in Taste

I made this delicious, tangy, spicy fruit cake for Christmas this year.

Three Citrus Christmas Fruit Cake

Three Citrus Christmas Fruit Cake

Peter Murray
A rich fruity tangy traditional Christmas fruit cake.
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours


  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Juice of 1 grapefruit
  • Peel of half a lemon diced
  • Peel of half an orange diced
  • Peel of half a grapefruit diced
  • 500 g mixed dried fruit currants, sultanas, raisins, figs, apricots
  • 200 g sultanas
  • 75 ml fruit juice
  • 75 ml red wine
  • 250 g margarine
  • 200 g brown sugar
  • 100 g ground almonds
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 175 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 large eggs


  • 2 x 250g packets white fondant
  • 1 vial of almond essence


  • Mix the fruits, peels, juices, sugar, margarine and spices in a large pot. Bring it to boil and simmer for 10 minutes so all the peel is soft and the fruit is well mixed. Pour the fruit mixture into a large bowl and allow it to cool. Preheat the oven to 150ÂșC.
  • Slowly add the flour, baking powder, vanilla and eggs, with constant mixing.
  • Pour the batter into a baking tin lined with a double layer of baking paper. Bake for two hours. Remove from the oven. Poke several holes with a skewer throughout the cake and splash extra wine (about 1 tablespoon) around the holes. Repeat this every few days until a week before the cake will be served.


  • Add the almond essence to one packet of fondant and thoroughly knead it. Roll each layer of fondant thin enough so that the sheet covers the whole cake. Decorate with cake decorating coloring and glazes.


This made a 20cm square cake. The cake does not rise much when cooking, so bake it in a smaller, deeper tin for a taller cake.
Adapted from James Martin, BBC goodfood
Three Citrus Christmas Fruit Cake

Three Citrus Christmas Fruit Cake

Snowman (icing)

Snowman detail

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