Friday, 10 May 2019

Boiled fruit and walnut cake

fruit cake recipe

The decluttering gurus like Ms Kondo would have conniptions if they happen to go with me to the charity shops. I tend to donate a bag of clothes, books or toys about once a week, but I also do a weekly charity shops crawl and always end up buying a few little things.
Just this week I bought two paperbacks for myself, a couple of books for Eddie, a little porcelain bird for 50p (made in the USSR, and I had exactly the same one as a child) and a Neolithic hammer found at Beachy Head (as you do).
Well, technically the hammer was on display in the vintage shop, along the other Neolithic finds like scrapers etc. It was clearly someone's much-cherished collection, sold in bits and pieces.
Eddie and I watched 10,000BC on DVD recently, and I bought an old edition of Rosny's Quest for Fire on eBay, so it was all fitting perfectly well, according to my reasoning.

One of my recent finds was a cook book Cakes & Slices (The Australian Women's Weekly). It was priced 20p, like all the books in that charity shop (books for kids go for 10p each). I really don't know how they make money at all.
The cake recipes in this book are all rather old-fashioned and tasty. Nothing particularly fancy, not a single grain of quinoa in or Himalayan salt in sight.

A friend of ours was coming earlier today for tea, and she is usually happy to be a guinea pig for my untested recipes.
One of the cakes I wanted to try is called Wholemeal boiled fruit and walnut cake.

I have adapted the recipe, reducing sugar in half (I find that most American and Australian cake recipes use too much sugar), and changing some of the ingredients, but the main idea is borrowed from the book.

It turned out to be tasty, but definitely not a looker, as the top had split, which often happens when the cake batter is wet.

easy fruit cake

Boiled fruit and walnut cake
50g dried apricots
40g currants
70g dried apple rings
1 teabag (black tea, like Typhoo)
150g caster sugar
3 medium eggs
235g self-raising flour
65g rye & spelt flour
200g butter, melted
45g walnuts
1tsp vanilla extract
1tsp baking powder

First finely chop the apple rings and apricots. Place the currants and apricots in a pan with boiling water and 1 teabag. Bring to boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the chopped apples and cook for another couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and strain the fruit using a colander or sifter. Discard the teabag. Let the fruit cool.

In a big mixing bowl beat together the sugar and eggs. Sift in the flour, baking powder, add the melted butter and mix well. Add the chopped walnuts and boiled fruit, and mix well.
Line the base of the spring cake tin with a parchment paper, and oil the sides lightly. Pour the cake batter in the tin.

Place the tin in the oven preheated to 180C. Cook for an hour and a half+ Check readiness with a wooden toothpick.
Cool in the cake tin.
Dust with icing sugar (optional).

easy fruit cake

You can use a different combination of dried fruit and nuts. My kids love apples and walnuts, and that's why I've chosen these ingredients for the cake.

It is a moist cake, fruity and not over-sweet. Judging by how much is left by now, my family (and friend) liked it.

I used Typhoo black tea which was one of the products in the latest Degustabox. You can use any other black or flavoured tea.


  1. Oooh this looks really tasty. I've never tried boiling fruit for a cake - does it add extra moisture to the finished texture?

    1. Thank you, Cheryl, yes, it makes the cake rather moist but also softens the dried fruit. The currants, for example, were very dry to start with, and apricots firm to bite.