Recipe: semi-rich fruit cake

Semi-rich fruit cake

Prep time: 10-15 mins

Cooking time: 75-90 mins

Bake at: Gas Mark 3 / Electric Oven 160C / Fan Oven 140C


225g (8oz) plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

115g (4oz) butter, chilled

115g (4oz) caster sugar

225g (8oz) mixed dried fruit

2 eggs, beaten

4 tablespoons milk


This is a nice light fruit cake which has gone down well at work for elevenses etc.

I try to use butter, rather than Stork for fruit cake and other cakes using the ‘rubbing in’method (see Step 1), but not the end of the world if I use Stork instead.

Occasionally I substitute other sugars – I have made this with brown sugars (soft brown/demerera) to no ill effect, but would probably draw the line at using something like molasses sugar as that would be too rich for this (far too expensive to use as a substitute, in any case!)

I’ve used all kinds of dried fruit in this cake – including the leftovers of a tub of dried mixed peel.


  1. Put the flour and baking powder (if you are being diligent, sieve these together) into a bowl, and rub the butter into them until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs (I never get quite as far as this, but you shouldn’t be able to see any yellow lumps of butter, and try to eliminate any lumps bigger than c. the size of ½ your thumbnail).
  2. Add the sugar, the mixed fruit, eggs and enough milk to give a soft dropping consistency. (For some reason I always forget to put the eggs into this recipe, end up doubling the amount of milk and wonder why, although a wet dough, it’s definitely not a ‘soft dropping consistency’. Then I read the recipe again, realise that I’ve forgotten the eggs, and so end up with a slightly over-wet mixture. It does not seem to do the cake any harm).
  3. Put the mixture into a greased and lined 7 inch round cake tin / 2 x 1lb loaf tins.
  4. Bake for 75-90 minutes until pale golden in colour and firm to the touch. Check that it is cooked through by using a skewer/clean knife.
  5. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before placing on the wire rack to cool completely.

Like most of my regularly-made cake recipes this is taken (and lightly adapted) from “Best Kept Secrets of the Women’s Institute – Cakes and Biscuits”.