Monday, 11 June 2012

Mary Berry's Quick Boiled Fruit Cake

Mum and I are venturing north tomorrow to pick up eight years’ worth of junk from my sister’s house in York. She’s decided to move back down to London but seeing as I, the youngest sibling by a good six years, am the only one of us that can legally drive; I’ve got to mission it up there to help her move. This means leaving the men to fend for themselves which they get very grumbly about and usually ends in a stack of Dominoes boxes. I thought I’d make a cake to leave for them because I’m far too nice for my own good (definitely not because I just wanted to try a new recipe out).

I figured since I wouldn’t actually be eating it I’d make something I didn’t like that much: fruit cake. I don’t get fruit cake. Christmas is a pudding nightmare for me. Cake is supposed to be fluffy and buttery and taste nice. Fruit cake is just…bleurgh. I’ve been assured however by my mother that this fruit cake is delicious for you mad people who actually like it, because of the condensed milk.

Also just a quick note, as you can tell from my title, this is another recipe from my much beloved copy of Mary Berry’s Baking Bible.
397g can of condensed milk
150g butter
225g raisins
225g sultanas
175g currants
175g roughly chopped glacier cherries (although I used half cherries half cranberries because I ran out)
225g self-raising flour
2 tsps ground mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
Preheat the oven to 150C/ Fan 130C/ gas mark 2. Grease an 18cm round cake tin and line with baking parchment. Following advice from my mum I also wrapped the outside of the tin with brown paper so the outside of the cake wouldn’t burn.

Pour the condensed milk and butter into a large heavy-based pan and add all the fruit. Gently heat until the butter has melted, stirring all the time. Simmer the mixture gently for 5 minutes, stirring all the while until the fruit feels softened. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes, stirring every now and again.

In a large mixing bowl sift the flour and spices. Mix them together then make a well in the centre.
Add the eggs and the cooled fruit mixture. Combine everything together using a wooden spoon then turn into your prepared tin.

Bake in the oven for around 1 ¾ - 2 hours. The cake should be well risen and golden-brown. To make sure it’s cooked properly insert a skewer into the middle which should come out clean if the cake is baked completely. Once out the oven, leave the cake to cool for about 10 minutes in the tin before removing the parchment and cooling on a wire rack.

I tried a piece and although it wasn’t nearly as awful as I imagined, I simply ‘aint a fruit cake type of girl. I’ll just have to pop into Betty’s Tea Room while we’re in York and get a real cake…what a shame.


  1. can you feed this cake brandy? will it keep 2months or so till Christmas?

  2. Yes if you added some booze it would last until Christmas! Add about 4 tablespoons of brandy but change the quantity of condensed milk to be 4 tablespoons less than you would usually add so that it doesn't affect the consistency :)

  3. I am so making this for my Christmas Cake this year - sounds yummy and swapping out some of the condensed milk for dark rum and some porter. MMMnn.. will ofcourse feed it with maybe sherry whilst its waiting for the Festive Season. thanks for this.

  4. What quantities for a 10" cake and what would be the cooking time?

  5. 1/3 more of everything would be my estimation time wise try an extra 1/2 to 3/4 hr check with skewer to be sure