Nigella Lawson’s Traditional Christmas Fruitcake

Fruit CakeTraditional Awesome Fruit Cake!

Alright! Traditional fruit cake! Many people have been requesting for this recipe! Nigella’s recipe is my favorite by far for that intense flavor and this recipe really packs a punch! So flavorful and if you give it some time to mature, showering it with a little love of whiskey everyday for a week at least, i’m sure you will love this cake! i have been faithfully baking this exact same recipe for a couple of years now and i’m always getting raving comments from family and friends who have tasted it. it’s really to die for! Fruit cake has always been a favorite of my dad and grandpa, and naturally i have to bake it all the time.

This works as a perfect gift as well! I made a couple of small ones (like the picture above) and packed them up for friends and it also acts as a door gift for my home Christmas party. Just stick on a couple of ornaments, dust with a little powdered sugar and you are good to go. You do not have to be fanciful like me, packaging them in boxes and all. it looks as good if you wrap them in aluminum foil and just tie a ribbon over it!


Recipe Adapted from Nigella Lawson

** You may use the table below as a guide to how big a cake you need and bake accordingly from there.



  1. Place all the dried fruit in a saucepan, and add the bourbon or brandy. Bring to the boil, then take it off the heat, covering once cooled, and let it steep overnight, covered. (i soaked my dried fruits in a glass container for 3 weeks as opposed to cooking it) And make sure you take your eggs and butter out of the fridge so that they will be at room temperature for the making of the cake tomorrow.
  2. The next day, preheat your oven to 150C, and prepare your tin, (see below).
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together, then beat in the grated lemon zest.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in the black treacle and almond extract.
  5. Sift the dry ingredients together, then mix the soaked fruit alternately with the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture, combining thoroughly. Fold in the chopped pecans.
  6. Put the cake mix into the prepared tin and bake in the oven, following the table opposite, or until a cake-tester or skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  7. When the cake is cooked, brush with a couple of extra tablespoons of bourbon or brandy or other liqueur of your choice. Wrap immediately in its tin – using a double-thickness of tin foil – as this will trap the heat and form steam, which in turn will keep the cake soft on top.
  8. When it’s completely cold, remove the cake from the tin and rewrap in foil, storing, preferably in an airtight container.

Preparing your tin

  1. To prepare your tin, line the sides and bottom of a deep, round, loose-bottomed cake tin with a double layer of greaseproof paper or baking parchment. The paper should come up a good 10cm higher than the sides of the tin; think of a lining that’s about twice as deep as the tin. Cut out 2 circles of paper, and 2 very long rectangles that will fit along the sides of the tin and rise up above it like a top hat. Before you put the 2 rectangular pieces in the tin, fold one long side of each piece in towards the centre by about 2cm, as if turning up a hem, then take some scissors and snip into this hem, at approx. 2cm intervals, as if making a rough frill.
  2. Grease the tin, lay one paper circle on the bottom and get one of your long pieces and fit it down one side, with the frilly edge along the bottom, then press down that edge so it sits flat on the circle and holds it in place. Press the paper well into the sides, and repeat with the second rectangular piece. Now place the second circle on top of the 2 pressed down frilly edges, to help hold the pieces around the edge in place.

Dried fruitsI soaked my dried fruits in a dry glass container for 3 weeks before baking as opposed to Nigella’s method of cooking the fruits with bourbon. That’s 5kgs worth of dried fruits that i soaked in whiskey, rum and orange cointreau.

Soaked fruitsDrain the fruits about 1 hour baking baking. You do not want too much excess liquid in the cake batter.

FruitcakeCheck out how much fruits and nuts are in there! i also added a handful of cherries here and there for a little surprise. **Tell your guest they must be extremely lucky to have a cherry in their slice of cake. πŸ˜€

That’s all for now people! i need to head back to the kitchen for more baking. Next up, the big xmas party at my place! i have yet to come up with the menu for the night. Time to put on the thinking cap.

Happy Baking people!



16 thoughts on “Nigella Lawson’s Traditional Christmas Fruitcake

  1. Hi, where do you get the box to hold the cake?? Nice….
    Will try out this recipe of yours this year. πŸ™‚

  2. Hi Charlynn, I’m new to your blog and you are most inspiring I must say!

    I do have a question regarding the fruitcake, as I was baking mine, about 3/4 of the time passed and I could smell the fragrance of the cake. Instincts rod me I should take a look. So I checked with a skewer, some places came out clean, but some places had quite a lot of fine crumbs stuck to the skewer. I put the cake back in, but lowered the temperature to 140C. After 30 minutes, I checked again and the results were still about the same, ie some parts skewer came out clean and the others not. Fearful of drying out the cake, I took it out, and poured brandy over it, then wrapped up tight like u instructed.

    Now I’m worried, is the cake cooked? 😦 Did I dry it out? Problem is I won’t know till Christmas! :-(( hope u can help clarify what went wrong.

    Many thanks and do keep up your good work!

  3. Hi, your cake looks really good so Im going to attempt making this fruit cake but I have a questions about the ingredients. In the picture I can see orange & yellow pieces, did you add dried orange & lemon? Or is it something else? Im not that good at baking from scratch so am worried it wont turn out. Im making this for the top cake for a wedding so will it keep for the one year anniversary?

    Thank you

  4. hi!
    Just like to ask do i have to store the cake in the fridge or is it alright to put it on the countertop? As im worried that since it wrapped immediately after its out from the oven & the moisture within the cake would attract mold?


  5. Hi, my cake has been in the oven now for 2-hrs., says to cook for 2and3/4 hours, however,
    the skewer is clean, I have turned oven down to 140, should I keep it on for balance of
    suggested time?

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