Wedding Baking – Fruit Wedding Cake

Here’s the recipe for my perfect wedding cake.  Because sometimes you need a fruit cake that tastes great without maturing and one that cooks fairly quickly – like when you have 11 hours to make the whole darn thing…

I will be doing a separate tutorial for sugarpaste roses later on this week.

If you’re planning on baking your own wedding cake, or one for someone else you really need to think well in advance.  Cakes can be made 3 to 6 months earlier and then wrapped well in baking paper and clingfilm and allowed to mature for the very best flavour.  Wedding cakes are an expensive investment – the price reflects the amount of hard work and dedication that goes into it.  But that’s no reason not to make your own – my top tip would be to practice it – check you are happy with the cakes and the design. Iron out any bits your not happy with.  A lot of folks say they don’t like fruit cake – I’m adamant that’s because they’ve never found the right fruit cake.  Find the recipe that’s right for you and you’ll be hooked!
So here it is, no nuts or cherries (because I’m not keen on them or rather the boys aren’t) but they can be added in if you like, don’t stress about the quantities add them however you like and judge it by eye.  Three versions for you for a 6″, 9″ and 12″ cake.

                                 6″                                        9″                   12″
Butter, softened          115g                                           250g                     375g
Dark brown sugar         70g                                         150g                     225g
Caster sugar               45g                                               100g                     150g
Zest of orange            ½                                                  1                         1½
Eggs, large                    3                                                  8                          12
Vanilla extract            2tsp                                          3tsp                      4 tsp
Treacle                      1 heaped desert spn  2 heaped desert spns   3 heaped desert spns
Self raising flour          140g                                     310g                      465g
Bicarbonate of soda      ½ tsp                                 ¾ tsp                    1 tsp
Ground cloves              ½ tsp                                    ¾ tsp                     1 tsp
Cinnamon                    ½ tsp                                        ¾ tsp                     1 tsp
Currants                     125g                                            275g                     410g
Raisins                       170g                                             375g                     560g
Sultanas                     255g                                            565g                     850g

Baking Time                1 hour 20 mins        1 hour 45 mins      1 hour 45 mins
at 160c Fan/Gas Mark 4

Preheat the oven to 160c Fan/Gas Mark 4.

Line the sides and base of your chosen tin. (See notes on tins at the end of this post)

Cream together the butter and sugars

Add in the zest of orange and the treacle, beat well.

Measure out all the dry ingredients and all the fruit and place in two separate bowls.  The fruit needs to be in the biggest bowl you’ve got!  Sometimes when making a large fruit cake I use a big plastic box – you need room to mix without spilling it all over the place.

Crack the eggs into a jug add the vanilla extract and beat into the creamed butter mixture a little at a time, add in a couple of spoons of the flour mixture at any sign of curdling.

Once all the eggs are in add in the remaining dry ingredients and mix well again.

Now tip the cake mixture onto the fruit and using a good solid long handled spoon mix well.  For large cakes you need muscles for this bit.  Make sure all of the fruit is broken up and coated with cake mixture.

Now into the tin.  Add the mixture carefully trying not to get any mix onto the lining of the tin.  When the cake is cooking any smears on the baking paper will make it smell like the cake is burning and you will check it in a panic.  The cake isn’t burning it’s those little bits of mixture on the baking paper.

Now into the oven for the times stated above, place the shelf one third of the way up from the floor of the oven.  When the cake is done a skewer should come out clean when you test it.  Keep your eye on it during baking especially if you have an electric oven with a top element that doesn’t turn off – this can burn the top of your cake so you may need to cover the top with baking paper to protect it.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin and then use any which way you choose.  I’m going to turn these into another three tier wedding cake for our Royal Wedding Street Party (watch out for the pics over on facebook)

Tins – Good tins are essential when making fruit cakes.  Fruit cakes have a longer bake time that sponges but need a good tin to conduct the heat evenly and thoroughly.  They need good strong sides so that the crusts of the cake don’t go hard and dry.  I recommend Silverwood and Invicta tins – once you’ve got them you’ve got them for life. x

Fruit Cake

Ruth Clemens, Baker Extraordinaire Finalist

on BBC2 The Great British Bake Off

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56 Responses to Wedding Baking – Fruit Wedding Cake

  1. Hannah Ramsay says:

    I watched the programme before, your roses were beautiful! Can't wait for that post… x

  2. Please Do Not Feed The Animals. says:

    Loved the programme tonight. Both your cakes were brilliant. I am looking forward to learning how to do your roses.
    I would love the lemon meringue tower and I thought it looked stunning. If I was doing my wedding over again I wonder if I would be brave enough to do that. You see I think all my older relatives would be expecting cake with their cup of tea. Maybe I would have both your cakes and a choice!

