I was a cake maker and ran a celebration cake business a few years ago and my fruit cakes were my signature bake. So here’s my recipe!
You can substitute the pomegranate molasses and maple syrup for the same quantity of treacle if you want a richer flavour.
If you don’t want to use alcohol, use a simple sugar syrup instead, by boiling sugar and water together in a pan.
- 750 g dried fruit I like the cranberry and raisin mix from Lidl combined with mixed peel and glacé cherries
- 170 ml Cointreau or Amaretto the alcohol will burn off during baking
- Juice and zest of 2 clementines
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 225 g softened butter
- 150 g golden caster sugar
- 75 g dark brown sugar
- 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 4 beaten eggs
- 285 g plain flour
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 1/2 tsp mace
- In a mixing bowl squeeze the clementine juice and Cointreau over the dried fruit, add the cinnamon stick, zest and stir.
- Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel for an hour (or longer) for the liquid to soak into the fruit.
- Beat together the butter and sugar.
- Add the pomegranate molasses and maple syrup.
- Add the beaten eggs a little at a time.
- Sift in the flour and mix.
- Add the mixed spice and mace, being careful not to over mix.
- Line a cake tin with grease proof paper.
- Fold a wet tea towel in half and then in half again and wrap around the tin, securing with wet string.
- Bake at 150 degrees C for around 2-3 hours, checking often. If the top of the cake browns, cover with a disk of grease proof paper to protect it.
- Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool completely in the tin.
- Wrap the cake in baking paper and tin foil but feed every day by poking holes in the top with a skewer and brushing with brandy (if you like).
- Cover your cake with Marzipan and ice a week before Christmas. You could use ready rolled fondant icing but I love traditional royal icing.