Rich Fruit Cake

If we talk about “traditional” cakes, Rich Fruit Cake would definitely be in the conversation. The more fruits there are in the recipe, the more rich it will be, and the more rich it is, then the more traditional. The amount of fruits in this recipe makes the cake able to be preserved for longer and also keeps it moist. For some people, once they taste the cake, they’ve had enough, but for others, it is their most preferred cake. A few decades ago, rich fruit cake was a very popular choice for most celebrations but today, it’s only requested by a few.

However, in Christmas time, this old mama’s recipe sits on it’s throne just like Santa Claus. For me, the quality comes from the fruit mix more than the batter. Everybody has their own version. Most grandmas think that their version is the best. I am a grand father and I don’t say my recipe is the best but everybody who tries it loves it. So here is my version of a Rich Fruit Cake. I bake it once a year in a large quantity before Christmas and use it for the rest of the year for my wedding cakes when requested. Most matured cakes in the fridge goes to the most VIP customers.

Ingredients

The weights in the recipe table below will yield the following 'weight per unit' and 'number of units'. If you would like to change the recipe to cater to a different 'weight per unit' and/or 'number of units', you can use the Recipe Calculator Tool below the ingredients table.


Weight Per Unit: 2574
Number of Units: 1
Unit Size: 50mm Height by 250mm diametre round cake.
WEIGHT
(grams)
ALTERNATIVE METRIC INGREDIENT IMAGE CONDITION
A 235 8.3 ounces Butter Butter is a solid dairy product made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk, to separate the butterfat from the buttermilk. It is generally used as a spread on plain or toasted bread products and a condiment on cooked vegetables, as well as in cooking, such as baking, sauce making, and pan frying. Butter consists of butterfat, milk proteins and water. (Unsalted)
B 235 8.3 ounces Brown Sugar Brown sugar is a sucrose sugar product with a distinctive brown color due to the presence of molasses. It is either an unrefined or partially refined soft sugar consisting of sugar crystals with some residual molasses content (natural brown sugar), or it is produced by the addition of molasses to refined white sugar (commercial brown sugar).
C 15 1 tablespoon Molasses Molasses, or black treacle, is a viscous by-product of the refining of sugarcane or sugar beets into sugar. The word comes from the Proto-Indo-European *mélid". Cognates include Ancient Greek μέλι (méli) (honey), Latin mel, Portuguese melaço. Molasses varies by amount of sugar and method of extraction, and age of plant.
D 5 1 teaspoon Baker’s Caramel Also known as blackjack or burnt sugar colouring, baker's caramel is a liquid colouring used to colour and flavour dark-coloured baked goods (e.g. black, pumpernickel, and dark rye breads) and gravies.
E 255 9 ounces Whole Egg Eggs are one of the most common ingredients in a typical cake. Egg yolks and whole eggs store significant amounts of protein and choline, and are widely used in baking. Usually an eggs role in a cake is to add moisture and richness, act as a raising agent as well as a glue to bind the ingredients together.
F 185 6.5 ounces Cake Flour Cake flour is a finely milled white flour made from soft wheat. It has very low protein content, between 8% and 10%, making it suitable for soft-textured cakes and cookies. The higher protein content of other flours would make the cakes tough. Highly sifted cake flours may require different volume amounts in recipes than all-purpose flour. Using the scoop and level method, well-sifted flour usually produces 125 g per cup. However, most American recipes are written with 140 g of flour per cup, so weighing and experimentation can be helpful in baking unfamiliar recipes. Small weight differences can greatly affect the texture. American Cake flour is bleached; in countries where bleached flour is prohibited, plain flour can be treated in a domestic microwave to improve the texture of the end product.
G 2 0.4 teaspoon Baking Powder Baking powder is a dry chemical leavening agent, a mixture of a carbonate or bicarbonate and a weak acid, and is used for increasing the volume and lightening the texture of baked goods. Baking powder works by releasing carbon dioxide gas into a batter or dough through an acid-base reaction, causing bubbles in the wet mixture to expand and thus leavening the mixture. It is used instead of yeast for end-products where fermentation flavors would be undesirable or where the batter lacks the elastic structure to hold gas bubbles for more than a few minutes, or for convenience. Because carbon dioxide is released at a faster rate through the acid-base reaction than through fermentation, breads made by chemical leavening are called quick breads.
H 2 0.4 teaspoon Sodium Bicarbonate Sodium bicarbonate (a.k.a baking soda, bread soda, cooking soda, and bicarbonate of soda), referred to as "baking soda", is primarily used in cooking (baking), as a leavening agent. It reacts with acidic components in batters, releasing carbon dioxide, which causes expansion of the batter and forms the characteristic texture and grain in pancakes, cakes, quick breads, soda bread, and other baked and fried foods. Acidic compounds that induce this reaction include phosphates, cream of tartar, lemon juice, yogurt, buttermilk, cocoa, vinegar, etc. Natural acids in sourdough can be leavened with the addition of small amounts as well. Sodium bicarbonate can be substituted for baking powder provided sufficient acid reagent is also added to the recipe. Many forms of baking powder contain sodium bicarbonate combined with calcium acid phosphate, sodium aluminium sulphate or cream of tartar. Sodium bicarbonate was sometimes used in cooking vegetables, to make them softer, although this has gone out of fashion, as most people now prefer firmer vegetables. However, it is still used in Asian and Latin American cuisine to tenderise meats. Baking soda may react with acids in food, including vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid). It is also used in breadings such as for fried foods to enhance crispness. Heat causes sodium bicarbonate to act as a raising agent by releasing carbon dioxide when used in baking. The carbon dioxide production starts at temperatures above 80 °C. Since the reaction does not occur at room temperature, mixtures (cake batter, etc.) can be allowed to stand without rising until they are heated in the oven.
I 15 1 tablespoon Mixed Spice Mixed spice, also called pudding spice, is a British blend of sweet spices, similar to the pumpkin pie spice used in the United States. Cinnamon is the dominant flavour, with nutmeg and allspice. It is often used in baking, or to complement fruits or other sweet foods.

