This weekend I made another tier to my brother’s wedding cake. This is a traditional fruit cake however, unlike most traditional wedding cakes the other tiers are different flavours. Although many people aren’t fans of fruit cake this light version is one which is easily enjoyable. It has pops of colours from the pistachios, glace cherries as well as packing lots of flavour from orange and lemon zest as well as stem ginger. This cake can be used for many other occasions such as a Christmas fruit cake or just to be enjoyed for an afternoon tea.
As explained, this fruit cake is a lot lighter than the traditional version. If I’m honest I can’t pinpoint what is specifically ‘lighter’ about it however from the personal perception it is not as dense as other fruit cakes. It also looks a lot lighter in colour too. The calorie count is also only at 150, so it isn’t too bad at all. It carries a lot of zest flavour with plenty of orange and lemon zest and juice. The ginger amongst the mix is very subtle too so isn’t too overpowering for those who aren’t usually too keen.
Another benefit to fruit cake is how long it lasts! I have heard it can keep for years and years however, I wouldn’t recommend this! This one can be kept for a month without having to freeze it. I have wrapped mine in greaseproof paper, tin foil and placed it in a cake tin. As this fruit cake isn’t as dense as others it won’t keep for as long as traditional Christmas cakes some of your family members might do. It also isn’t getting fed alcohol, which again aids Christmas cakes in their keeping. I plan on keeping this for about 3 weeks and finishing it off with a little buttercream and fondant icing.
The cake is a slow cooker on a reasonably low heat despite it being small in size, so ensure you have a bit of time in the house to keep an eye on it as you’ll need to add a tin foil top when it starts to brown to prevent it from burning too much on the top.
The recipe is inspired by Jane Hornby.
Cake tin size required: 15cm
- 140g Butter or Margarine
- 140g Golden Caster Sugar
- 2 Large Eggs
- 175g Plain Flour
- 1 Tablespoon of Orange Extract
- Zest and Juice of 1 Orange
- Zest and Juice of 1 Lemon
- 100g Glace Cherries
- 100g Mixed Peel
- 50g Pistachios
- 50g Stem Ginger
- 100g Sultanas
To Finish (optional)- Ready roll marzipan and fondant icing- you can buy these in supermarkets for a cake this size!
- Preheat the oven 160 degrees then grease and line the cake tin. Also, wrap the outside of the tin with 2 layers of greaseproof paper which you can secure with string.
- In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar using a handheld electric whisk until light and fluffy
- Beat in the eggs one at a time until well incorporated
- Fold in the flour using a wooden spoon.
- In a separate small bowl mix together the zest and juice of the citrus fruits with the orange extract. To prepare the other fruits cut the cherries into smaller chunks and toss in a little flour to prevent them from sinking to the bottom. Ensure the ginger is also chopped into small pieces.
- Add all the dried fruit and nuts into the large bowl of the cake batter and mix well.
- Stir in the orange and lemon flavourings.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 1 hour and 40 mins. Keep checking on it and roughly after an hour, it will start to brown on the top, when this happens, cover the top with some foil to prevent it from burning. The cake is done when a skewer inserted into it comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin for 15 mins then empty onto a wire rack.
- To keep for up to a month wrap in greaseproof paper then tin foil and store in a cake tin.
- Often a popular finish for a fruit cake is rolled out marzipan and fondant icing- however wait for when you plan to eat the cake to do this.