Classic Christmas Fruit Cake Recipe

by Madeleine Borgersen

It isn’t Christmas without stealing a slice of fruit cake for breakfast. If you’re not a nut fan or have allergies, here’s my nut-free variation on this classic treat!

Classic Christmas Fruit Cake Recipe

Do you love fruit cake? What’s your favourite Christmas dessert?

Classic Christmas Fruit Cake Recipe



Preparation Time:

15 (but marinate the fruit the day before) minutes

Cooking time:

3 hours minutes


  • 1kg Mixed Fruit
  • 300g Mixed Glacé Cherries
  • 300g Currants
  • 4 Eggs
  • 250g Butter + a few extra smears for greasing
  • 1 Cup (250mL) Chatelle Napoleon French Brandy + a little extra for drinking pouring over the finished cake
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup (300g) Plain Flour
  • 1/2 Cup (125g) Self Raising Flour
  • 150g Apricot Marmalade
  • 2 tsp Mixed Spice
  1. Start your cake the night before or even day before. Pour all your fruit (mixed fruit, cherries and currants) into a large bowl. Add the Chatelle Napoleon French Brandy and mix covering all the fruit in the liquid. Cover the bowl with glad wrap and sit for 8 - 12, even 24 hours stirring every 4-6 hours to let the fruit soak up that brandy goodness.
  2. When you're ready to bake your cake, preheat the oven to 150°C and grease up a 22cm pan (circular or square is fine, whichever you have or like the look of!). Cover the pan in two layers of grease proof baking paper leaving an extra 8cm above the pan this will protect it from burning the top too heavily whilst in the oven.
  3. To protect the cake further, wrap two layers of newspaper around the outside of the tin and fasten with kitchen string. The newspaper should come up 2cm higher than the baking paper.
  4. Now that your pan is all ready, use an electric beater to beat the room temperature butter and sugar. Add your eggs, one at a time ensuring each is fully combined before adding the next. Next add in your marmalade and again beat until combined.
  5. Add your dry ingredients, sieved flours and mixed spice and fold through gently.
  6. Add in your fruit and brandy mixture and stir to combine.
  7. Spoon the cake mix carefully into your prepared tin and tap the tin on the bench a few times to settle the mix and fill any gaps.
  8. Pop the cake into the oven and bake for 3 or so hours. You can use a square of foil to cover the top if you worry it's getting too brown. You'll know the cake is ready when a skewer comes out clean when pierced through the middle.
  9. Just after the cake is out of the oven, pour a little extra brandy (I'll let you decide your interpretation of a little) over the top of the cake. This will soak through adding moisture and more flavour and help the fruit mature just like a great bottle of wine.

5 responses to “Classic Christmas Fruit Cake Recipe”

  1. This sounds delicious! Will have to give it a go over Christmas!

  2. Rosemarie and Joseph says:

    This sounds like a wonderful recipe! I don’t bake as I am not very good at it, but I am definitely going to send this to my mom! She loves fruit cakes!

  3. Nina @ What's for eats? says:

    I love your tips for stopping the cake from burning on the top! I might give another fruit cake a go for this Christmas if my broken oven gets fixed in time.

  4. I’ve never actually made a fruit cake for Christmas before, so this is actually making me think about doing it for the first year ever.