Best-ever Christmas fruit cake recipe

No Christmas would be complete without a deliciously plump fruit cake. Let that dried fruit soak up all the butter and sherry flavours. Yum!
Boiled fruit cake
2H 5M
2H 30M

Nothing says Christmas like a dense, plump fruit cake loaded with nuts, fruits, spices and cheeky splash of sherry. Drizzle with homemade custard to really take it to the next level.

A boiled fruit cake doens’t mean that the cake itself will be boiled, but the fruit mix is boiled with water and alcohol to release the flavour of the fruits and make them dense and plump.

Loading the player...




Line a deep 22cm round cake pan with three layers of baking paper, extending paper 5cm above side.


Combine fruit, butter, sugar, 3/4 cup of the sherry  and the water in a large saucepan; stir over medium heat until butter is melted and sugar dissolved. Bring to the boil, remove from heat; transfer to a large bowl; cool.


Preheat oven to 150°C (130°C fan-forced).


Stir rind (or orange essence) and eggs into the fruit mixture, then the sifted dry ingredients. Spread the mixture into the pan and top with nuts.


Bake cake for about 3 hours. Brush hot cake with remaining sherry; cover with foil; cool in pan overnight.

Test Kitchen tip

To store, remove the cake from the pan with the lining paper intact; wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap then foil. Store in a cool dry place for up to six months or in the fridge or freezer for up to a year. You can also ‘feed’ a fruit cake to prolong its shelf life or even infuse moisture into a dry fruit cake. Pierce cake all over with a skewer then warm brandy or rum (or chosen alcohol) in the microwave until hot and brush all over the cake. Wrap and store in the fridge.

Related stories