Alex Hollywood shares Grandma's Fruitcake

Alex Hollywood shares Grandma's Fruitcake

"It's the cake I most like to have, sitting with Mum in her pretty garden with a cup of tea. Happy days!"


  • 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


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.
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.
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.  

Put the kettle on and cut a slice!

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