Skip to Content

Old English Fruitcake

Old English Fruitcake. NEW VIDEO! Dark and moist with plenty of spices and packed with plenty of sweet glacé fruit. It’s been a Christmas tradition in my family for decades.

Close up square cropped picture of uncut cake for featured photo

Old English Fruitcake

Originally published on November 7, 2007. Updated to provide new featured photos and a new video!

It’s still weeks away, I know, but I’ve got a head start on a dark old English fruitcake for Spouse. It’s a real old English style, dense, dark fruitcake.

Old English Fruitcake baked in a loaf pan

Old English Fruitcake. The recipe will make 2 loaf sized cakes if you like.

Old English Fruitcake

Old English Fruitcake, 2017 photo.

I think this one weighs in at between 7 and 8 pounds. It’s her absolute favourite. Tomorrow she goes to the rum spa for a soak and a wrap. The cake, that is, not Spouse!

Ground almonds in a clear glass measuring cup

Ground almonds, pecans or walnuts are easily substituted.


Pecan pieces in a clear glass measuring cup

I like to toast the nuts and keep them in chunks to add to the batter.

Inspired by my Newfoundland upbringing, this dark English fruitcake with roots in the UK is one of my favourite things to look forward to at Christmas. This is a large cake meant to be served in small pieces.

Fruit mixture after it has been boiled

Fruit mixture after it has been boiled

Finished batter for the Old Englishg Fruitcake oin a large stainless steel bowl

Finished batter for the Old English Fruitcake in a large stainless steel bowl

Overhead photo of the fruitcake in a spring form pan ready for the oven

All ready for the oven.

Overhead shot of a loaf sized old english fruitcake ready for the oven

Make it as 2 loaf cakes and decorate the top to your own liking.

overhead photo of Old English Fruitcake on a white plate

A very festive looking Christmas centrepiece.

There are easily 40 portions or more which means there’s plenty to share with friends and family whenever they pop by during the Holidays.

wide shot photo of whole uncut cake surrounded by christmas decorations on a Newfoundland tartan table runner

Need more Christmas dessert ideas?

Click on the photo to follow the link below to our Best Christmas Cake Recipes.

Best Newfoundland Christmas Cake Recipes

Like this Old English Fruitcake recipe?

You can find plenty of other ideas in our Christmas Recipes Category and be sure to browse over 200 cookies for Christmas baking in on our Cookie Pages.

Old English Fruitcake photo of uncut cake with title text added for Pinterest

To keep up with the latest home style cooking & baking ideas from Rock Recipes plus daily recipe suggestions from decadent desserts to quick delicious weekday meals, be sure to follow Rock Recipes Facebook Page and follow us on Instagram.

Old English Fruitcake slice image with title text

Old English Fruitcake

You can also sign up for our FREE newsletter to know immediately when we add new recipes. You’ll also get weekly suggestions for great family friendly  meals and desserts too!

Rock Recipes a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. Our product recommendations are almost exclusively for those we currently use or have used in the past.

Visit my Amazon Store for my favourite kitchen gadgets and appliances, plus recommendations from my personal cookbook collection.
Old English fruitcake overhead photo of baked loaf cake on a rectangular white platter with title text added for Pinterest.


Close up square cropped picture of uncut cake for featured photo
Yield: 40 This is a large cake meant to be served in small pieces. There are easily 40 portions or more.

Old English Dark Fruit Cake

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes

Old English Fruitcake - A dark, rich, well spiced old fashioned English style fruitcake that can be made weeks in advance of Christmas.


  • 1 1/4 cups chopped dried prunes (6 oz), chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped dates (6 oz), chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups dark raisins (8 oz)
  • 1 1/4 cups golden raisins (6 oz)
  • 1 1/4 cups currants (6 oz)
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • ¾ cup molasses
  • ½ cup coffee liqueur, or ½ cup strong black coffee
  • Zest and juice of 2 oranges
  • 1 cup chopped glace cherries
  • 1 cup candied citrus peel
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted pecans (7 oz), roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp allspice
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 tbsp cocoa
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup ground hazelnuts or almonds
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda


  1. In a large saucepan melt the butter over medium heat and add the raisins, dates, prunes, currents, brown sugar, molasses, spices, coffee liqueur (or coffee) and the orange zest and juice.
  2. Bring to a gentle boil and very slowly simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 30-45 minutes.
  4. When cool stir in the beaten eggs.
  5. Sift together, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda.
  6. Add the ground nuts and fold through the boiled mixture. Fold in cherries, citrus peel and pecans. Pour into prepared baking pan. You can decorate the top with additional pecan halves, cherries etc., if you like.
  7. Bake at 300 degrees F for 1 ½ to 2 hours depending upon the size of your pan. Mine took the full two hours in a 10 inch spring form pan.The cake should feel firm to the touch at the center and a wooden toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean. The cake should be cooled completely in the pan on a wire rack before removing.
  8. At this point you can poke small holes in the top and bottom of the cake with a fork and pour on 4 ounces of dark rum or your favorite whiskey, half on the top, wait ten minutes, then flip it over and pour the remaining half on the bottom.
  9. Soak several layers of cheesecloth in additional rum if you like and wrap completely around the cake, then cover with several layers of plastic wrap and store in a COOL place.
  10. When serving, you can add a layer of marzipan or if you have decorated the top with fruit and nuts, brush with a simple glaze of equal parts water and sugar boiled together for about 10-15 minutes.


The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 231Saturated Fat 2gCholesterol 21mgSodium 62mgCarbohydrates 40gFiber 2gSugar 24gProtein 2g

Did you like this recipe?

Do you love our "Real food recipes for real people'? Share the recipe on Facebook to let your friends know about us. They'll thank you for it.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Monday 2nd of May 2022

This looks like a delicious fruitcake. In the video I noticed that no ground almonds were added with the dry ingredients. Are the ground nuts optional? Thanks and have a good day.

Christine George

Thursday 30th of December 2021

Its a great cake, so delicious quite easy to make. Would like to know if I could use e bread size loaf pans next time.

Donna Coutts

Tuesday 7th of December 2021

Hi Barrie I found your recipe last year for this fruit cake and it was awesome. So easy to make and tasted great.For this year I decided to bake and sell them.From Oct.19th to Dec 7th K have made 57 fruit cakes and the orders keep coming.I have 6 in the oven as I white this.Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your sharing the recipe


Sunday 5th of December 2021

2 family members are pregnant this year. Do you think if I cooked the fruit with rum, it would cook out the alcohol? Would still be nice to give them the rum flavour.

Lynn Parsons

Monday 13th of December 2021

You can purchase artificial rum flavouring if it’s a concern

Lynn Brick

Sunday 5th of December 2021

How many 9x5 loaf pans would this make and how long approx cooking time?

Lynn Parsons

Monday 13th of December 2021

Probably 2or 3. I would check on them using the toothpick method at 1 hour

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!