English Fruit Cake (spice cake)

This is a tradational English Fruit Cake (sometimes known as spice cake). It is usually used as the base for celebration cakes and is covered in marzipan and either Royal Icing or fondant

English Fruit Cake (spice cake)


  • 12 oz plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 9oz butter
  • 9oz soft brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons black treacle
  • 6 eggs
  • 2lb mixed dried fruit (currants, sultanas, rasins)
  • 6oz chopped mix peel
  • 4oz chopped nuts
  • 4oz chopped glace cherries
  • 1/4 bottle of alcohol (either brandy, whiskey or sherry) plus extra for ‘feeding’(i usually use brandy)


  1. Make at least 6-8 weeks before icing. Longer if you can
  2. Grease and double line a 7 inch square or an 8 inch round tin and preheat oven to 275F/ 140C
  3. soak the dried fruit, cherries and mixed peel in the alcohol overnight. Sift the flour with the spices. In a seperate bowl cream the butter, sugar and treacle together, beat in whole eggs 1 at a time adding a tablespoon of the sifted ingrediets with each. Stir in mixed fruit mix and nuts. fold in remaining dry ingredients. transfer to prepared tin and smooth top with a knife. bake in centre of oven for 4 – 4 1/2 hours until a skewer inserted in middle of cake comes out clean. Leave in tin for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire cooling rack. When cold wrap in greasproof paper and aluminium foil and store somewher dark. Once a week unwrap cake and feed it by drizzling a couple of tablespoons of alcohol over it then wrap up again. When required cover with marzipan and royal icing or fondant. As mentioned in an earlier post you can actually decorate several weeks ahead which gives you plenty of time if you want to do a really intricate design.
  4. This cake does get better with keeping. It really needs at least 6 weeks to allow the flavours to mature and develop but the longer the better.

Comments (2)


When decorating the cake with Marzipan and RI do I need to store it in the fridge? I would like to start decorating the wedding cake I am doing 1-2 weeks before the big day. Any hints on Marzipan appreciated Meluba


I used this recipe a couple weeks ago for a tasting.  It was only able to mature a week, but I wanted to make sure I had the type of fruit cake they were looking for.

I was not able to attend the tasting due to the bride's last minute plans for the week, so my husband was able to take it to them, since he is friends with the bride's friend's husband. lol 

My husband said that they said it was exactly what they were looking for.  He commented that it fell apart as you tried to eat it, but was still moist. It did not fall apart as it was being cut.

Where did I go wrong? Is it because it was not mature, or something else I did? I am not a fruitcake connoisseur, so I would appreciate any tips!

 Or is there another, similar recipe that I should be using instead?