  3. Pene says:

    Hi Ruth am sat watching last nights episode whilst I blog and am truely amazed at what you all acheived within the time. But have to say thought your looked amazing, very classic and beautiful!! well done

  4. Lyndsey says:

    Absolutely beautiful Ruth. You are so talented and deserve all of your success. 🙂

  5. Clare Tetley says:

    This is perfect for all those people coming on your cake decorating course, i'll pop a link on an e-mail to them. x

  6. Lisa Shannon says:

    So beautiful, it looked so elegant on T.V. Well done Ruth. Also loved the lemon meringue idea, it all looked delish x.

  7. Katherine says:

    Ruth, thought you were great on the Bake Off Wedding Cake show last night. You got my vote, the roses were beautiful.

  8. Arline says:

    I had a go at a fruit cake for the first time at Christmas but may have another go with this recipe…thanks for sharing! I would love to get into sugercraft so am looking forward to reading your post on your beautiful roses! Also loved the lemon meringue cake you did….so unusual! Looked fabulous!x

  9. Katie says:

    I watched the programmae last night, and definitely thought you were the winner! Those roses are so beautiful – can't wait for the tutorial!

  10. Amanda says:

    I thought your cake looked beautiful and can't believe you hadn't made the roses before they looked perfect especially with the tinge of pink.

  11. Anonymous says:

    A tip I was given was to gently warm up the treacle tin by placing it in the grill chamber above the oven as it is warming up, this softens it and makes measuring out a tablespoon much easier!

  12. Franziska says:

    I just watched the programme on the iplayer and my mouth was watering when I saw the lemon meringue cakes! The roses on the traditional wedding cake looked fabulous, I loved that you brushed on some colour!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Can you explain How to marzipan and Ice the cakes as well in your post please Ruth?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Hi Ruth, Please could you give me an idea how long this cake will last? (How far in advance could I bake it?. Thank you!

  15. Ruth says:

    Fruit cake will last for a long time if wrapped and stored properly. Wrap it in greaseproof paper and then tightly in clingfilm and store in a container a suitable size. I would say you can make it six months in advance. If you want to make it any sooner I would freeze it x

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Ruth! I’m so disapppointed – I made a 12 inch fruit cake with your recipe 5 weeks ago. Once cool I wrapped it in greaseproof paper, clingfilm and foil before placing it in a large plastic box and storing it in my pantry. Today I unwrapped it to start decorating it and the top and sides have gone mouldy. Do you have any idea what I may have done wrong? x

      • Oh no, thats a terrible shame – Was it fully cooked through? I haven’t had that happen but sometimes cakes can be contaminated on storing which would lead to it going off. Sorry to hear you’ve had that trouble x

  16. Anonymous says:

    Hi Ruth,

    I am planning on making my own wedding cake this year and want to give this recipe a go. However I am going to have square cakes and was just wondering whether you would use the same quantities or whether you would adjust them?

    Thanks Lucy x

  17. kelly says:


    If i wanted to use the above recipe could i substitute any of the fruits for others ie cranberries or apricots for example? I have a request for a fruitcake for a wedding, luxury with mixed fruits. And they have also requested liqueur – so could i soak the fruits first?


    • Yes you can substitute the fruits for whatever you like, just so the total weight of fruit remains the same. Soaking the fruit in your chosen liqueur first will work well. x

  18. Jill Bickett says:

    Hi ruth,

    Is this cake good to make if you don’t have much notice. I need a fruit cake for 8 weeks time. Many thanks xx

  19. Jill Bickett says:

    Brilliant thanks! Just about to make it and bake it. Will let you know how I get on!

  20. Kasi curie says:

    hi I’m making a wedding cake and I’m using 9″ 10″ 12″ heart shaped tins but I don’t know what the quantities would be

  21. Jane says:

    We live in Greece, and my daughter is getting married in Skopelos on Sep 1st. We couldn’t find a traditional English wedding cake here, so I decided (gulp) to make it myself. I’ve made all 4 tiers, and was intending to do the marzipan and icing (Asda roll on) this week, and then do the final decorations and assembly on the day of the wedding in Skopelos. But then I had a sudden thought – is 6 weeks ahead too soon??? Any help greatly appreciated!!

