Not only is this cake easy to make but the decoration is simple too. Fresh flowers add a wonderful touch of spring to this cake and even those can be eaten as well! This is a classic fruit cake that can be decorated to suit any occasion.
Preparation time: 45 mins plus cooling
Baking time: 3-31/2 hours
Ingredients | Serves 12-14
For the cake:
- 400g sultanas
- 100g currants
- 250g no soak/ready to eat apricots, chopped
- 150g no soak/ready to eat prunes, chopped
- 200g glacé cherries, cut into halves
- 50g crystallised ginger, chopped
- 200ml water
- 225g light soft brown sugar
- 250g butter
- 2 tbsp golden syrup
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Zest and juice of 2 oranges
- 75g blanched almonds, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
- 100ml white wine
- 5 eggs
- 325g plain flour, sifted
- 1 tsp baking powder
For the decoration:
- 3 tbsp apricot jam
- 200g marzipan
- 350g fondant icing sugar, sifted
- Fresh edible flower such as primroses or violas
- Up to 3 days before you want to bake the cake, place the dried fruits, cherries, crystallised ginger, water, sugar, butter, golden syrup and the zest and juice of the lemon and oranges into a large pan. Stir really well with a wooden spoon and bring to the boil. When the mixture comes to the boil, turn the heat down, cover with a lid and simmer for 10 mins. Remove from the heat, leave to cool for 30 mins then add the almonds, cinnamon, mixed spice, nutmeg and wine. Stir well, leave to cool completely then cover and store in a cool place, but not the fridge, until you are ready to make the cake.
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/150° fan/gas mark 3. Grease a 25cm round cake tin and line both the base and sides with two layers of baking paper. Place 4-6 layers of brown paper on a baking tin and place the prepared cake tin on top. Wrap two layers of brown paper around the outside of the tin ensuring the paper is 7-8cm higher than the top of the tin. Secure the paper in place with string.
- Add the eggs, flour and baking powder to the cold boiled mixture and stir well. Pour into the prepared tin, level the top then place a piece of brown paper over the top of the cake but do not press onto the surface of the mixture.
- Bake for 21/2 hours then remove the brown paper from the top. Continue to bake for another 30 mins-1 hour until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven then remove the brown paper. Place on a cooling rack and leave to cool in the tin until completely cold.
- For the decoration, warm the apricot jam in a saucepan until runny then brush over the top of the cake. Lightly dust your work surface with icing sugar, roll out the marzipan into a 25cm round and carefully place on top of the cake.
- Mix the fondant icing sugar in a bowl with around 31/2 tbsp warm water but do check the manufacturer’s instructions as water quantity can vary. Pour the icing onto the centre of the cake and allow to drip down the sides. Use a palette knife if necessary to spread the icing on the top of the cake and to gently push it over the edges. Decorate with edible spring flowers.