… cake heavy with fruit and nuts and spice.  I make this cake every year for my Dad, who is diabetic, as it has no added sugar (or fats for that matter, though I suspect nuts are rather high in oils).  As such it is a relatively healthy choice for a festive munch if excess is becoming tiresome.  I clipped the recipe out of The Age newspaper more than ten years ago, and corrected what I guessed to be a few typos (a tablespoon of salt didn’t seem right …) 

I haven’t posted a photo as I’m yet to cut the ones just out of the oven, if I don’t give the other away as well, and it looks fairly ordinary in its uncut state.  It’s one of those cakes that you slice thinly so the mosaic of fruit and nuts look like a lead-light window!  So here’s a photo of a festive crocheted star instead:

Whole Fruit and Nut Cake

  • 300g of whole nuts (this time I used a mixture of almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts, pecans and macadamias)
  • 400g mixed dried fruit (I used sultanas, raisins, apricots and figs)
  • 200g glace cherries
  • 2 tbsp brandy (or sherry) (I tend to be a bit on the generous side as this doesn’t seem enough for the amount of fruit)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups SR flour
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg and salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  1. Put the fruit in a large bowl, add the brandy and mix through.  cover and leave to soak overnight.
  2. The next day preheat oven to 180 degs C. (moderate)
  3. Mix nuts and flour into the fruit, ensuring everything well coated with flour.
  4. In a separate jug or bowl, beat together eggs, vanilla, spice, salt and baking powder.  Add to fruit and nut mixture and mix well.
  5. Spoon mixture into a lined 26cm round cake tin.  Cover with buttered paper then foil.  (Like my Mum, I save the butter wrappers in the fridge for this purpose and lining tins)
  6. Bake for about an hour, though check sooner if using a fan-forced oven.
  7. Cool in tin, then remove and either wrap in baking paper and string for a gift, or slice finely and eat.
  8. Have a very wonderful Christmas full of smiles, hugs, candle-light, music and laughter.  And good food and beverages.  Love Pinry xxx

(edited 29 December to include a photo of the last small piece of cake!)