Here is a typical blend of spices used to make mixed spice:
1 Tbs ground allspice
1 Tbs ground cinnamon
1 Tbs ground nutmeg
2 tsp ground mace
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground Ginger
J 50 3 tablespoons Bread Crumbs Bread crumbs or breadcrumbs (regional variants: breading, crispies) are small particles of dry bread, used for breading or crumbing foods, topping casseroles, stuffing poultry, thickening stews, adding inexpensive bulk to meatloaves and similar foods, and making a crisp and crunchy covering for fried foods, especially breaded cutlets like tonkatsu and schnitzel.
Fruit Mix (Mix as early as possible)
K 250 8.8 ounces Homemade Candied Orange
L 150 5.3 ounces Raisins A raisin is a dried grape. Raisins are produced in many regions of the world and may be eaten raw or used in cooking, baking and brewing. In the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia the word "raisin" is reserved for the dark-coloured dried large grape, with "sultana" being a golden-coloured dried grape, and "currant" being a dried small Black Corinth seedless grape.
M 125 4.4 ounces Currants
N 125 4.4 ounces Dried Apricots Dried apricots are a type of traditional dried fruit. When treated with sulfur dioxide (E220), the color is vivid orange. Organic fruit not treated with sulfur vapor is darker in color and has a coarser texture.[1] Generally, the lighter the color, the higher the SO2 content. Light-colored varieties (with the sulfur content of more than 2000 ppm) are banned in the European Union.
O 125 4.4 ounces Dried Figs
P 125 4.4 ounces Dried Dates
Q 125 4.4 ounces Prunes A prune is a dried plum of any cultivar, mostly Prunus domestica or European Plum. The use of the term for fresh fruit is obsolete except when applied to varieties grown for drying. Most dried prunes are freestone cultivars (the pit is easy to remove), whereas most other plums grown for fresh consumption are clingstone (the pit is more difficult to remove).
R 100 3.5 ounces Candied Cherries
S 200 7 ounces Ginger Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) is a flowering plant, in the family Zingiberaceae whose rhizome, ginger root or simply ginger, is widely used as a spice or a folk medicine. (fresh, pureed)
T 30 1 fluid ounce Rum
U 100 3.4 fluid_ounces White Wine
V 120 4.2 ounces Slivered Almonds
3076

