This light fruit cake is another one of my true and tried cake recipes that I have baked countless number of times now.
The cake has the right amount of raisins, sultanas, candied mixed peel, cherries, and candied ginger. The good thing about this recipe is that you can actually adjust the amount of dried fruits that go into the cake. If you think you would prefer lesser fruits, or prefer more of one type of dried fruit to another, simply reduce or substitute each accordingly. But do take note that when you cut the quantity of fruits for a lighter version of this fruit cake, your cake will tend to be smaller, and you would, therefore, need to adjust the size of cake tin you use.
I usually bake this cake for wedding door gifts – cut into pieces, wrapped in cling wrap, and packed in cute, fancy boxes.
There is no alcohol mentioned in the recipe below. I do, however, on certain occasions or upon request, sprinkle some on the cake after baking.
The cake takes at least 1 week to mature and is at its best if stored for 2 weeks.
How to Make Fruit Cake
These are the ingredients that go into my light fruit cake:
- Plain flour + baking powder + mixed spices + salt
- Brown sugar
- Butter (at room temperature)
- Eggs (at room temperature)
- Ground almond
- Glace cherries
- Mixed peel
- Candied ginger
- Molasses (optional)
- Lemon juice
- Vanilla essence
- Orange juice
Making the fruit cake
This cake is made using the creaming method, which means the cake batter is mixed by first creaming the butter and sugar before all the other ingredients are added in one by one.
Here’s how it should be done:
- Prepare the cake tin. Since this is a tall cake, you need to make sure the tin is double lined with parchment and wrapped with cake strips.
- Prepare the dried fruits (raisins, sultanas, cherries, mixed peel and candied ginger. Chop them if you like and mix them into a large bowl.
- Add the ground almonds to the fruits and mix well. Set aside while you make the cake batter.
- For the batter, start by creaming the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time followed by molasses, lemon juice and vanilla.
- Fold in the flour alternately with orange juice.
- Finally, add the dried fruits mix into the cake batter.
- Fold until they are well incorporated.
- Pour batter into prepared cake tin and bake for 2 hours and 10 minutes. If the top is browning too much, cover with a layer of foil.
- Remove cake from the oven, let it cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
How to store fruit cakes
- This fruit cake is best left to rest for at least one week after baking. To store the cake, wait until its completely cool. Wrap it with parchment paper, followed by foil.
- Leave the cake in a cool dry place for one to two weeks before cutting.
- The cut fruit cake pieces can last at room temperature for a good 2 weeks provided they are handled with care, without any moisture.
- The cake can last in the fridge (in an airtight container) for a good one month. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Light Fruit Cake Recipe – My Recipe Notes
- Line your cake tins well – this fruit cake takes approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes to bake to perfection. Given the long baking time, to avoid the sides of the cake from over baking and to dry out, you must wrap the sides of the cake tin with a double layer of brown paper or baking strips. This cake recipe has been calculated to produce cakes of approximately 3 inches high. If you are using a 3 inches tall cake pan, it is advisable that the parchment paper lining the insides of your cake tin be left at an extra height of one or 2 inches than the cake tin. This will prevent the cake from overflowing from the sides, should that ever happen (the cake has never even overflown for me – after having baked this cake for so many times, but its always better to take precautions.)
- Use good quality ingredients – This fruit cake does not contain any alcohol, and the substitute for it is the orange juice and lemon juice. Use only fresh juice squeezed from the fruits and not bottled juices. This recipe also calls for the use of molasses. This is an optional ingredient, but if you do use it, it adds depth to the cake, which positively enhances the taste of the cake. There is minimal baking powder in the cake, and that is intentional. Fruit cakes don’t quite require many raising agents, as they are meant to be dense. I use salted butter in this light fruit cake recipe, and so the amount of salt I add separately to the cake batter is rather little. You can use unsalted butter, and if you do, increase the amount of salt you add separately in the recipe to compensate.
