SIMPLE FRUIT CAKE – No Hassle Boiled Fruit Cake For Afternoon Tea

Boiled fruit cake on a glass cake stand and one slice served, with china tea and flowers.

Simple Fruit Cake

By Mrs D


This simple fruit cake, is perfect for an afternoon tea, and so easy to make.  A popular classic British bake, it is enjoyed by all.  Also called a Boiled Fruit Cake, part of the ingredients are boiled before adding the dry ingredients and baking.  The high sugar content from the fruit also means the cake will last that little bit longer too.

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Slice of boiled fruit cake on a china plate, with cake fork and flower.

Guest Writer

This recipe is written by my friend and fellow baking enthusiast (should we be called addicts? 🙂 ) Diana Watkins. Diana kindly helps me out with the website, testing my recipes, providing photos and being an invaluable source of experience and knowledge over the last year. There would not have been a new version of the website this year, had it not been for her help. So I am forever thankful.


Closer shot fo boiled fruit cake on stand and one slice served, with coffee and chocolates.

Such A Simple Fruit Cake Recipe

Anyway, this recipe is so simple that it is ideal for beginner bakers, and also using a new feature to the site called RECIPE CARDS. You know my style of recipe writing is very different, and very thorough in instructions and includes step-by-step process photos. But sometimes, if you have baking experience, or if indeed the recipe is so simple, you don’t need that level of detail. And here is where the Recipe Card comes in. It’s basically what us food bloggers/writers use as a template for recipes. For you readers it is essentially an abbreviated version of the recipe, and more like what you would find in recipe books.

Printing & Sharing The Recipe

You can also print these cards, that could be folded up and placed in recipe card boxes or inside personal recipe books. You also have the option to print with or without the photos or notes.

I will also include the download version, that includes this whole post and recipe, which you can quickly & easily save to your phone or computer for use later.


DOWNLOAD the complete recipe post by clicking ‘download’ below:

So without further ado, here is the Recipe card below for Simple Fruit Cake and Diana’s recipe for Fruit Cake. Hope you enjoy it and let us know or tag us if you make it, we always love seeing your pics. Thanks so much, Caro xxx

“This recipe is so easy to make & is based on an old Bero recipe, but I have added some of my own touches to it over the years.  It really is a lovely moist cake, because you simmer the fruit in the butter & sugar, so the fruit really swells up. I let the mixture cool for about 40 minutes before I add the flour & egg.  Also I added a tsp of mixed spice, (pumpkin spice in the US) & I use butter instead of margarine as butter gives a much better flavour. I often use light brown sugar instead of castor sugar so it gives it a nice colour but you could use whatever sugar you like.  Another good tip is to sprinkle demerara sugar over it before you bake or sugar crystals as this gives a nice crunchy topping.” Mrs D


*New Last Minute Christmas Cake recipe online soon *

RECIPE CARD

SIMPLE FRUIT CAKE

Boiled fruit cake on a glass cake stand and one slice served, with china tea and flowers.
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SIMPLE FRUIT CAKE – An Easy Boiled Fruit Cake For Afternoon Tea

This simple fruit cake, is perfect for an afternoon tea, and so easy to make. A popular classic British bake, it is enjoyed by all. Also called a Boiled Fruit Cake, part of the ingredients are boiled before adding the dry ingredients and baking. The high sugar content from the fruit also means the cake will last that little bit longer too. ***option to print recipe with/without photos & notes
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine British
Keyword Boiled Cake, Cake, Fruit Cake
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cooling Mixture 40 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings 8 slices
Author Mrs D
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Equipment

  • Scales or measuring cups
  • Baking/parchment paper
  • 6-7” Round Cake tin (15-18 cm)
  • Saucepan
  • Medium sized mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Teaspoon
  • Sieve
  • Timer or Phone Timer
  • Wooden Cocktail stick/toothpick
  • Cooling rack

Ingredients

  • 340 grams Mixed dried fruit – raisins, currants, sultanas etc (12 oz, 2 cups approx)
  • 113 grams Sugar – granulated, caster or light brown (4 oz, ½ cup, rounded)
  • 113g grams Butter or Margarine/Baking Spread (4 oz, ½ cup or 1 stick)
  • 1 Egg, Large, beaten (US X Large)
  • 150 ml Water (5 floz, ⅔ cup or ¼ pint)
  • 225 grams Self-raising Flour (8 oz, 1 ¾ cups All purpose flour + 2 ¾ tsp baking powder)
  • 1 tsp Mixed spice (optional) (Pumpkin Spice alternative)
  • Demerara Sugar for the topping      (Optional)

Instructions

PREPARE THE CAKE TIN

  • Line a deep 6-7”( 15-18 cm) round cake tin with baking/parchment paper,  on the bottom and up the sides (lining the sides helps with cakes that are rich in fruit and require a longer baking time and reduces the chances of the sides cooking too quickly). Grease the paper in position with either butter, cooking/baking spray or try lining paste (see notes below).
    Extra close photo of inside cooking potof dried fruit, sugar and butter - photo 1.

