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Old Fashioned Boiled Fruit Cake

This is the best old fashioned Boiled Fruit Cake ever! It is moist and flavorsome! Not in the least bit dry.

The best part is that you won’t need an electric mixer because all the ingredients a mixer easily just with a wooden spoon just like my frittelle recipe.

cake covered with white fondant icing topped with red candles, white flowers and gold leaves wrapped with red ribbon.
An Old Fashioned Boiled Fruit Cake looks amazing decorated for Christmas!

Christmas in July? In Australia it is becoming quite fashionable to recreate Christmas in our winter to have what our cousins in the Northern hemisphere have. Chilly weather in which eating the usual Christmas fare such as turkeys, roasts and plum puddings is actually enjoyable.

Be sure to also try my delicious butterfly chicken recipe, spiedini or my homemade cavatelli pasta, my family can’t get enough of either! Some would say it is wrong to take such a sacred day of the holy calendar out of its true and righteous place. Certainly, Christmas in July takes all that is commercialized about Christmas and celebrates that. Is it right or wrong? I’m not sure but these celebrations are building in number each year and have a dedicated following.

This year I produced this old fashioned Boiled Fruit Cake for this particular occasion. I didn’t want the cake to be specifically Christmas only so no holly and no Christmas greeting. Gold tipped briar roses, clusters of little red flowers and gold leaves encircle the three red candles. With a bit of red and gold ribbon tucked in here and there I finished the cake and was happy with the result.

close up of large white flowers, gold leaves, gold and red ribbon and small red flowers.

Covered with white fondant icing the rich old fashioned Boiled Fruit Cake underneath epitomises the luscious foods of Christmas. I know many have ditched the fruit cake in favour of chocolate mud, lemon or a multitude of other cake flavours. For this type of rolled fondant icing a fruit cake is really best. There is almost a 2 pounds of icing on this 8 inch cake and most cakes do not hold this weight very well.

cake covered with white fondant icing topped with red candles, white flowers and gold leaves wrapped with red ribbon.

Over time I have come to know that the old fashioned Boiled Fruit Cake is not well received the the US and perhaps other parts of the world as well. It is often the brunt of jokes and scorned at. (Oh, the poor fruit cake!)A fruit cake made with quality fruit and good alcohol is delicious and appreciated in my family. Try my simple boiled fruit cake recipe and you will be surprised. But be sure to use good, dried, natural fruit not sweetened or adjusted in any way and good rum like a dark Jamaican rum. I like the Captain Morgan brand.

cake covered with white fondant icing topped with red candles, white flowers and gold leaves wrapped with red ribbon.

Best Fruit Cake Recipe

This is a really moist and delicious fruit cake recipe. Simple to make and no electric mixer required!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Review
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 33 minutes
Cooling Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 10 hours 3 minutes
Servings:25 servings
Author: Marcellina


  • pounds (680 grams/5 cups) dried fruit (your choice of golden sultanas, raisins, currents, glace fruits etc)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks/227 grams) salted butter
  • 1 cup (213 grams)brown sugar
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspsoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups (250 grams) all purpose flour
  • ½ cup (2½ ounces/70 grams) chopped candied orange
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup dark rum
  • 1 cup (90 grams) chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup dark rum extra


The night before:

  • In a large saucepan, add dried fruit, butter, brown sugar, water, and spices.
  • Place on the medium heat until butter has melted. Stir regularly so that it doesn't stick.
  • Boil all ingredients for 5 minutes.
  • Turn the heat off and stir in the baking soda. It will foam up.
  • Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and set aside to cool until lukewarm.
  • In a small bowl beat the eggs to break them up. Combine the flour with the baking powder.
  • Stir the walnuts and candied orange into the cooled fruit mixture. Followed by the beaten eggs, and 1/2 cup dark rum. Combine thoroughly. Finally stir in the flour mixture. Ensure everything is completely combined.
  • Pour the batter into a double lined 9inch/23cm round cake pan and bake for 1 ½ hours at 320ºF/160ºC
  • Check with a skewer that it is cooked.
  • Sprinkle over extra rum when you take it out of the oven then wrap in a towel to cool slowly. This will ensure it will be moist.


  • Choose a large saucepan to boil the fruit. The mixture will foam up when you add the baking soda so you need a large capacity.
Tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and leave a comment below!

Nutritional Estimate Per Serving

Calories: 253kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 169mg | Potassium: 291mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 367IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. For accurate results, it is recommended that the nutritional information be calculated based on the ingredients and brands you use.

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Recipe Rating


  1. What a precious cake!

    Thankfully in India, the fruit cake is still very popular not just at Christmas but for weddings and other occasions too!

  2. Marcellina, your cake is wonderful! I just like the idea of having a cold weather Christmas to be honest. I never really thought about whether it was right or wrong 🙂

  3. Bellissima torta e decorata in maniera stupenda, mi sono aggiunta ai tuoi follower. Baci