Rich all-purpose fruit cake
Dan Lepard's cake is very easy to make with a moist crumb and no need to soak the fruit – it's ideal for wedding cakes or christening cakes.
- 80g/2¾oz golden syrup
- 80g/2¾oz black treacle
- 50g/1¾oz honey
- 250g/9oz dark brown sugar
- 200ml/7fl oz double cream
- 15g/½oz (about 2 tbsp) mixed spice
- 250g/9oz unsalted butter
- 1 tsp orange extract
- 1 tsp lemon extract
- 6 medium free-range eggs
- 350g/12oz currants
- 350g/12oz raisins
- 350g/12oz chopped pitted prunes
- 350g/12oz glacé cherries or more dried fruit
- 500g/1lb 2oz strong white bread flour
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- brandy, whisky or orange juice, to finish
Preheat the oven to 170C/335F/Gas 3 and line a 25cm/10in round deep cake tin with non-stick paper. Place the syrup, treacle, honey, sugar, cream and spices in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl, add the butter in pieces and stir until melted, then add the orange and lemon extracts (or zest)
Beat in the eggs until smooth, then stir in the fruit. Mix the flour and soda together, then stir this through evenly. Spoon into the tin and bake for about 2-2½ hours, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin, then carefully remove from the tin.
When cold, spoon the top liberally with brandy, whisky or boiled orange juice, wrap well and leave for 3-4 days before icing.
You can replace the lemon and orange extract with the finely grated zest of two oranges and two lemons, but the fruit extracts are much easier to use. The recipe can be halved easily.