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Esther’s Fruit Cake

Esther’s Fruit Cake


Esther’s Fruit Cake, made with a blend of dried fruit, brandy, black treacle, and other festive ingredients is a festive, flavorful, and moist cake to enjoy all holiday season. 

Many variations of fruit cake exist, such as Trinidad’s black cake, which calls for “feeding” the cake brandy regularly while it matures. At the same time, other recipes call for adding a topping of fruit and nuts, such as Chef Sean Connolly, Creative Director of Food & Beverage and Chef at the Esther restaurant in the QT Auckland hotel. This recipe is extra special because Chef Connolly’s grandmother inspired it. And he first made it for her wedding anniversary at age 10. As you can predict, Esther enjoyed the cake, even though it was decorated in true 10-year-old style. Like his grandmother, you’ll surely approve of Connolly’s recipe below. 

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Esther’s Fruit Cake

  • Author: Alyssa Holder
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cakes 1x


Esther’s Fruit Cake, made with a blend of dried fruit, brandy black treacle, and other ingredients, is a family recipe that will surely impress friends and family during the holidays.


  • 375 g Sultanas (14oz)
  • 250g raisins (10 oz)
  • 250g currants (10oz)
  • 1/2 cup mixed peel
  • 3/4 cup cherries
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 250g butter
  • 1/2 cup Brandy
  • 1.2 cup water
  • 5 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 Tsp black treacle (can substitute blackstrap molasses)
  • 2 tsp orange rind
  • 1 tsp lemon rind
  • 1 3/4 cup plain flour


  1. Preheat your oven to 130°C (265F). 
  2. Grease and line two loaf pans with baking parchment.
  3. Combine fruit, butter, sugar, brandy, and water in a saucepan. Stir on low heat, without boiling, while the sugar dissolves. Then boil and simmer with the lid on for 10 minutes. Let the pan cool before transferring to a mixing bowl.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  5. Sift in the flour, treacle baking powder, mixed spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Mix until well combined. 
  6. Add the mixed dried fruit and brandy/rum to the mixture. Stir until well combined. 
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared pans and smooth the top with a spatula. They place almonds and cherries on top. 
  8.  Bake in the preheated oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. 
  9. Once done, remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning it onto a wire rack to cool completely.


Note: If you’d like a more boozy cake, soak the dried fruit mixture in dark rum the day before baking for a minimum of 24 hours. The longer it soaks, the more potent the flavor. 

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 120 mins
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Esther's Fruit Cake, Traditional Fruit Cake Recipe, Christmas Fruit Cake, Brandy Infused Fruit Cake, Homemade Fruit Cake, Holiday Baking Ideas, Easy Fruit Cake, Dried Fruit and Nut Cake, Old Fashioned Fruit Cake, Festive Cake Recipes, Rich Fruit Cake, Baking with Dried Fruit, Brandy Fruit Cake, Family Holiday Desserts, Classic Fruit Cake

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