Castle Drogo's fruit cake

This is the easiest and best fruit cake you'll ever make – good enough as a light Christmas/special occasion cake.

Cakes and bakes
Fruit cake at Castle Drogo
  • Preparation time 30 minutes (prep. time)
  • Cooking time 1hour- 1 hour 30 minutes (cooking time)
  • Serves 10


  • 8oz or 225gms S.R. Flour
  • 4oz or 113gms soft brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 12oz or 350gms mixed dried fruit
  • 2oz or 75gms glace cherries, halved
  • 2 lge. free range eggs
  • 5fl.oz or 140mls vegetable/sunflower oil
  • 5fl.oz or 140mls milk
  • 1 tsp. mixed spice
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Oil and line a 2lb (IK.) loaf tin or 7” (17.5cms) deep, round cake tin.Turn the oven to 150c. Gas 3.
  2. Sift the flour, spice and salt into a mixing bowl.  Stir in the sugar, dried fruit and cherries and make a well in the middle.
  3. Beat together the oil, milk, eggs and almond extract, pour into the middle and beat until all is evenly mixed – a wooden spoon is quite adequate for this.
  4. Turn all into the prepared tin, tap firmly on the work surface to remove air pockets and evenly distribute the mixture.
  5. Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for approx. 1 1/2hrs or until firm to touch and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Cool the cake in the tin. .

Optional topping – about halfway through the cooking carefully remove the cake and sprinkle demerara sugar or almonds over the top, return to the oven to continue cooking.