cake out of the oven, prick the surface with a toothpick and pour the extra 60 ml (¼ cup/ 2¼ fl oz) brandy or orange liqueur over the cake.
12) Cut off any excess baking paper around the edge of the tin.
13) Place a piece of foil over the top of the cake and turn the cake upside down onto a cake board or cutting board. Wrap the cake tin with foil and leave the cake overnight to cool.
Tips: This cake can be eaten immediately or will keep for months wrapped in a layer of cling wrap and a layer of foil. Occasionally unwrap the cake and brush the surface with brandy or orange liqueur. It can also be frozen for up to two years, it is not necessary to brush the cake surface with alcohol when it is frozen.
Decorating a fruitcake:
1x 20 cm (8 in.) round fruitcake
1 round 25 cm (10 in.) cake board
900 g (2 lb) marzipan (actual amount used = 600 g/1 lb 5¼ oz)
900 g (2 lb) sugar paste (fondant) (actual amount used = 600 g/1 lb 5¼ oz)
60 ml (¼ cup/2¼ fl oz) smooth apricot jam, boiled and cooled
Icing (confectioner’s) sugar
Cake smoother or acetate squares
Decorating the cake:
1) Cover your cake board with plastic contact (book covering plastic) to protect the cake from spoiling especially if you are keeping the cake for a long time.
2) Pinch off small pieces of marzipan and press them into the holes made by the raisins. Plug as many holes as you can.
3) Brush the top of the cake with a thin layer of boiled, cooled apricot jam. Do not use too much jam as this could cause the marzipan to slide off the cake.
4) Dust your work surface with sifted icing (confectioner’s) sugar and roll out 400 g (14¼ oz) of the marzipan into a circle. Roll on the marzipan and the spacers simultaneously to roll it to an even thickness of about 4 mm (⅙ in.).
5) Lift the marzipan onto a wooden board and place the fruitcake upside down on the marzipan.
6) Cut around the cake with a pizzawheel.
7) Place a cakeboard on top of the cake and flip it over holding the wooden board in one hand and the cake baord in the other hand.
8) Smooth the marzipan with your hand or a cake smoother.
9) Roll thin sausages of marzipan and place it around the bottom of the cake to fill any gaps and to secure the cake to the board.
10) Measure the height and circumference of the cake with measuring tape. Cut a piece of greaseproof paper to this size.
11) Brush the side of the cake with a thin layer of boiled, cooled apricot jam. Do not use too much jam as this could cause the marzipan to slide off the cake.
12) Dust your work surface with sifted icing (confectioner’s) sugar and roll out the rest of the marzipan into a rectangular strip. Roll on the marzipan and the spacers simultaneously to roll it to an even thickness of about 4 mm (⅙ in.).
13) Place the greaseproof paper template on the marzipan and cut it out with a pizza wheel.
14) Dust the surface of the marzipan with more icing (confectioner’s) sugar and roll it up from one side to the other.
15) Unroll the strip against the side of the cake.
16) Where the ends of the strip meet cut it off with a sharp knife and smooth the joint with your fingers or a cake smoother.
18) Measure the diameter of the cake with a piece of string from one side to the other including the cake board. Use the string as your measuring guide.
19) Brush the marzipan with a thin layer of boiled, cooled apricot jam or clear alcohol.
20) Dust your work surface with sifted icing (confectioner’s) sugar and roll out 900 g (2 lb) sugar paste (fondant) into a circle. Roll on the sugar paste (fondant) and the spacers simultaneously to roll it to an even thickness of about 4 mm (⅙ in.). Measure the paste with the string to make sure that it is big enough to cover your cake.
21) Hover the rolling pin over the sugar paste and lift the paste over the rolling pin.
22) Roll the paste onto the cake.
23) Lift and pull the paste while smoothing it over the cake with your hands to expell any air underneath.
24) Keep on smoothing the paste with your hands towards the bottom of the cake and on the cake board.
25) Use a cake smoother or two pieces of acetate to smooth all the edges of the cake.
26) Cut off any excess paste around the cake board with a sharp knife.
27) Use non-toxic glue to attach a ribbon around the cake board.
Note: You will always need to roll out more marzipan and sugar paste (fondant) than needed to make sure that the pieces are big enough to cover the cake.