Sunday Baking – Laura’s Family Fruit Cake Recipe

After the stressful week we’ve had, we felt seriously in need of some comfort baking. And actually, there’s only one recipe I reach for when I’m having one of *those* days weeks. It’s an old classic – a family fruit cake – which I’ve tweaked a bit over the years. Dead simple to throw together, no fancy schmancy ingredients I don’t already have in the cupboard (totally essential for Lazy Sunday Baking), and it’s unfailingly delicious. It’s also a great basis for all sorts of other favourites too – the alternatives are underneath, so don’t miss them.

So if, like us, you’ve had a bit of a stressful one this week, fret no longer. Throw the ingredients in a bowl, mix em up, and let the magic sprinkle through your house as it cooks (does anything actually beat the smell of a fruit cake baking?). And honestly – one slice of this, still warm, with a scalding hot mug of tea, and the world will just seem that bit brighter. I promise.

Laura’s Family Fruit Cake With A Twist of Lemon.

Serves 8 (but it’s go-o-o-od, so I usually double the ingredients  and bake a big one which can last more than one day for my family)

Takes 20 mins to prep, 1h 15 mins  to bake.

Oven – 180ºC / 170ºC Fan / 350ºF / GM 4

What You Need:

225g (8oz) SR flour
100g (4oz) butter
100g (4oz) caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling.
100g (4oz) raisins or sultanas
5ml (1tsp) grated lemon rind
(optional) 1tbs lemon curd
1 egg
75ml (5 tbs) milk

What you Do:

  1. Prep a 15cm (6inch) round cake tin or a 450g (1lb) loaf tin by greasing and lining.
  2. Sift flour into a bowl
  3. rub butter into flour until it looks like breadcrumbs.
  4. Add sugar, fruit & lemon rind,  and lemon curd if using (do if you have some, makes it sticky-moist and lush)
  5. Mix using a metal spoon with egg and milk, do not beat, until evenly combined.
  6. Transfer to your prepared tin (I always stop to poke any ‘top’ raisins down a little and cover with mix to avoid that burnt raisin thing on top).
  7. Sprinkle top with a little extra sugar if you like a crunchy topping.
  8. Bake for 1 1/4 hours, or until a skewer comes out clean (Fan ovens check it just after an hour).
  9. Leave in tin for 5 minutes, then turn out onto cooling rack.
  10. Stores in an airtight container for a few days. If, you know, it got the chance.

And here’s some idea for variations which have proved popular over the years:

Date & Walnut – add 5ml mixed spice to the flour. Omit lemon and fruit, and instead add 75g (3oz) chopped dates and 25g (1oz) chopped walnuts.

Cherry – add only 50g (2oz) raisins, and add 50g (2oz) chopped glace cherries.

Coconut & Lemon – Omit all fruit. Add 50g (2oz) desiccated coconut and increase lemon rind to 10ml (2tsp).

If you have any other variations, do share!

Author: Laura

A 70's child, I’ve been married for a Very Long Time, and appear to have made four children, and collected one large and useless dog along the way. I work, I have four children, I have a dog… ergo, I do not do dusting or ironing. I began LittleStuff back in (gulp) 2004. I like huge mugs of tea. And Coffee. And Cake. And a steaming cone of crispy fresh fluffy chips, smothered in salt and vinegar. #healthyeater When I grow up I am going to be quietly graceful, organised and wear lipstick every day. In the meantime I *may* have a slight butterfly-brain issue.

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  1. This sounds fab! I have bookmarked it to give it a try soon! yummy!

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  2. Made this cake today – added some mixed spice and apricots with the sultanas – lovely moist cake – don’t think it will hang around for long !!

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  3. Have just come across your recipes. Sould delicious –
    will bake as soon as possible. Only problem – my husband cuts his slices twice as thick as me so there’s no chance of any cake lasting
    long in this house!!!

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  4. I used one extra egg, and about double the fruit- and it worked brilliantly! Thanks for the easiest recipe online! :)

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