Boil Bake Fruit Cake

boilbakefruitcakethumb.jpgThis is a recipe for a light and moist fruit cake - it's what's known as a boiled cake, which might not sound too promising, but it's an easy way of achieving a reliable result where the fruit is evenly distributed throughout the cake - it's Boil-Bake Fruitcake

The Recipe


  • For Stage 1
  • 115g (4oz) Butter or vegetable baking fat
  • 170g (6oz) sugar (white granulated is fine, or a 50/50 mix of brown and white sugars)
  • 400g (14oz) mixed dried fruit
  • 115g (4oz) fresh apple, peeled and cored
  • 225ml (8 fl oz) water or apple juice (or water with generous dash of rum or brandy)
  • 1 Heaped teaspoon ground mixed spices (a blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, etc)
  • 1 Level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • For Stage 2
  • 2 eggs
  • 225g (8oz) Self-raising flour
  • Pinch of salt


boilbakefruitcake2.jpgPrepare the fruit by removing any stones and chopping larger fruits (such as apricots) into smaller pieces.

Peel, core and dice the apple into small pieces, about the same size as the dried fruits.

boilbakefruitcake3.jpgPlace all of the Stage 1 ingredients into a large pan.

Bring to the boil, simmer for a couple of minutes, stirring all the time.

Remove from the heat, cover and allow to cool completely - this will probably take at least a couple of hours.

boilbakefruitcake4.jpgWhen the boiled mixture is fully cool, preheat the oven to 170C, then beat the eggs and mix them in well.

Add the flour and mix in well - it should form a batter-like mix.

Pour into a tin lined with baking paper or similar - I used a 7 inch round tin with a lift-out base.

boilbakefruitcake5.jpgBake in the oven for 40 minutes, then turn down the heat to 150C and bake for a further 30 minutes. (you might also wish to turn the tin around at this point, if your oven doesn't cook perfectly evenly.

Test by pushing a thin skewer right into the middle of the cake - if it comes out without any sticky batter mix on it, the cake is done (otherwise, bake a little longer and test again).

Allow to cool for an hour before removing from the tin, then cool further on a wire rack. The cake can be eaten whilst still a little warm, but may be difficult to cut.


About This Recipe

This is based on an old and traditional recipe - I've modified it a bit to make it extra light and moist. Boiling the fruit makes it stay mixed throughout the cake during baking.



I used a mixture of apricots, dates, sultanas and dried cranberries in this cake, but almost any kind of dried fruit can be used - including figs, prunes, cherries, raisins or tropical fruits such as mango or papaya.

Adding some crystallised stem ginger is nice, as it gives it a bit of a kick.