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Method
STEP ACTION DETAIL CONDITION
1 PREPARE Prepare the fruit mix by mixing K,L,M,N,O,P,Q,R,S,T and U. Let it marinate for as long as possible.
2 PREPARE Prepare all the ingredients. Room temp.
3 PREHEAT Turn on the oven. 160-170 C
4 SCRAPE Scrape the sides down.
5 WHIP Whip A,B,C and D. Light creamy
6 ADD Add the egg in parts. Looks like it's splitting.
7 SCRAPE Scrape the sides, and the bottom of the bowl.
8 ADD Add F,G,H,I and J. Creamy
9 SCRAPE Scrape the sides, and the bottom of the bowl.
10 ADD Add the fruit mix and the almonds. Mix for 3 minutes.
11 FILL Fill the 50 x 250 round cake tin. Almost full.
12 BAKE Bake at 160-170C 75 Minutes or more.
Important Notes
Storing
Rich fruit cake can last more than a year in the fridge below 4C provided a few things are followed carefully. After baking, make sure any tools that are used are very clean and hands are also clean. Prepare additional rum mixed with 1:1 stock syrup. When the cake reaches room temperature after baking, use a clean brush and apply the rum syrup to top, bottom and the sides of the cake generously and wrap it twice with cling wrap.

Variations
We can easily create variations by changing the dry fruits to different combinations in similar proportions. These are some examples...
1. Additional chocolate in batter and use dry cherries (not candied cherries)
2. Use only candied orange cubes with chocolate batter for chocolate jaffa cake.
3. Add coffee into the batter and use orange cubes for mocca and orange cake.
4. Use only dates.
5. Use only prunes.
There are many more possibilities.

Alcohol
I use white wine to reduce the cost. Feel free to use brandy, cognac or whisky.

The Fruit Mix
This is the most important part of the recipe. In this recipe 1.5 amount of fruit mix is used for 1 amount of batter. More fruits will make the cake very sweet but less fruit is okay because in this recipe fruits will not sink down during baking. You can marinate fruits a few months before with alcohol. If you want to make the cake without alcohol, use caramel syrup for softening the fruits maybe just 2 weeks before baking.

Raisins vs Sultanas
This is the confusing part. Different grapes have different drying processes. Raisins are a darker colour and a bit larger Muscated. Sultanas are a lighter colour seedless small grape. They both do the similar job. My preference is raisins.

Baking
First of all if you are using a cake pan, layer the bottom with multi layer paper. If you are using a cake ring, fold aluminium foil at the bottom and use additional paper on the tray to avoid over colouring at the bottom. Medium heat for a long time is the baking way. 160-170C for at least 75 minutes, then check by poking a wooden skewer. If needed, keep it in the oven till the skewer comes out clean and dry.

Weights of different parts:
Cake Batter: 999g
Fruit Mix Weight: 1575g

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40 Comments

  • Hi Chef, can I use just treacle for this recipe instead of both molasses and bakers caramel?
    Thank you

  • Hi Chef! Thanks for all these fantastic tutorials and recipes. I just want to know if the eggs are weighed with their shells or without.
    Thanks.
    Shane

  • Hi chief. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us. I love your tutorials.
    I am a portuguese speaker and i don´t know what is Molasses and prunes? Do you have an idea what it is it in Portuguese?
    Thank you

  • Hi Serdar, I am about to trial this recipe for a birthday coming up in Aug. I am intending in making the graduation cake, but with a different design to suit the personality of the person.
    I am thinking a dark chocolate and a fruit cake.

    I am aware this is not leaving much time for the fruits to macerate though. Does this mean that the fruit cake won’t be nice. If I macerate the fruits by this weekend, they would have only macerated 4 weeks. Will the cake still be okay? Or should I give up on the idea?

