Eric Lanlard's light Christmas fruit cake recipe
- 150g (5oz) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 150g (5oz) golden caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp orange-blossom water
- finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon
- 175g (6oz) plain flour
- 100g (3½oz) glacé cherries
- 100g (3½oz) mixed peel, chopped
- 100g (3½oz) raisins
- 100g (3½oz) golden sultanas
Preheat the oven to 160ºC (fan 140ºC)/325ºF/gas mark 3.
Grease a deep 15cm (6in) cake tin with extra butter, and double-line the base and sides with baking paper.
In a bowl, using an electric hand whisk (or do it all in a mixer), cream the measured butter and the sugar together until fluffy and light.
Beat in the eggs gradually. In a small bowl, mix the orange blossom water with the zest and juice of the orange and lemon. Sift on the flour, add all the dried fruit, then fold into the creamed mix, using a large metal spoon, followed by the juice and zest mix.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
Turn the oven down to 150ºC (fan 130ºC)/300ºF/gas mark 2 and bake for another 1¾ hours until the cake is risen, golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool for 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Decorate your cake with large pieces of glacé fruits. You can get these from fine food halls or delicatessens. Glaze the cake first with some sieved hot apricot jam, then arrange the fruits, and then glaze again to give that professional look.
Top tip for baking fruit cake:The dried fruits should not sink to the bottom of your cake with this recipe, because the mixture is nice and dense. But if you want to take extra precautions, rolling the fruits in plain flour to lightly coat them will prevent them from sinking.
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Eric Lanlard appeared at Taste of Christmas 2013 – a feast of festive flavours from around the world at Tobacco Dock, East London. Follow @TasteofLondon for information on upcoming Taste Festival events.
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