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Boiled Fruit Cake

Boiled Fruit Cake

Are you ready to indulge in a deliciously rich and fruity cake that’s been loved for generations? Look no further than the Boiled Fruit Cake Recipe from Dairy Diary! This recipe has been a fan favorite since its first appearance and is the most frequently searched for recipe in the Dairy Diary.

Not only is it a beloved family recipe, but it has also been featured in the Dairy Diary Favourites Cookbook. The secret to its success? The perfect blend of cherries and walnuts, adding a burst of flavor and texture to every bite.

Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just want to treat yourself to something sweet, the Boiled Fruit Cake Recipe is the perfect choice. And for those looking to add a festive touch, consider adding some additional decorations to turn this classic cake into a Christmas masterpiece. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed!

Boiled Fruit Cake


Mixed dried fruit 350g (12oz)

Glacè cherries 150g (5oz), roughly chopped

Mixed peel 50g (2oz)

Walnuts 50g (2oz), roughly chopped

Brown sugar 175g (6oz)

Butter 110g (4oz)

Mixed spice 1 tsp

Bicarbonate of soda ½ tsp

Milk 300ml (½ pint)

Self-raising flour 350g (12oz), sifted

Eggs 2, beaten



Preheat oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas 3. Place all ingredients except flour and eggs into a pan. Bring up to boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Cool slightly.


Add flour and eggs and stir well. Line a deep 20cm (8in) cake tin with greaseproof paper. Tip cake mixture into tin and level top.


Bake for 40 minutes then reduce heat to 150°C/300°F/Gas 2 and cook for 40-45 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.


Allow to cool in tin for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Remove paper and leave until cold.

Head of Dairy Diary; I'm passionate about producing high quality products that our customers will cherish. I'm also a mum of three and I enjoy cooking, walking, gardening and art with my family, as well as lino printing (if I find time!)
  1. Hi can I just soak the sultanas and raisins in slow cooker over night before I add the rest of the ingredients please.

    • Sheila
    • 10/02/2021

    I got this recipe from my gran in the late 1970’s and have made it so many times. It makes a great last minute birthday or Christmas cake.

    • Denise
    • 22/01/2021

    Could you use some rum or Sherry instead of milk or tea ?

    • sally morgan
    • 18/12/2020

    I soak my fruit over night in orange juice, so should i leave the milk out .

    • Kathy
    • 13/12/2020

    Only like sultanas and raisins so do I just add more of these or will it effect the weight, also can I line a loaf tin with pre shaped paper case. I also think this could be a recipe given to me 40 years ago by a work colleague, which I also lost.

      • Emily
      • 14/12/2020

      You can use any dried fruit – just ensure that you use the same total weight as the fruits in the recipe. I think there would be too much mixture for a loaf tin.

    • gloria
    • 25/11/2020

    why does my fruit all go to the bottom but it still taste great

      • Emily Davenport
      • 25/11/2020

      Ensure that the fruit mixture is gently folded into the flour and eggs (and ensure that the eggs are beaten first) before spooning into the tin.

    • Ann Frømyhr
    • 19/11/2020

    Why call it boiled when it is baked?
    A big difference.

      • Sarah
      • 23/11/2020

      because you boil the ingredients before you bake the cake. As opposed to rubbing in or creaming. obvs really.

      • Emily Davenport
      • 25/11/2020

      As Sarah mentioned, the fruit is boiled to make it extra-moist before the cake is baked.

    • Joanne Sharp
    • 14/11/2020

    Can you freeze this cake. Made this cake for years lovely

      • Emily Davenport
      • 16/11/2020

      Hi Joanne, yes you can freeze this cake. Wrap well before freezing.

    1. Traditional fruit cake will last for ages if stored correctly. How long will this one last please or does it have to be eaten quickly as no alcohol included.

        • Sandra
        • 08/02/2021

        So easy this recipe! Even if your a novice cook! Freezes well, I cut mine up into chunks and get pieces out when required.

    • Mary Kate
    • 25/09/2020

    Please, can I use the steamed-baking method for boiled fruit cake with nuts?

      • Emily Davenport
      • 16/11/2020

      HI Mary Kate, we have never tested this method. It is quite large and dense and so it may not cook all the way through to the centre?