PREPARE THE BATTER

  • Place butter, sugar, the dried fruit and water in a pan and simmer on a low-medium heat, for 20 minutes (See Photo 1). You do not want it boiling, so as the fruit absorbs the water and makes for nice soft plump fruit. Stir occasionally so that the mixture doesn’t burn or stick to the bottom of the pan. (See Photo 2 and 3 below)
    Collage of melting the sugar and butter and mixing in dried fruit - photos 2 & 3.
  • Remove pan from heat and pour into a mixing bowl. (See Photo 4 below).   Allow the mixture to cool down. I left mine for about 40 minutes.
  •  Pre-heat your oven 170°c/150°c Fan Oven/325°f/Gas Mark 3
    Collage of the fruit/sugar mixture & whisking the eggs & flour - photos 4 & 5.
  •  Now add the beaten egg and stir in the sieved flour and the mixed spice/pumpkin spice if you are using it. (See Photo 5 above)
  • Make sure you mix the mixture well. (See Photo 6 below)
    Collage of mixing the ingredients together & then into the lined tin - photos 6 & 7.
  • Turn the mixture into your lined cake tin and spread evenly. At this stage you can sprinkle demerara sugar or sugar crystals over the top of the cake. (See Photo 7 above)

BAKE THE CAKE

  • Bake in the oven for approximately 1¼ hours. Check with a cocktail stick that the cake is cooked, it should come out clean of crumbs.
    Collage of the golden brown baked cake & out of the tin - photos 8 & 9.
  • Remove from oven and leave in the tin to cool down for 15 mins. (See Photo 8 above)
  • Turn out to cool on a wire rack and remove the baking/parchment paper carefully. (See Photo 9 above).
    Overhead shot fo boiled fruit cake uncut, with chona tea cups, cream & sugar.
  • Leave to cool before cutting & serving. The cake is quite fragile on the same day it is baked, so for better cut slices we recommend to cut & serve the following day (if you can wait!). Photo below of Caro's cake using light brown sugar.
    Close shot of a slice of golden fruit cake on it's side and served on white plate with fork.

Notes

***New Last Minute Christmas Cake recipe online very soon.  With or without alcohol, & with or without covering & decorations.  Can be made in the week leading up to Christmas day, or even day before.
Storing
This cake will last for about 10 days in an airtight container/tin.  But in my house it lasts about 3 and that’s if I’m lucky! It’s ideal to have made so if anyone pops in you can offer them a nice piece of fruit cake which is so easy to make.
TOP TIPS
There are variations you can make with this recipe. You can add cherries but make sure you deduct the weight of them from the dried fruit weight, so the total weight is still the same.
Photo on a single slice of golden fruit cake served, with rest of cake to the back on a cake stand.
The cherries, such as Glaze or maraschino cherries, don’t need to be boiled or rehydrated.  So just fold into the batter at the end, in 2 batches.  Also make sure you coat them in flour so they don’t sink to the bottom.
You could even put flaked almonds on top which will give you a lighter type of a Dundee cake
Best cut and served day after baking.
Learn how to make your own baking/cooking lining paste for greasing.
Check out Caro’s handy baking ingredient measurement conversion table.
Check out some more easy cakes on Caro’s Cake Recipe Page, with all different kinds.
Take a look at our Traditonal British Christmas Cake
Close front on shot of a deep golden round fruit cake with one to the back and small ones off to the side.
***Nutritional Info as per Whisk.com.  I am not a nutritionist, so these are approximate amounts.  Based on 8 slices, of about 115g per slice. 
 
 
 
 
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Nutrition

Serving: 115grams | Calories: 410kcal | Carbohydrates: 166.7g | Protein: 4.56g | Fat: 13.06g | Saturated Fat: 7.79g | Sodium: 128.9mg | Potassium: 43.7mg | Fiber: 2.32g | Sugar: 142.7g | Vitamin A: 10.13IU | Vitamin C: 3.27mg | Iron: 1.92mg

Close shot of a slice of boiled fruit cake, showing texture, with cake fork and on a china plate.

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DOWNLOAD the complete recipe post and save to your phone or computer by clicking ‘download’ below:


DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Super simple, beginner

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Check out some more easy cakes on Caro’s Cake Recipe Page, with all different kinds.

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***New Last Minute Christmas Cake recipe online very soon.  With or without alcohol, & with or without covering & decorations.  Can be made in the week leading up to Christmas day, or even day before.

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3 thoughts on “SIMPLE FRUIT CAKE – No Hassle Boiled Fruit Cake For Afternoon Tea

  1. Hi
    Hi
    I am doing abit of reading on boiled fruit cake. I would like to check if the water contents in the boiled mixture will affect the cake moisture. Is it preferred to have more liquid or less liquid after boiling? The recipe uses 150 ml of water and how do we gauge after the fruits are boiled and soaked overnight?

    I saw many recipes in the internet but hesitate to try it as some of the boiled mixture are very runny and contains lots of water even after soaking the cooked fruits for a few hours.

    Look forward to your advice.

    Many thanks.

    1. Thanks so much for trying the recipe and giving feedback. Is also a great alcohol-free and last-minute alternative to a Traditional British Christmas cake.

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