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Build your own NCOTAASD Fruitcake

A nice big slice of fruitcake and a mug of tea are a fantastic combination, and often form the important half time pick me up in NCOTAASD missions such as big walks, cycle rides or sorting out the garden. We elaborated upon an existing boiled fruit cake recipe to develop our own which ticks the following boxes
  • Quick and easy to make
  • Lots of fruit
  • High cherry in slice probability
  • Crunchy sugar on top
  • Tastes delicious
This recipe is so simple to make as it doesn't require you to cream together the butter and sugar. The orange juice is the magic ingredient which helps the cake develop a wonderful butter toffee sweetness. Don't skimp on the mixed spice either, a generous heaped teaspoonful. If you are not sure what spices are in mixed spice then a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, mace, cloves, ginger and coriander seed should about cover it.
Melt butter and sugar
Prepare the fruit
Mix it up
Ready for the oven
Heres one we made earlier


Salted Butter 175g
Soft Brown Sugar 175g
Mixed Fruit 740g
(Or use 225g Raisins 225g Sultanas 225g Currents and 50g mixed peel)
A large orange
Mixed spice 1 tsp
Self raising flour 350g
3 eggs
Glace cherries 16 of them
Demara sugar 1 tbsp

Essential Equipment

Large saucepan
Wooden spoon
Large mixing bowl
Zester or grater
Orange squeezer
8 inch/20cm cake tin, greased and lined with greaseproof paper
  • Put the butter in the pan and start to melt it over a low heat. Then add the brown sugar, stir it in and follow with all the dried fruit and the spice and the zest from the orange. Bring it to the boil stirring often.
  • After the fruit mixture has been boiling for a minute or so begin adding the juice from the orange a little at a time. Most of it will boil away but it will help the fruit to plump and help the rich fruit mixture combine. Don't add the juice all in one go as the mixture may be too wet and this will affect cooking times. After five minutes of boiling take the mixture off of the heat, it should be moist and glossy. Let the mixture cool down enough so that it won't cook the eggs you'll be adding it to. You can help cool the mixture by placing the pan in a bowl of cold water and stirring, or you could have a cup of tea and come back to it in a while.
  • When the fruit mixture has cooled measure the flour into a large bowl and lightly beat 3 eggs. Our eggs are assorted sizes so these are probably 3 good sized medium eggs. Add the eggs and the fruit to the flour and stir vigourously with the wooden spoon to fully combine.
  • Lastly stir in the cherries which should remain whole.
  • Scrape the mixture into the prepared cake tin, flatten it and sprinkle with a desert spoon of coarse demara sugar. Then bake for 1.5 to 2 hours at gas mark 2 / 150C /300F. Cooking times will vary depending on how wet the mixture was and your oven, so test with a skewer. When it comes out clean your cake is done.
  • Let it cool in the tin. Then when cool take it out and place it in a air tight tin or box for about a week before you dive in. This maturation time helps cakes texture greatly.

What happened next

Well we finished cake let it mature for a week then took half of it on holiday with us cycle camping around Suffolk. If you would like to see the cake cut in half and read about its adventures then read our Suffolk page.