    • Patricia Petty
    • 17/07/2020

    Can anyone please tell me how long this cake will keep (in an airtight tin) after making?

      • Jackie
      • 02/08/2020

      I have mine for 5 days. I think you could leave it longer but in my tin…wrapped in greaseproof….it goes mouldy after 5 days. When i next make it i will add lemon juice or vinegar and see if it lasts longer. Hope this helps

        • Sarah
        • 23/11/2020

        it will go off as it has milk in it. cooked milk doesnt keepnlong at room temp. try replacing the milk with strong tea.

        • Sandra Read
        • 07/02/2021

        I changed the ingredients to
        14 oz crushed pineapple
        8oz sugar
        4 oz margarine
        14 oz sultanas
        8 oz flour
        1tsp baking powder
        Pinch of salt
        1tsp mixed spice
        2 beaten eggs.
        I use same method for cooking. Lasts about 10days but once family get to it gone in a day.

    1. Made this three times now. Two big, six little ones. Every single one has turned out … great!!
      Very easy to do too. Love this recipe ❤️

    • Gina
    • 21/06/2020

    Can I make this with spelt flour? If so, Would I have to add baking powder or bicarbonate. If so, how much?

      • Emily
      • 23/06/2020

      Hi Gina, I’ve not used spelt flour that much and so I’m no expert. I’ve found some tips on this website to make it work for you I hope that helps!

    • Maggie
    • 13/06/2020

    Just put your fruit cake in the oven and guessed at the temperature as no mention for fan ovens. Please can you tell me what temperature I should use for next time. Thank you.

      • Emily
      • 23/06/2020

      Hi Maggie, usually you would reduce the temperature by 20 degrees for fan ovens. With mine though, it’s better only to reduce it by 10, so it does depend on your oven.

    • p.james
    • 11/05/2020

    please let me know if i put the mixture in 2 loaf tins how long do i cook them for and what temperature

    • Carol Wood
    • 05/05/2020

    Your a life saver. I first found the recipe in my dairy diary years ago. I’d written the recipe out and kept it inside other cake books. Unfortunately whilst having a clear out I’ve mistakenly threw the recipe out and I am desperate to make it. So I’m so happy you have this website. I’ll make sure I keep the recipe this time. It’s the best fruit cake ever. Always make it for Christmas. So quick and easy to make. Thankyou 😊

  2. If I decide to divide the mix into two loaf tins how long would I cook them for?

      • jackie
      • 22/05/2020

      I would cook then for 40 mins then check if they are ready. If not, add another 5-10 minutes. Check with skewer or pointed knife. If it comes out clean, they are ready. I usually check this way as my oven never complies with the temperature in the recipe so times are always judged. Hope this helps.

  3. Can you use silicone instead of tins please.

    1. Yes I do but I just grease it

    2. Allergic to walnuts. Can you suggest an alternative. Other nuts except pecans are fine.

    • Janice Podd
    • 04/03/2020

    Is it okay to use a springform tin for this cake?

      • Emma Snow
      • 04/03/2020

      Hi, yes, this shouldn’t be a problem. Just make sure to line the bottom and sides so that it doesn’t stick.

  4. Old Bero flour recipe passed from my gran to my mum then to me. Scummy. 😋 😋 😋 😋

  5. My daughter always loved this cake – I make it at Christmas. So much so that I made it her wedding cake!

    • Bernadette Byrne
    • 28/08/2019

    I’ve been making this cake since the early eighties from my ‘Dairy Diary’ I have recently moved house and, haven’t found my dairy diary yet :(( So, I thought I’d search online … I’m thrilled I’ve found it as, it’s a totally gorgeous cake ! Love it ! ♥️

    • Jean Stewart
    • 14/04/2019

    I have been baking this cake since I got married 51 years ago and it is still enjoyed by the family.

    • Mary Hunter
    • 25/02/2019

    Just made this cake. It is gorgeous and was so easy to make. Great idea mixing everything in a pan.

    • Janet Waterfield
    • 23/02/2019

    I often cook this one I got the recipe from the hero book past it on to the nursing home I work at and also to my friends and family

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