Fodder’s Christmas Fruit Cake

DessertServes 12

It’s time to get your Christmas cake underway and this recipe from the team at Harrogate based farm shop Fodder involved a week’s worth of pre-soaking but is definitely worth the effort! For more recipe inspiration and information about their range of locally sourced products visit   Pre-Soaking:


For the pre-soaking

3 tbsp dark rum

3 tbsp brandy

3 tbsp Sloemotion Cherry Brandy

3 tbsp port

3 tbsp water

1 ½ tsp Angostura Bitters

½ tsp Quay ground cinnamon

½ tsp Quay ground nutmeg

½ tsp Quay ground cloves

½ tsp salt

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp Shepcotes dark brown sugar

450g Hider raisins

225g Hider currants

110g Hider chopped prunes

50g Country Products glace cherries, chopped

110g Country Products mixed candied peel, chopped

50g mixed chopped nuts (a mix of pecans, walnuts and hazelnuts is nice)


For the cake

250g Sunflours self-raising flour

250g Shepcote demerara sugar

250g Acorn Organic Butter (served at room temperature)

5 large Ian Taylor free range eggs

For the icing

500g Sugar Therapy marzipan

500g Sugar Therapy sugar paste

1 tbsp slightly warmed Raydale apricot jam

1 Ian Taylor free range egg


  1. One week before baking measure out all of the pre-soaking ingredients and pour into a large saucepan. Bring the mixture to simmer for 15 minutes over a low heat but do not boil.
  2. Allow to cool thoroughly before placing into a container, then leave in a cool place for 7 days, shaking or stirring from time to time.
  1. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 135°C. Measure out the flour, sugar and softened butter into a large bowl then add the eggs and whisk or beat until everything is blended (no creaming needed). Gradually fold in the fruit mixture until it’s evenly distributed.
  2. Grease an 8-inch square cake tin with butter and line the base and sides with parchment paper. Have an extra piece ready with a 1” hole in the centre.
  3. Bake for 3 hours (Remember, don’t open the oven!). Cover with the vented piece of paper and bake for another hour or until a cake tester tests done. Cool for 45-60 min in the tin, then remove. Store only when thoroughly cooled.
  1. This is a rich cake so we would just recommend icing the top. Roll out the marzipan to an 8-inch square not too thin (3 to 4mm thick) as it needs to be a smooth surface for when you put the icing on, brush the jam onto the cake and lay the almond paste over the top leave to dry for 24 hours.
  2. Roll the sugar paste into an 8-inch square and brush the surface of the almond paste with a little beaten egg white and lay the sugar paste over to give a smooth surface, again leave to dry for 24 hours then decorate the top of your cake as you choose.