Irish fruit cake

This fruit cake is a traditional Irish favourite. Perfect for Christmas, it uses Irish whiskey to get an authentic Irish Christmas pudding flavour.

  • 4 hrs cooking
  • Serves 8
  • Print


  • 1 1/2 cup (250g) seeded dried dates, chopped coarsely
  • 1 1/2 cup (250g) raisins, chopped coarsely
  • 1 1/4 cup (200g) seeded prunes, chopped coarsely
  • 1 cup (150g) dried currants
  • 3/4 cup (125g) sultanas
  • 1 large_piece apple (200g), grated coarsely
  • 1 1/2 cup (375ml) Irish whiskey
  • 1 1/4 cup (275g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 185 gram (6 ounces) butter, softened
  • 3 eggs, beaten lightly
  • 1/2 cup (50g) ground hazelnuts
  • 1 1/2 cup (225g) plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon each ground ginger and ground cloves


  • 1
    Combine fruit and 1 cup of the whiskey in large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; stand overnight.
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 120°C/250°F. Grease deep 20cm (8-inch) round cake pan; line with two layers of baking paper, extending paper 5cm (2 inches) over edge of pan.
  • 3
    Stir remaining whiskey and ½ cup of the sugar in small saucepan over heat until sugar dissolves; bring to the boil. Cool syrup 20 minutes.
  • 4
    Meanwhile, beat butter and remaining sugar in small bowl with electric mixer until just combined (do not overbeat). Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add butter mixture to fruit mixture; stir in ground hazelnuts, sifted dry ingredients and ½ cup of the cooled syrup. Spread mixture into pan.
  • 5
    Bake cake 3½ hours. Brush cake with reheated remaining syrup, cover cake with foil; cool in pan.

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