Retro recipe #4 – Quick and Easy Fruit Cake

retro recipes

It has been a while since I tried any “new” recipes so yesterday, since the oven was on cooking lunch, I had a look through my Grandma’s folder for a recipe to try. I picked the Quick and Easy Fruit Cake recipe as it contained ingredients I had lying around and the recipe claimed it wouldn’t take too much effort.

The process was easy as described (but not quite so quick as there was a bit of standing around and waiting).

1. Weigh ingredients.

quick and easy cake 1

2. Simmer and let the sugar turn caramel brown.

quick and easy cake 2


3. Admire juicy plump fruit (and ponder possibilities of using fruit juice instead of water)

quick and easy cake 3


4. Mix.

quick and easy cake 4

5. Bake, leave to cool then eat.

quick and easy cake 5


This was another recipe with minimal instructions, so I used my standard 8″ (20cm) loose-based cake tin. The resulting cake was rather flat, so next time I’d use a smaller cake tin to get a bit more height. This also meant that the cake cooked much more quickly than the 90 minutes the recipe instructed – I smelt yummy smells after about 50 minutes.

Here is my slightly more detailed version of the recipe:

Quick and Easy Fruit Cake

4oz margarine
4oz sugar (I used soft brown)
12oz dried fruit (I used currants, sultanas and cherries, but you could use anything)
1/4 pint of water
1 egg, lightly beaten
8oz self-raising flour

Grease and line a 6″ (15cm) round cake tin and pre-heat oven to 150ºC (gas mark 2)

Put margarine, sugar, fruit and water into a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Leave to simmer for 20 minutes with the lid on. Remove from the heat and let the pan cool for approx 5 minutes. Add the beaten egg and flour and mix well until combined. Put mixture in tin and bake at 150ºC for approx 50-60 minutes (depending on size of tin) until top is golden and skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for a little while, before cooling on a wire rack.


As I was simmering the fruit I wonder what liquid could be used instead of water – how about soaking the fruits in apple or orange juice? Or what fruits would you choose to use – dried apricots and dates, raisins and sultanas, or even dried apple pieces? Not many of the recipes in the folder contain spices (due to post war availability?) and the cake tasted nice as it was, but you could easily add a few teaspoons of mixed spice or cinnamon.

If you make this recipe (or make any changes) let me know how you get on. I’d love to see pictures of other (quick and) easy fruit cakes!


3 thoughts on “Retro recipe #4 – Quick and Easy Fruit Cake

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