Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Rich Mixed Fruit Cake with Sherry

My blog is breathing again today, after a short hiatus. Some unexpected commitments at home and a planned holiday overseas kept me away from blogging for more than 3 weeks. But there was not one day that went by without me thinking about it and my blogging friends. Have to come around every ones page to see what you girls were up to.

Christmas is just round the corner and my Christmas cooking and recipes are still pending. As usual I had to start with the special Christmas Cake - a Mixed Fruit Cake. Mixed Fruit Cakes are the alpha and omega of Christmas celebrations. It is never complete without one. The richness of the raisins, sultanas, dates, prunes and cherries are essential in a Christmas Cake and the occasional bite of almonds makes it complete. And then the flavour of Sherry adds a kicking sweetness to the cake. This cake can be prepared just one day prior without compromising on the flavours. But if you want to make it ahead of time, please remember to feed the cake with Sherry/ water every day and keep it in an air-tight container (see below for details).

Makes: 1 x 20 cm square cake
Preparation Time: 20 minutes + cooling time
Baking Time: 1 hr 15 minutes + cooking time

  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 170g brown sugar
  • 1 cup sweet sherry
  • 150g raisins
  • 150g sultanas
  • 50g green glace cherries, chopped into quarters
  • 50g red glace cherries, chopped into quarters
  • 50g mixed citrus peel, finely minced
  • 50g pitted dates, chopped (same size as raisins)
  • 50g pitted prunes, chopped (same size as raisins)
  • 1 tsp soda bicarbonate
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 50g slivered almonds
  • 2 large eggs, well beaten with a fork
  • 300g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sherry, extra to feed
1. Place butter, brown sugar, sherry, raisins, sultanas, glace cherries, citrus peel, dates, prunes and soda bicarbonate in a large saucepan. Place this over medium heat, stirring occasionally until all butter melts, sugar dissolves and the entire fruit mixture is covered with foam. Remove from heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Leave it to cool to room temperature (around 30 minutes).
2. Prepare a 20 cm square cake pan with 3 layers of baking paper on the bottom and sides. Let the baking paper extend above the cake pan. Pre-heat fan-forced oven to 140° C. (It is preferred to bake fruit cakes in conventional oven with fan off, in which case pre-heat it to 160° C. But I have always prepared it in a fan-forced oven without any issues.) Adjust oven rack to lower half of the oven, so the top of the cake will be in the centre of the oven.
3. Sift flour, baking powder, mixed spice and cinnamon and set aside.
4. When the fruit mixture is cool, add almonds, salt and beaten egg and mix well. Then sift flour to the fruit-almond-egg mixture, stirring it in between. No lumps should be formed. Transfer mixture to prepared cake pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake for 1 hr and 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. (Start checking the cake only after 1 hr.)
5. Take cake out of oven and leave it in cake pan, loosely covered with baking paper and then lightly wrapped with a clean chux cloth. Let it to cool completely.
6. Warm remaining sherry for 30 seconds in a microwave. Use 1/2 tbsp at a time and feed cake on all sides. Leave it for 2 more hours before using.

- Replace sherry with water if required. The alcohol in sherry evaporates during baking. So you may want to use sherry in the fruit mixture to retain flavours but then use warm water to feed the cake later. 
- If you want to store cake for a week or more remember to feed cake with sherry or water every day. This prevents cake from drying. Store in an air-tight container in a cool place.


  1. Welcome back, dear! The cake looks heavenly, lovely presentation too.

  2. Beautifully done cake dear :) looks moist and perfect for the season... welcome back :)

  3. Welcome back dear!...cake looks so moist and tempting..luvly clicks :)

  4. wow cake looks so lovely and tempting...

  5. Welcome back..Beautiful cake,perfect texture..loved it!!
    Advance Christmas wishes to u n family!!

    Join EP event-Garlic OR Turmeric @ Spice n Flavors

  6. I was thinking what happened to you ? must be enjoying summer down under. as usual lovely cake.

  7. welcome welcome ....perfect christmas cake to kick start the celebrations.

  8. Thank you Ladies. It feels good to be back and to hear from you all....

  9. Seasons greetings Jannet.
    This cake added taste to our Xmas.Thanks it came out so good.

  10. HI
    I love this color and texture of the cake.simple and yummy.

  11. I tried this cake with little change ,the cake vanished soon,was so happy .Thanks for posting it.