Sultana and Cherry Cake


  • 225g (8oz) plain flour
  • 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 175g (6oz) soft margarine
  • 175g (6oz) caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 75g (3oz) glacé cherries, quartered,
  • 75g (3oz) sultanas
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Sugar lumps, roughly crushed to decorate (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 160C (325F).
  2. Sift flour into a bowl with baking powder.
  3. Add the margarine, sugar and eggs.
  4. Beat well for 2 to 3 minutes with a wooden spoon, or for 1 minute in an electric mixer until thoroughly mixed.
  5. Stir in the cherries, sultanas and milk and combine gently.
  6. Turn the mixture into a greased and lined loaf tin or round cake tin.
  7. Smooth surface and sprinkle with the crushed sugar lumps.
  8. Bake in oven for 1¼ to 1½ hours until risen and golden.
  9. Turn on to a wire rack, remove the lining and leave to cool completely.
  10. If freezing, wrap well in greaseproof paper and foil. To use, thaw for 2 to 3 hours at room temperature.

Apricot Fruit Cake


  • 225g (8oz) soft margarine
  • 225g (8oz) soft light brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon almond essence
  • 400g (14oz) self-raising flour
  • 450g (1lb) dried fruit
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 425g (14½ oz) can apricot halves, drained and chopped


  1. Heat oven to 160C (325F).
  2. Cream the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the eggs and almond essence gradually, adding a tablespoon of the flour with the last amount of egg.
  4. Fold in the rest of the flour, baking powder and all the fruit and carefully combine until mixed.
  5. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top.
  6. Bake in oven for about 1½ hours until golden.
  7. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn on to a wire rack.
  8. If freezing the cake, leave the foil on when cooling. When cold, wrap extra foil around the cake and freeze. To use, thaw for 3 to 4 hours at room temperature.

Easy Fruit Cake Recipes: Using Mixed Dried Fruit, Apricots, Sultanas and Cherries

The following cakes use different methods giving them each a different texture, colour and taste. Dried fruit is excellent for fibre and apricots also contain healthy beta-carotene. Use mixed dried fruit, or any favourite combination of raisins, sultanas, currants and peel.

Mixed Fruit Cake


  • 450g (1lb) mixed dried fruit
  • 1 cup brown or white sugar
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 125g (4oz) margarine
  • ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • a few chopped glacé cherries (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • ¼ teaspoon mixed spice


  1. Put the fruit, sugar, water, margarine, bicarbonate and cherries into a pan.
  2. Place on the cooker and bring to the boil.
  3. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Remove from cooker, stir and leave overnight (or for several hours).

Later, or next morning, heat oven to 165C (325F)

  1. Add the eggs, flour and mixed spice to the cold mixture.
  2. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Put into 7 or 8 inch lined cake tin (or large loaf tin).
  4. Bake in middle of oven for a ½ hour.
  5. Turn oven down to 150C (300F).
  6. Bake for a further 1 and ½ hours.
  7. Cool in tin slightly, then turn on to a wire rack.

The following large cake uses tinned apricots, a good store cupboard item, which give a lovely moistness to the cake. It can be baked in a shallow roasting tin or a large cake tin, lined with foil. Or use half the quantity to make a loaf tin sized cake.

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