Boiled Fruit Cake

Perfect for celebratory gatherings, this rich, moist cake will keep for several months if you can hide it away from raiding fingers.

Boiled Fruit Cake


  • 5 cups (900 g) mixed dried fruit
  • 2 cups (320 g) chopped dates
  • 100 g chopped glace cherries
  • 125 g butter
  • 1 cup (185 g) soft brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice
  • 3⁄4 cup (185 ml) sherry plus an extra 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) for drizzling
  • 2 eggs
  • 1⁄4 cup (80 g) apricot jam
  • 1 cup (150 g) self-raising flour
  • 1 cup (150 g) plain flour
  • 1⁄3 cup (50 g) blanched almonds


  1. Put the mixed fruit, dates, cherries, butter, sugar, mixed spice and 3/4 cup (185 ml) of sherry in a large saucepan over medium-low heat.
  2. Stir until the butter has melted and the mixture comes to the boil.
  3. Allow to boil for 3 minutes, then remove from the heat and leave to cool. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160°C.
  4. Grease and line a 20 cm round cake tin or baking tin with a double layer of baking paper. (Lining the tin with a double layer of paper ensures the cake won't get too hot or cook too fast.)
  5. When the fruit mixture is cold, stir in the eggs and jam, mixing well.
  6. Sift the flours over the top, then stir in using a large metal spoon until well combined.
  7. Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and smooth the top with the back of a wet spoon.
  8. Decorate with the almonds. Bake for 2 hours, or until a cake skewer inserted into the centre of the cake has no raw mixture on it (the skewer will not be entirely clean).
  9. Pour the extra 1/4 cup (60 ml) sherry onto the hot cake as soon as you remove it from oven, so it seeps into the cake. Wrap the cake in a thick towel and leave to cool.
  10. When the cake is cool, remove the towel, wrap the cake in baking paper or foil and store in an airtight container.

Serves: 12
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 2 hours 10 minutes

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