Simple Boiled Fruit Cake

Simple Boiled Fruit Cake

The Cake That Travels…

This Simple Boiled Fruit Cake has a story. I made it for my friend who lives in the country, 7 hours away, for her birthday. A fruit cake was a sensible, albeit old fashioned choice to send. I thought it would be fairly robust when transported. My heart sank though at the post office because they told me it could take up to 5 days to reach her!  I started thinking in worst case scenarios – what if it didn’t get there? Or arrived late? It might be handled so roughly it could arrive as crumbs? Or what if it arrived moldy? I sent it nonetheless. It arrived 3 days later and the birthday girl was thrilled, it was perfect! I was so relieved. Thanks Australia Post!

Simple Boiled Fruit Cake is Minimalist Baking

This is a fruit cake made with minimal ingredients compared to a traditional fruit cake that you might make for Christmas. It also comes together with a lot less making. Yet you achieve the beautiful richness of a fruit cake, spiced and buttery with lots of fruit. Perfect served with a cup of your favourite tea. Boiled Fruit Cake is cheating a little bit but it is very satisfying.

The Simple Boiled Fruit Cake recipe is close to being as old as me. I first enjoyed it when I was a young girl staying with friends in the country.  It is sweet and rich, but not overly so and super moreish. I have baked it here in a heart shaped cake tin which I bought in a second hand goods store, also in the country.  It was just the right size – not too large so that it made a nice deep version of the cake.

Of Course It Has Benefits!

Did you know that the dried fruit in this cake is full of fibre and antioxidants? So despite the naughty carbs of sugar and flour, it has important benefits. Fun fact: did you know that people who regularly eat dried fruit weigh less than those who don’t? (That’s comforting!) And raisins, for example, can help manage blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels.  That’s pretty good! So in small amounts you can enjoy this cake guilt free!

Let me know if you have tried Simple Boiled Fruit Cake.  It’s one for the recipe folder!

Simple Boiled Fruit Cake Pin

Fruity and moist and so delicious.

Simple Boiled Fruit Cake

A moist and fruity cake that is simple and easy to bake.

Course Cake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Author Jane Georgiades


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 125 g butter
  • 250 g raisins
  • 250 g sultanas
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tbsp mixed spice
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 egg beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 170°C and line the base and sides of a 20cm cake tin with baking paper.

  2. Add water, sugar and butter to a saucepan and heat gently on stove on medium. When butter is melted add fruit and mixed spice and stir til combined. Add bi carb soda and allow to bubble up, stirring all the time for about 5 minutes.

  3. Take off heat and allow to cool off slightly. When cooler, stir into flours in a mixing bowl and then stir in beaten egg. Spoon into cake tin then bake for 1 - 11/2 hours until a skewer comes out clean.

Recipe Notes

Feel free to substitute other dried fruits such as currants or apricots for those listed above.

1 Comment

  • Jane Georgiades November 16, 2020 at 10:59 am Reply

    I like to use a tablespoon. Feel free to trial it with less though!

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