- Reduce baking temperature – the baking heat for this cake is slightly reduced at 160 degrees Celsius compared to other cakes, which is generally at 170 degrees Celsius. This is to adjust to the height of the cake, which is pretty tall at 3 inches. At this height, the cake requires a lot longer baking time compared to a shorter layer of cake, and therefore, to prevent the sides of the cake from drying out due to over baking, the baking temperature needs to be reduced so that the cake sides don’t bake too soon. Also, place the cake in the lowest rack in your oven. That way, you can prevent the top of the cake from browning too much.
- Maintain the total quantity of dried fruits – the dried fruits used in this light fruit cake recipe consist of sultanas, raisins, glace cherries, mixed peel, and candied ginger. While the recipe calls for a specific quantity for each of these fruits, they are entirely customizable. You can increase or reduce the amount of one type of fruit and replace it with another provided the total quantity of fruits used in the recipe remains the same. You can even use fruit mix sold in packages provided the weight equals the total of all the dried fruits mentioned in the recipe. Should you prefer an even lighter version of this light fruit cake recipe, you can reduce the quantity of fruits used in the recipe, but keep in mind that decreasing fruits could result in a smaller cake and you would need to adjust the total baking time as the cake batter will be reduced.
- Store the cake for at least one week before cutting – Since this cake is filled with fruits, it requires time to mature so that when you cut it, the fruits don’t crumble. Ideally, it should be stored for at least two weeks before cutting, but I have tried cutting it at one week, and it was ok too, so if you need to serve this cake sooner than planned, its best you let it rest for at least one week. To store the cake, wrap it in parchment paper (you can use the same ones used to line the cake tin), followed by cling wrap and finally with foil. Keep the cake in a cool, dry place.
Light Fruit Cake Recipe
Here is the printable version of my light fruit cake recipe and while you are at it, don’t miss my recipe notes above. They contain absolutely useful tips for the best light fruit cake ever!
Light Fruit Cake
- 250 g plain flour
- 240 g brown sugar
- 275 g butter
- 4 eggs
- 85 g raisins
- 85 g sultanas
- 40 g ground almond
- 60 g glace cherries
- 60 g mixed peel
- 30 g candied ginger
- 1 ⅓ tbsp molasses (optional)
- ½ tsp mixed spices
- ⅛ tsp baking powder
- ⅓ tsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp vanilla essence
- ½ tbsp orange juice
- ⅛ tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Grease and line cake tin with parchment paper and wrap the tin with 2 layers of brown paper or baking strips.
- Chop the fruits if you like them chopped and mix with ground almond. Leave aside.
- In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in all essences, lemon juice, and molasses and mix well.
- Gently fold in the sifted dry ingredients alternately with orange juice. Mix until flour is well incorporated in the batter.
- Add the mixed fruits into the batter and mix well.
- Pour batter into a greased and lined cake tin and bake for about 2 hours and 10 minutes on the lowest rack.
- Remove cake from the oven and let it rest in the tin for 10 minutes. Remove cake from tin and let it cool completely.
- Once completely cooled, wrap it neatly in parchment paper, followed by cling wrap and foil and store in an cool, dry place for 1 week before icing or cutting the cake.
Calculated Tin Sizes9 inches round/ 8 inches square (makes 1 layer of approx. 3 inches high cake)
- 410 g plain flour
- 400 g brown sugar
- 460 g butter (at room temperature)
- 6 eggs (at room temperature)
- 140 g raisins
- 140 g sultanas
- 65 g ground almond
- 100 g glace cherries
- 100 g mixed peel
- 50 g candied ginger
- 2 tbsp molasses (optional)
- 1 tsp mixed spices
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- ¼ tsp salt
- 630 g plain flour
- 615 g brown sugar
- 705 g butter (at room temperature)
- 9 eggs (at room temperature)
- 200 g raisins
- 200 g sultanas
- 100 g ground almond
- 150 g glace cherries
- 150 g mixed peel
- 75 g candied ginger
- 3 tbsp molasses (optional)
- 1 ½ tsp mixed spices
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp lemon juice
- 1 ¾ tsp vanilla essence
- 1 ¾ tbsp orange juice
- ½ tsp salt
And that is pretty much all I have for you on my light fruit cake recipe.
I hope you would give this cake a try, and if you do, let me know what you think here, ok?
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