Sunday Recipe – The Best Family Fruit Cake

There are times when nothing will quite do but a bit of comfort baking (oh yes, we know for a fact half the nation is at it on a Sunday). And when I’m having one of *those* days weeks, there’s one recipe I head to first. It’s an old one from the classic Dairy Diary Book of Home Cookery – a recipe book which every kitchen should contain.  I remember my Mum regularly using the original 1968 version, I received a copy of the 1992 version as a wedding present, and this recipe is still in the latest 2011 edition.
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. 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.

Simple and delicious, the Family Fruit Cake

Serves 8 (but it’s go-o-o-od, so I often 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
(optional) 5ml (1tsp) grated lemon rind (if I have no lemons, I use 1tbs lemon curd instead which makes a wonderfully moist cake)
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. 3. Rub butter into flour until it looks like breadcrumbs (I hate this job, and usually use the hand mixer).

  4. 4. Add sugar, fruit & lemon rind, and lemon curd if using (do if you have some, makes it sticky-moist and lush)

  5. 5. Mix using a metal spoon with egg and milk, do not beat, until evenly combined.

  6. 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. 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.

    Cutting when hot will cause it to fall apart - restrain yourself until it is only slightly warm if at all possible.

  10. Stores in an airtight container for a few days. If, you know, it got the chance.

(Baked using the Silicone Oblong Cake Pan from Lakeland, which as you can see did a MARVELLOUS job!)


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. DAMN THIS DIET! I may be taking a day off and baking one of these, I’m already dreaming of a slice of it with a cuppa this evening.

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  2. Yummy, fruit cake is my favourite :) I have my grandmothers recipe which I always use & it tastes delicious with a mug of tea!

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    • It’s funny how we have our firm favourite recipes we always fall back on, isn’t it?

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