Fruit cake (boiled fruit cake)

The only cakes I remember my mum making when I was little was a boiled fruit cake and a chocolate ripple cake. I’ve always loved fruit cakes and I’ve been making this boiled fruit cake for as long as I’ve been cooking, it is easy to make and only uses one saucepan. It’s always seemed a bit “healthy” with the use of lots of fruit (however a dietician will not agree) and it will easily last a week if you store it well. Mum liked to spread a layer of butter on the slice of cake (she put a thick layer of butter on everything) and sometimes I do this too. Why don’t you try it both ways and decide which you like best? This cake is perfect for the lunch box and very popular with the older generation.

Old fashioned boiled fruit cake
Recipe type: cakes
Cuisine: Australian
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
This cake is moist and full of luscious fruit and nuts
  • 500 mg mixed fruit (or replace some with dates, glace ginger or cranberries)
  • 125 mg butter
  • 1 cup of dark brown or raw sugar (dark makes a darker cake)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1.5 cups of water
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbs golden syrup or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1 tbs boiling water
  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • 1 cup of self raising flour (I like to make one wholemeal)
  • ½ tsp mixed spice (spices are optional, I like ginger and cinnamon)
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • ⅓ chopped walnuts (can put some on top too)
  1. Put mixed fruit, butter, sugar, golden syrup and water in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until the butter melts
  2. Bring to the boil and boil uncovered for 2 min
  3. Add the boiled water and bicarb of soda mixed together to the mixture (it will fizz up quite a bit)
  4. Remove from the heat and allow to cool
  5. Add lightly beaten eggs and mix well
  6. Add the dry ingredients and chopped walnuts
  7. Place into a prepared 20 cm round or square tin lined with baking paper
  8. Decorate with almonds if desired
  9. Bake at 160* C for 1¼ to 1½ hours or until cooked when tested with a skewer
  10. Cool in tin (covered with tin foil)