Easy Fruit cake - This classic cake baked as a tray bake is super easy to prepare. It’s perfect to bake, frost and serve straight from the baking pan. Deliciously versatile, frost the cake with buttercream, whipped cream, glace, fondant or serve as is.
Just a note on a few ingredients and substitutes if needed
While the full recipe is written below, this is the section to read if you’re wondering about ingredient substitutions or how these ingredients work in the recipe.
- Dried fruit:
Use any dried mixed fruit you prefer as long as it weighs 650g / 25 oz in total.
I use the store-bought mix of raisins, sultanas currants, and cherries.
Combine the fruit with the liquid of your choice in a bowl cover and let rest overnight. Forgot about doing this step? Not to worry, simply microwave the fruit and liquid together in a bowl for 1 minute, or until it's very hot, cover, and let rest 1 hour.
- Soaking liquid
You can soak the fruit in either water, apple, orange or cranberry juice. The flavor of your cake is based on the fruit and juice mix you use. If you do not want the prominent flavor of juice in the cake, then just use water. Its neutral and allows you to have more of the fruit and warm spice flavor in the cake.
Use softened at room temperature.
I use either light or dark brown sugar in this fruit cake. Brown sugar helps retain moisture in the cake as well as adding flavor.
Use eggs at room temperature for this recipe.
Adds delicious warmth to the cake. I use all spice (mixed spice) in this recipe. As a substitution for 1 teaspoon of allspice, you can use ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground cloves, and a pinch of ground nutmeg.
Use either cake flour or all purpose (plain) flour
- Baking powder
How to make Easy Fruit Cake
- Soak the dried fruit in water or juice overnight or microwave the fruit and liquid together in a bowl for 1 minute, or until it's very hot, cover, and let rest 1 hour.
- In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs with the spices and beat to form a smooth mixture.
- Fold in the flour and baking powder, then beat on low speed for one minute to combine.
- Mix in the soaked fruit including any liquid in the bowl.
- Transfer the mixture to a greased and lined baking pan, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Serve as is or frost as you prefer.
Frosting/Decorating/ serving suggestions
Frosting or decorating is optional but can be the crowning glory for an impressive bake.
- Top with sifted powdered sugar after baking
- Swirl a layer of buttercream over the cool baked cake
- Spread whipped cream and top with cherries or fruit
- Cover with a layer of store-bought sugar paste or fondant (read package for instructions on rolling out the fondant)
- Serve with homemade custard
Tips and Frequently asked questions
- Why is it necessary to soak the fruit before adding to the batter?
Soaking ensures hydration of the fruit. If it is not soaked prior to baking, the fruit will absorb liquids from the batter. This will produce a drier, denser baked fruit cake.
- Can I use white granulated sugar instead of brown sugar in this fruit cake?
Brown sugar is simply white sugar but with molasses added into it. So yes, you can use this as an alternative. However, this will alter the taste and texture slightly . This is because brown sugar contributes to the moisture and color of the baked cake. Brown sugar also produces a slight caramel like flavor, which might be absent when substituting with white sugar.
- What spice to add to fruit cake?
Spices give fruitcake that warm signature flavor. I use mixed or all spice in this recipe. If these are not available, then pumpkin spice or the following blend makes a great alternative.
As a substitution for 1 teaspoon of allspice, you can use ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground cloves, and a pinch of ground nutmeg.
- Can I freeze a fruit cake made without alcohol?
A cake made without alcohol will not keep as well as one that is made with alcohol.
Fruitcake with no alcohol should be consumed within 4 days of baking or tightly wrapped in a double layer of plastic/cling and frozen for up to six months. Thaw the cake overnight at room temperature.
- Can I bake this fruit cake in advance?
Yes, you can prepare this cake up to 6 months in advance.
After baking, allow the cake to cool completely then wrap without frosting in a double layer of plastic/cling and freeze for up to six months. Thaw the cake overnight at room temperature.
If you like this recipe, be sure to check out my other amazing recipes
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