Slice of Old Fashioned Boiled Fruit Cake on a plate with a poppy pattern and a silver fork on the side.

Old Fashioned Boiled Fruit Cake

The old fashioned boiled fruit cake recipe I use for the tea rooms definitely satisfies a comfort food craving.

For this boiled fruit cake recipe the dried and glacé fruits are simmered with sherry, butter and sugar until they are plump and glistening, making a moist rich fruit cake. A slice of old fashioned boiled fruit cake with a cup of tea beside an open fire will cheer up the greyest of winter days.

Equipment you will need to make this Old Fashioned Boiled Fruit Cake

This cake is very easy to make and needs no special equipment. Apart from the usual things you will find in your kitchen make sure you have a 9 inch / 23 cm cake tin and some greaseproof or parchment paper.

Old Fashioned Boiled Fruit Cake

Course: SnackCuisine: BritishDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time






  • 750 grams / 1lb 12 ounces mixed dried fruit

  • 110 grams / 4 ounces dried apricots cut into small pieces

  • 110 grams / 4 ounces glacé cherries quartered

  • 5 fluid ounces / 140 ml sherry

  • 7 fluid ounces 200 ml water

  • 225 grams / 8 ounces butter

  • 165 grams / 6 ounces sugar

  • 110 grams / 4 ounces plain flour

  • 165 grams / 6 ounces self raising flour

  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice

  • 4 large eggs


  • Put the dried fruit, apricots and glacé cherries, butter, sugar, sherry and water in a saucepan.
  • Bring the mixture to the boil over a medium heat stirring until the butter and sugar melt.
  • Simmer the mixture for 15 minutes.
  • Pour the mixture into a mixing bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
  • When the mixture is cooled stir in the eggs one by one.
  • Sieve the flours, spice and bicarbonate of soda and fold in using a metal spoon.
  • Grease and line a 9 inch / 23 cm cake tin with greaseproof/parchment paper.
  • Spoon the cake mixture into the tin and spread evenly.
  • Bake in a moderate oven 180° C / 160° C fan / Gas Mark 4 for approximately 1 ½ hours.
  • Leave the cake in the tin until cold.
  • Ideally you should keep the cake for at least a week before cutting it, but you can eat it straightaway if you can’t wait.
  • Store in an airtight tin and it will keep for several weeks and it will taste even better as it matures.

How to Make An Old Fashioned Boiled Fruit cake

Seville Oranges

Another thing that cheers me up in the month of February is the arrival of the Seville oranges in the shops.

These thick skinned sour oranges are only available at this time of year so this is the time to make marmalade. I try and make enough to last the family until next year.

See my fool proof recipe for marmalade using Seville oranges of course.

Until then ‘Happy Baking!’


  1. Is it okay if I want to replace the sherry with brandy?

    • Hi,
      Yes that is fine. If you want to leave alcohol out completely you can use orange juice.
      Hope it goes well and thank you for getting in touch.
      Tanya and Graeme

      • Thanks
        The water I was thinking to replace with orange juice can?

        • Yes you can! I have in the past even used tea (without milk) for the liquid. It is well worth experimenting with different liquids. As long as you use the right volume of liquid it should be fine, it is just your preference. You could also of course replace the alcohol with an alcohol free liquid if you prefer that!
          Thank you for getting in touch.

  2. I have just made 3 of these for Xmas they are WONDERFUL!

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