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  • Vegetarian
  • Peanut free
  • Sesame free
  • Soy free
  • Shellfish free
  • Seafood free
  • High in dietary fibre

Share the love this season with a full-flavoured Christmas fruitcake. Best enjoyed warm with friends and family, this dessert is traditional and classic.

  • Serves20
  • Cook time3 hour 15 minutes
  • Prep time30 minutes, + cooling time


  • 1kg dried mixed fruit
  • 440g can crushed pineapple in juice
  • 250g butter, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups (275g) dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbs golden syrup
  • 1 cup (250ml) dark rum
  • 1/2 cup (70g) slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup (30g) chopped walnuts
  • 1 tbs finely grated orange rind
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 4 Coles Australian Free Range Eggs, lightly whisked
  • 1 1/2 cups (225g) plain flour
  • 1/2 cup (75g) self-raising flour

Nutritional information

Per serve: Energy: 1813kJ/434 Cals (21%), Protein: 5g (10%), Fat: 15g (21%), Sat Fat: 7g (29%), Sodium: 168mg (8%), Carb: 64g (21%), Sugar: 52g (58%), Dietary Fibre: 4g (13%).

Check ingredient labels to make sure they meet your specific dietary requirements and always consult a health professional before changing your diet. View dietary information here.

Percentage Daily Intake information on our recipes is calculated using the nutrition reference values for an average Australian adult.


  1. Step 1

    Place fruit, pineapple, butter, sugar, golden syrup and 3/4 cup (185ml) of rum in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 10 mins or until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high. Bring to the boil. Cook for 2 mins or until the fruit is plump and syrup thickens slightly. Transfer to a heatproof bowl. Set aside for 2 hours or until mixture cools completely.
  2. Step 2

    Preheat oven to 150°C. Grease a 20cm (base measurement) round cake pan and line with 3 layers of baking paper, allowing the paper to extend 5cm over the top of the pan.
  3. Step 3

    Add the almond, walnut, orange rind and mixed spice to the fruit mixture in the bowl. Stir to combine. Add the egg. Stir to combine. Stir in the combined flour. Spoon into prepared pan and smooth the surface. Tap the pan on a work surface 3 times to settle the mixture.
  4. Step 4

    Bake for 3 hours or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven and brush the top of the cake with the remaining rum. Cover pan tightly with foil and invert cake, still in the pan, onto a clean work surface. Set aside overnight to cool completely. Serve with icing sugar.

Recipe tip

Clever storage:
Your completed fruitcake can be wrapped and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 months.

Use It up: Use any leftover fruitcake to make bread and butter pudding. Why not try replacing the hot cross buns in this recipe?

What is the significance of fruitcake at Christmas time?

Fruitcake is synonymous with Christmas – the dark-coloured, spiced cake filled with plumped dried fruit and nuts is rich, boozy and sweet, making it the perfect festive season treat. It was the Romans who made the first version of it for their soldiers, though it was morphed to resemble the cake we know today during the medieval times in England. At one point around the 18th century, the cake was only allowed by law to be served at Christmas and other special occasions, which is how this cake became related to the holiday. In this particular recipe, the cake includes crushed pineapple and dark rum, bringing tropical notes to reflect the hot summer Christmas we celebrate in Australia.

How to achieve the irresistible flavour of this fruitcake recipe

This cake is dense and rich with a sharp sweetness from the crushed pineapple, which helps to offset the heavier flavours and brightens the dark rum. Other fruit options for fruitcake include figs, prunes, cherries, dates, peaches, raisins, apricots, crystallised lemon and orange peel. Don’t have almonds and walnuts? Try pistachios, macadamias, hazelnuts, pecans or cashews. You could also give your cake another flavour twist by swapping out dark rum for brandy, bourbon, orange liqueur, whisky, amaretto or cherry brandy. To get even more creative, you could add dark chocolate, grated apple or crystallised ginger.

How to make a show-stopping fruitcake with alcohol

While the addition of alcohol is traditional for Christmas fruitcakes, and it certainly helps keep the cake moist, there are a few points to consider to make sure your efforts in whipping up this festive favourite aren't wasted.

First, you need to feed your Christmas cake by brushing on alcohol every 2 weeks so that the mixture is soaked in the spirit and deepens its flavours. This method also helps if you intend to store the fruitcake for a longer period (3 months or more). Tightly wrap the cake in plastic wrap and foil after each feed and transfer it to an airtight container and place it in a dark, dry and cool place. You might need to put it in the fridge if your kitchen is too hot or humid. It’s important to use the same type of alcohol you used in the cake batter. If your cake starts to appear soggy all over, allow it to stand, unwrapped, at room temperature for 24 hours. Do not continue to feed it. 

Homemade fruitcake done right, like in this recipe, brings charm to the festive season. Why not make it a part of your Christmas traditions and whip up this gorgeous cake as a gift? For other holiday sweet treats you can give to your nearest and dearest, try these recipes for lemon poppy seed shortbread fingers, choc-peppermint slice and Maria’s rocky road bundt.

Other top tips for a winning fruitcake

If your cake is too dry when you take it out of the oven, wrap it immediately with a cheesecloth that you have soaked in alcohol and wrung out. The cheesecloth should drape over the top of the cake while it is still in the cake pan. Allow the cake to cool completely with the cheesecloth sealing the steam in.

To prevent your fruit and nuts from sinking to the bottom of the cake, take a bit of the flour that you’ve measured out for the recipe and use this to coat the fruit and nuts in flour. 

How to serve fruitcakes

This traditional cake is delicious on its own, or with a little butter or a slice of cheese. You can enjoy it cold, room temperature, warmed up or toasted. You could also serve a slice by crumbling it over custard or vanilla ice cream. If you’re planning to give this classic dessert as a gift, soak a cheesecloth in alcohol, wring the cloth out, wrap the cake in the cheesecloth and store in an airtight container in a cool, dark and dry place for 1-2 weeks beforehand.

For more ideas and inspiration, see our collection of Christmas dessert recipes and edible gifts


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