    Also, I was following the conversations and saw that you said to use prune paste or jam inbetween the layers.
    I won’t be making layers with my fruit cake, as I like fruit cake as it is. When it’s nice and moist, it shouldn’t need any layers. However, I’m wondering about the fondant. Would I need to use ganache over the fruit cake to avoid lumps growing beneath the fondant and avoiding seeping of the syrup, or would I be ok just using fig or apricot jam (or brushing caramel syrup ontop of the cake before applying fondant). I ask this, because I can’t seem to grasp the concept of ganache on fruit cake.
    Warm Regards

    • Serdar Yener

      if you do rich fruit cake and not enough time to marinate fruits I will suggest you have to process the fruits a bit before the mix. raisins and other too dry fruits like currants, apricots can be washed and keep for a while in hot water. Use more of softer fruits like prunes and orange peels( home made) . Do definitely not change your mind, few weeks is more than enough.

      3 different way I do
      A) In a hurry I use water ganache ( 1x boiled water 2x chocolate ) this will be first liquid and become creamy soon and very dry on the cake after an hour. There is no dairy in this so you can keep in room temp very long time.

      B) Blend the trims of fruit cake with a little brandy to a firm creamy texture and palette that on the cake to smoothing the surface.

      C) Mix fondant with a little water to make it softer ( still rollable) and coat the cake thinly using a bit syrup and push harshly to fill the lower areas. When you do that you will see the bumps looking out. AND coat the cake second time with the fondant again.

      I hope this helps. Thanks

      • That definitely helps. Thanks Serder. I will keep you posted.

      • Well the intended birthday cake never happened. But I had already marinated the fruits and bought all the ingredients so I decided to go ahead with the recipe anyway.
        I shared the cake with some collegues and friends, and even those who do not normally like fruit cake, absolutely loved it. Lucky I kept one for home for when I receive visitors and when I just need some sweetness.

        Yener and family, and all those who read this, this fruit cake recipe is by far the best fruit cake I have ever tasted in my life. I will prepare more now for Christmas, because I wouldn’t ever be able to pass another Christmas without this fruitcake.
        Thankyou Yener for sharing. Bon apetit a tous. Meme en connaissant les gourmandises a la francaise, vous ne pourrez pas resister a cette temptation de Yeners Rich Fruit Cake. C’est irresistible.

  • I was very pleased to see this recipe for Rich Fruit Cake. In contrast to many Americans I happen to bake a fair number of fruit cakes each holiday season. I have a mother and fair number of other people in my life, all older of course, that are very fond of fruit cake. I have a recipe which was a great aunt’s called White Fruit Cake which isn’t too bad but unfortunately I can’t eat it any longer. I was diagnosed about 12 years ago with Celiac and have to eat gluten free. Trust me, it is NOT by choice but by necessity. The main difference is this cake does not have the molasses in it. Otherwise its very similar. There is one area with yours that I can’t seem to find and that is an approximate yield on the cake. How many NORMAL servings would you say it provides? This helps when planning on what cakes to do for what purposes. I enjoy finding new fruit cake recipes and I hope to try this out one of these holidays in the coming years.

  • Hi chef..thanks for sharing your recipe..its my first time soaking fruits in brandy and am a lil confused.. when I added the brandy to fruits it all got absorbed. Is that Ok? Or do I need to add some more.. and how do I store the mixture..in the fridge or in just a cool place? Thank you in advance chef

  • Hi, I love your tutorials! I was wondering if the online calculator is only for paid subscriptions? Also if you were making a 6 inch wedding tier, from fruit cake….Would you just bake it at 6 inches or stack 2x 3″, and if stacking what would you use to go between the layers?

    • Serdar Yener

      Yes, it is. I would not make the rich fruit cake more than 2 inch high for shorting the time of baking which will avoid dryness. I would stick the layers with a very minimum amount of jam or prune paste ( blend dry prunes with a little rum till becomes a spreadable paste). Thanks

  • Halow Sir what is the other alternative way of soaking the fruits in the alcohol? I dont use alcohol

  • Hi.
    Have you made this recipe for mini cakes? 6 x 3 cm cakes.
    Could you please recommend a suitable cooking time

  • Please correct me if needed:
    1. Macerating dried fruits with alcohol and ginger puree for 3 months Jul to Oct.
    2. Bake the cake in Oct and start eating in Dec.

