We had a great time at the Hall and Woodhouse Christmas Market last night and promised to share the recipe for our boiled fruit cake which was won by David Hoare in our ‘Guess the Weight’ competition.


For an 8” cake tin you will need:


340g (12 oz) mixed vine fruits – washed well

25cl (1/2 pint) Blandford Flyer or your favourite Badger Ale

170g (6oz) Butter – softened

170g (6oz) Light soft brown sugar

50g (2oz) Stem ginger – finely chopped

1 teaspoon mixed spice

2 large free range eggs – beaten together

285g (10oz) Self raising flour



Weigh fruit into a lidded saucepan, add beer.  Place over high heat and bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Or place pan on your AGA boiling plate with lid on.  Quickly bring fruit mixture to boil, then transfer with lid in place, to AGA simmering oven for an hour.  Allow to stand overnight.

Set conventional oven to 160 C Gas Mark 3 and slide shelf to middle run (lower run for fan assisted ovens).

2-oven AGA – slide grid shelf on to floor of roasting oven.  Place your AGA cake baker inside to reach correct temperature or utilise a large heavy duty lidded saucepan and trivet that will easily hold cake tin. Failing that ensure your plain shelf is cold.

4-oven AGA – slide grid shelf to sit on floor of oven. (You may need to use your plain shelf towards end of cooking time).

The next day, grease and line cake tin with baking parchment.

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add beaten eggs, in two stages, along with a tablespoon of flour.  Fold to mix well.

Add spice and chopped stem ginger to remaining flour and fold into mixture.  Next add (cooled)* fruit and mix until combined.

Spoon cake mixture into prepared tin, spread evenly, then bake for approximately 50-60 minutes depending on your particular oven.  If using a 2-oven AGA without a cake baker, remember to slide plain shelf onto runner above as soon as you put cake inside range. Adjust cooking time accordingly.

Cake is cooked when a skewer inserted into centre removes cleanly.  Allow to cool in tin on a wire rack (your AGA toaster is ideal) and remove to serve when completely cold.


*Cooks Tip – If you are short of time or using a conventional oven and cannot prepare fruits the day before, simply follow instructions to bring fruit to a steady boil and then simmer with lid removed for 15 minutes with lid removed.  Allow to cool and then mix with the remaining ingredients.


This cake keeps really well stored in an airtight tin.


To serve, decorate with your favourite nuts and candied fruits and glaze with a little sieved apricot jam that has been melted with a tablespoon of brandy over a low heat.