RECIPE

Whole fruit and nut cake

Serves: 4
Cooks In: 1-1½ hours

Whole fruit and nut cake

This fruit and nut cake is brilliant at Christmas time, or any time of year!

Fruit and nut cake is a simple way to share the special taste of the festive season. It’s great as a gift too, wrap it in waxed baking paper and tie with nice string. You can also cut it into thick slabs and give as a gift like that. It’s so handy to have in the pantry over the festive season for when guests stop by.

I haven’t iced this cake, but you could add an almond icing if you like it that way.

Serve this cake with a cup of tea for a delicious and Christmassy afternoon tea.

Ingredients

Print Recipe

  • walnut halves 1/2 cup
  • pistachio kernels 1/4 cup
  • whole raw almonds 3/4 cup
  • brazil nuts 1/2 cup
  • mixed dried yellow or orange fruit – eg dried pineapple, mango, papaya, apricots 150 grams
  • mixed dried dark red fruit – eg dried cherries or cranberries 75 grams
  • crystallised ginger 75 grams
  • green glacé cherries 75 grams
  • whisky 1/4 cup
  • dried dates, chopped 1 cup
  • sun-dried figs, chopped 1 cup
  • water 1/4 cup
  • butter, softened 50 grams
  • firmly packed soft brown sugar 1/2 cup
  • egg 1
  • ground almonds 1/4 cup
  • plain flour 1/2 cup
  • baking powder 1/2 teaspoon
  • ground cloves or mixed spice 1/4 teaspoon
  • ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon
  • orange, finely grated zest and juice 1/2,
  • vanilla extract 1 teaspoon

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 150⁰C fanbake. Grease a large loaf tin (about 22cm x 12cm x 7cm).
  2. In a large bowl, soak nuts, dried fruit, ginger and glacé cherries in the whisky.
  3. Place dates, figs and water in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil while stirring to break up the fruit. Keep stirring until you have a paste. Stir paste into the bowl containing the soaked fruit and nuts.
  4. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Whisk in the egg and mix until light and smooth. Stir in the ground almonds.
  5. Sift flour, baking powder, spices and a large pinch of salt together and fold into the cake mixture with the orange zest and juice and the vanilla extract. Fold in the bowl of nut and fruit mix.
  6. Sprinkle a little flour around the greased loaf tin, then shake out the excess. Spoon the cake mixture into the tin and smooth out so it is evenly filled. Bake for 1-1½ hours. The cake may cook quickly, depending on your oven, so check cake after 1 hour. When the top of the cake is slightly split, it is ready.
  7. Remove from oven and leave cake in the tin for at least 30 minutes, then loosen the sides with a round-ended knife and turn out onto a rack.

TIPS:

  • You can find dried cherries in the bulk food aisle of the supermarket or local food store.
  • Use a serrated knife to slice cake into four thick slices. Wrap in waxed paper and package for gifts.

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