Boiled Fruit Cake (Whole grain) | Simple Christmas Cake

There was a birthday in the family last week. Birthdays give a perfect reason to be indulgent, to experiment and to be a little liberal with ingredients that otherwise weigh you down with guilt. A cake had to be baked no doubt. A whole lot of cake recipes floated in my mind and I could literally see a slide show of birthday cakes with lovely frostings dripping and trickling down the cake. Play of imaginations was paused when the much anticipated request for a healthy cake came through…….quite earnestly. It is birthday boy’s absolute prerogative to decide on his day and the request had to be heeded. A lot of recipes were reviewed; the only cake that fitted the “healthy” bracket was a Boiled Fruit Cake.

It is called the Boiled fruitcake because dry fruits, butter, sugar and spices are actually boiled. This mixture is allowed to cool and then the flour is added.

The cake is studded with dry fruits and has a wonderfully moist crumb. It tastes better with age as the flavours develop fully with time.

Whole Wheat Flour Boiled Fruit Cake
Adapted from The Australian Women’s Weekly
To make the cake “healthy” I made some changes in the original recipe. I swiped 1 cup of all purpose flour with whole wheat flour. I   used ½ cup muscovado sugar. The cake had a dense crumb initially. After two days, the cake became really soft, and moist. On the third day, it was a slice of heaven!

But if you prefer a lighter crumb, use 2 cups of all-purpose flour. If you do not have muscovado sugar or brown sugar, white sugar will do. Add more candied peels for a richer flavour.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 ¾ cups dried fruits (golden raisins, black grapes, black currants, dried figs)
½ cup white sugar
½ cup muscovado sugar [or 1 cup brown sugar]
½ cup (I stick) butter
½ cup water
1/3 cup blanched almonds
1 egg
1 teaspoon mixed spice (4-5 cloves, 2 medium size cinnamon sticks, small piece of nutmeg, 3-4 green cardamom)
½ cup sweet sherry (I used homemade beetroot wine)
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
Combine dry fruits, sugar, butter, spice and baking soda in a large saucepan. Stir over low heat till sugar dissolves and butter melts. Bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in sherry. Cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Line the base and sides of one 8 inch round cake tin with parchment paper.
Stir egg into the mixture. Mix well. Add flours, baking powder and salt. Spoon mixture into the prepared tin. Decorate with blanched almonds. Bake for 1 ½ hours. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center. The toothpick should come out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven. Remove from the tin. Remove parchment paper linings. Brush the top of the hot cake with sherry. Cool in the rack. Wrap the cake in a foil and slice next day (or after two days).
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  1. Love the idea of making boiled cake...following you...Visit my space too...

  2. Splendid is all I can say. I am amazed at your healthy creations. The cake looks such a winner and the birthday boy/girl must be so pleased. (P.S. I have started adding whole wheat to my bakes too inspired by you)

  3. Happy birthday to the birthday boy! He must have been one happy guy to have been treated to such a yummy looking birthday cake! :) pretty decoration on top!

  4. I wonder if this would work with an egg sub and coconut oil? My mum used to make wonderful boiled fruit cakes and I would love to bake them as well. They seem to last a lot longer than other cakes as well (if they aren't gobbled up immediately that is ;) ) I have some spare fruit left over from making hot cross buns this year so I might just give this cake a go and see if I can't veganise it :)