Ministry of Food Christmas cake

A recommended recipe from the Ministry of Food both in 1947 and again in 1948 - the ingredients make a very acceptable fruit cake.

Cakes and bakes
Croome 1940s Christmas party
  • Preparation time 20 Minutes (prep. time)
  • Cooking time 2 1/2 hours (cooking time)
  • Serves 1 cake


  • 4oz (115g) margarine
  • 3oz (85g) sugar, preferably soft brown
  • 2 reconstituted dried eggs or fresh eggs
  • 3 level tablespoons warmed golden syrup or treacle (warm before measuring)
  • 8oz (225g) plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (do not exceed)
  • 1 level teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 level teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1lb (450g) mixed dried fruit
  • 3 tablespoons cold well strained tea



  1. Line a 7 inch (18cm) cake tine with greased greaseproof paper.  
  2. Preheat the oven to 150C (300F) Gas Mark 2.
  3. Cream the margarine and the sugar.  
  4. Gradually add the beaten eggs then the syrup or treacle .  
  5. Sift all the dry ingredients together then add to the creamed mixture with the fruit and make a hollow in the centre so the cake will stay flat on top.  
  6. Bake for 2 ½ hours or until firm to the touch and the sides have slightly shrunk away from the tin.  Cool the tin
  7. When cold remove from the tin, store in an airtight container.


Stack of cooked beetroot fritters on a chopping board


We've selected some of our chefs' and experts' favourite recipes for you to share at home. From classics like our cheese scones to veggie and vegan treats, family-friendly bakes and many more seasonal delights, find lots to choose from.