Blogmas Day12: Mama’s Boiled Fruit Cake

day12IMG_7713IMG_7722Welcome back to another day of Blogmas here on; today is day 12 which means we are half way to Christmas Eve! That’s right, 12 days to the night before Chirstmas. I wanted to do something special for Blogmas this weekend to mark the halfway point and so today I am sharing a very special recipe. This recipe is the essence of Christmas to me, and the smell that filled my flat as it baked took me back to Christmas at home watching my mother in the kitchen as she baked dozens of these cakes to share with friends and family. As lifted it out of the oven and peeled back the baking parchment I thought of how my dad loves a slice of this on Christmas morning with a thick layer of butter on top.

Christmas is all about family and sharing love and this cake represents both of those things for me; baking my first one to gift to other people gave me a great sense of family pride as a tradition was passed down for the first time, as well as that it made me feel like I was at home with my family getting ready for Christmas day.  IMG_7733IMG_7715This cake is surprisingly simple to make and is great to have in the house for the holiday season either to enjoy yourself or to slice up and gift to friends, family and neighbours. It’s rich and delicious, perfect sliced and butter with tea or for a treat at dessert time heat it up with some custard. IMG_7712IMG_7708You will need:

  • 300g Margarine
  • 300g dark brown sugar
  • 150 ml water
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 600g Sultanas
  • 3 eggs
  • 450g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bread soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp gravy browning (optional)
  • Brandy/whiskey (optional)
  • 20cm square/23cm round cake tin
  • parchment paper


  1. Put the margarine, sugar, lemon juice and water in a pot and gently heat until the butter is melted and the sugar dissolves. Add in the sultanas and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Leave to cool while preparing the rest.
  2. Sieve the flour, salt, bread soda and spices into a large bowl; make a well in the middle and add the beaten eggs and the cooled fruit mixture and, if you wish, add a tsp of gravy browning. Mix well, ensuring that all the flour has been turned into the mixture.
  3. Pour the cake mix into a greased and lined cake tin. Place another piece of parchment paper, cut to size, on top of the mix to stop the top of the cake over baking.
  4. Bake in a preheated oven, at 160’C/325’F/Gas Mark 3 for 1 3/4 hours (105 mins). Once baked remove from the oven and remove the parchment paper from the top; of you wish, add a few tbsp of whiskey or brandy to the top. Leave to cool completely in the tin.
  5. Once the cake is cooled, remove from the tin, wrap in foil and allow it to sit for at least a week before cutting.