    Is the cake matured enough in 2 months or am I better off macerating fruits less time and baking cake before Oct?
    When you let cakes mature, do you continually baste the cake with alcohol (rum)?

    Is the recipe for this fruit cake any different to Christmas Pudding. My Grandma usedto make the best Christmas Pudding the world has ever seen. But she has kept the recipe secret and she has past away. All I know is that it took months to make. I don’t find any Christmas Pudding recipe online that takes that long. They all seem to be fake. Would you have that recipe or a similar recipe like this?
    I have been searching for years and I have finally just about given up. All the Christmas Puddings on the market just don’t cut it either. I have even paid over $200 for a nice Christmas Pudding last year, and I was shaking when I opened up the cloth and served it, so much I was anticipating the moment…and even that was disappointing.

    • Serdar Yener

      1. Macerating time 3 months is good, more is the better. Just a few points I would like to add. If some of the fruits too dry before mix keep them in a warm water few hours before the mix. I also add caramel syrup in to mix ( caramelized sugar mix with water. Caramelize the sugar quite dark but not smokey burning stage and add slowly water till the bubbling finished . Pour the syrup on the fruits mix while still hot).
      2. Yes sounds good but I keep my Christmas cakes in the fridge from last year if any left, and serve them first to my most favorite customers. So cakes can be matured longer in the fridge. Having said that you have to follow the next point in order to achieved that long keeping
      3. As soon as the cakes are baked I do moisture them generously with rum while they are still not completely cooled down and immediately wrapped them in few layers of cling film. I will not unwrap the cakes for remoisturizing again till to the day of need.

  • Time to start fruit macerating. What would we do without you?

  • thank you very much(pekmez kırkyıl düşünsem aklıma gelmez) ı will mıx them today . have a nice day

  • hi mr yener I would like to make your fruit cake but what is Molasses and bakers Caramel in turkey ( there names) please and do I mix the fruit now with wine or rum and bake it lets say in December . made your butter cake recipe it was fantastic thanks for the recipe

    • Serdar Yener

      Hi Nozkamil
      Molasses is Pekmez
      Bakers caramel is dark caramelized sugar syrup ( add some water to caramelized pure sugar till runy consistency)
      Yes you can mix your fruits with alcohol and also you can add your own caramel syrup as early as you wish

  • Hello Mr Yener, i like to use the recipe here for a 3 * 6inches cake that is apporximately a 50mm by 150mm how do i change the weight per unit with the calculator please.

    Many thanks.

    • Serdar Yener

      Hi Lofty 3″x 6″ is not 50x150mm it is 75x150mm that makes 1.5lt that means 1.5 kg mix you need. So unit is 1500 and number of unit is 1 Thanks

      • Thank your for the correction, it was my fault. Now with your explanation, how did you arrive at 1.5lt. or 1.5kg?

        Thanks Sir.

      • In your basic measurement above, how did you arrive at 2574 of weight/per Unit to make 1 unit of 50mm by 250mm and but at the end of the calculations the total ingredient is 3076.

        And in my original question i was to write 3 times 2″ by 6″.

        thanks.

      • Hello, Good day. I like to use your rich fruit cake recipe. and i want to bake one 4″ by 12″ and one 4″ by 10″ cake. i still don’t understand how to calculate the weight per unit in order that i might use the calculator to break down the unit per ingredient. Can you please help sir.
        Many thanks

        • Serdar Yener

          Hi Lofty, in order to calculate weight for the shapes , you need to know (weight per liter)
          My 1 lt fruit cake is 750g
          4×12″ = 9 lt = 6.750 kg
          4×10 = 6.25 lt = 4.685 kg
          total 11.5 kg ready to bake mixture you need.
          Recipe calculater will give you correct recipe with your 2 input
          weight per unit = 11.5
          nr of units= 1
          Hope this helps

  • thank you for sharing your recipe,and adding fresh insights from your treasury of knowledge and expertise that’s what make you the rich person you are.

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