    • It’s not too soon however I would be tempted just to bake and marzipan now and then ice closer to the time – just because the icing can dry out too much and I prefer it on the slightly softer side – good luck! xx

  22. emma says:

    Hi This recipe sounds delicious and I would love to use it for a wedding cake. Does it produce a deep cake?

  23. margaret says:

    hi i have just bought your book and for the fruit cake it states that oven temp says 130 for fan but on youre web it says 160 for fruit cake for wedding

  24. Lisa Brooks says:

    Hi, just wondered if the cooking time for the 12″ cake is correct as its the same as the 9″ one. I currently have the 12″ one in the oven and its already been in 30mins more than the time stated and its nowhere near done. Looks and mells gorgeous though!

  25. Lisa Brooks says:

    Just wanted to let you know how well this recipe worked out. I made it 3 weeks in advance and fed it 3 times with maderiaand it was lovely and moist and sliced really well. i’ve never made my own fruit cakes before as I’ve been scared they’d crumble when sliced but this one certainly didn’t. I’ll never buy a fruit cake again!!

  26. Chelsea says:

    Hi I’m making my mums wedding cake as a gift for her she gets wed 3rd jan 2013. I work full time in a busy hair salon so when would be the best time to make this cake?? And if I make it now can I freeze it then ice it the week of the wedding?

    • Hello – yes you can bake it now and then decorate it the week of the wedding but I wouldn’t freeze it. Instead wrap it in greaseproof paper and then clingfilm and store in a cake box or tin until you need it. Fruit cake just gets better with age and as long as its wrapped well it won’t dry out and will be lovely when you come to decorate it. x

  27. Kay says:

    Hi, I have used your recipe for the bottom tier of a wedding cake (12″) and for numerous 12″ birthday cakes, they have all turned out to be lovely as I often vary the fruit and usually soak it in rum. But I do have 1 problem it doesn’t always rise as much in the middle as it does on the outside. I bake it for 1hr 45 mins as you state and it is always baked, where am I going wrong? Hope you can help, many thanks

    • I haven’t come across that problem before but I think it’s to do with the outside getting the heat quicker than the middle. Try cutting a circle of baking paper larger than the top of the cake and then cutting a 3-4″ circle out of the middle and sitting that on top of the cake tin, that way the middle should start to heat up faster and hopefully give you an even rise x

  28. Julie says:

    I have tried the recipe for a 12″ cake but find that it is only about 2″ deep when cooked. Everything I have read suggests that a cake should be 3″ deep prior to icing etc, am I doing something wrong?

    • It depends on how you work with it afterwards – often the cake is set onto it’s own board or card before adding the marzipan and icing, which will give you a 3″ finished height. If you aren’t putting it on its own board or card then you will need to increase the height of the cake by increasing the amount of mixture. x

  29. D Jekemu says:

    Can i use xmas cake recipe for wedding cake

  30. dawn warner says:

    Hi Dawn here, I tried the 6inch wedding fruit cake recipe and it was gorgeous! However am doing a 12inch for my sisters wedding and the eggs for example are trebled? Can I just double the quantity of 6inch recipe as want exactly this same perfect taste-please advise???

  31. dawn says:

    Hi, do you have a recipe for white and chocolate wedding cake icing that tastes good and is easy enough to shape too please?

  32. Angela Smith says:

    Sounds gorgeous, but what amounts would I need for 8″/10″ please?
    Thanks in advance

  33. Nazareth says:

    My oven is not big enough to fit all three cakes in it, so I can only bake one cake at a time. How should I store the cake mixture that is waiting to go into the oven? I would really appreciate your advice on the matter. Thank you in advance.


  34. Lynda says:

    I found your recipe for fruit cake and loved the fact their was no rind, cherries or nuts in it. I have added some brandy into it and its just out of the oven, cant wait to try it out when it has cooled down.

    Thank you

  35. ngodigha ayebaekipreye says:

    I tried thé recipe but the fruits went down.The cake tasted great

  36. Estrie says:

    Hie, I live in Zimbabwe and have a keen interest on baking.I am still learning and I have found your guidelines very helpful. I am not sure though on how to make icing for wedding cakes. Would you please help me with the icing part.

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