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Grandma’s Fruitcake by Alex Hollywood

It's the cake I most like to have, sitting with Mum in her pretty garden with a cup of tea - happy days. Here's Grandma's fruitcake recipe!


  • Butter for greasing
  • 300g sultanas
  • 250ml orange juice
  • 1 tbsp brandy
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 140g soft margarine
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 50g demerara sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 5 tbsp milk
  • zest of 1 orange


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Step 1

Pre-heat the oven to 150C / Gas mark 2. Butter an 18cm loose-bottomed cake tin and line it with baking parchment. Put the sultanas in a large bowl with the orange juice, brandy and honey and set aside to soak for as long as you can.

Step 2

Put the margarine and both sugars into another bowl and whisk until pale and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time with a spoonful of flour. Using a spoon, mix in the rest of the flour, spices, milk and orange zest.

Step 3

Drain the sultanas and fold them into the cake batter. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for about 2 hours.

The time depends on your oven, so make sure you don’t overcook the cake – it is ready when a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Step 4

Put the kettle on and cut a slice of grandmas fruit cake!

Alex Hollywood

My Busy Kitchen by Alex Hollywood (published by Hodder & Stoughton). Photos ©Dan Jones