Olive oil in fruit cake isn’t traditional but makes for a lovely change from the standard butter when used in a traditional boiled fruit cake recipe. It’s lighter and “brighter” (thanks to the herbaceous flavours in olive oil) and has an incredible tenderness and moistness that lifts a “plain old fruit cake” to a new level of deliciousness.
Use village press Barnea Extra Virgin Olive Oil for this recipe – it’s well worth it for the extra layer of deliciousness it adds to the cake.
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 ½ hours
Total Time: 2 ½ hours
Makes one 23 x 23 cm cake
- 1 ½ cups dried mixed fruit
- 1 cup currants
- 1 cup sultanas
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup chopped mixed peel
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup water
- ¾ cup brandy or dark rum
- 1 ½ cups brown sugar
- ⅓ cup blackstrap molasses
- 200 ml extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup chopped glacé cherries (optional)
- Zest 1 lemon, finely grated
- Zest 1 orange, finely grated
- 1 cup chopped toasted nuts e.g. walnuts, pecans, almonds, Brasil nuts
- 4 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp almond essence (optional)
- 3 ½ cups plain flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- Blanched almonds to decorate
- Additional ¼ – ⅓ cup brandy or dark rum to finish
- Place dried fruit, mixed peel, orange juice, water and brandy or rum in a small pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and stir in sugar and molasses until sugar has dissolved.
- Stir in olive oil, glacé cherries, zests and nuts and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 170 °C. Grease a 23 x 23 cm cake tin and line with baking paper ensuring the paper comes 5 cm up over the edge of the tin )this helps prevent the top of the cake from overbrowning).
- Place cooled fruit in a large bowl and add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in vanilla extract and almond essence then fold in flour, baking powder and salt.
- Spoon batter into prepared tin and level out. Gently press blanched almonds into the top in a decorative pattern.
- Bake for 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out with just a few crumbs. Watch carefully after the 1 hour mark to make sure the top isn’t over browning and cover loosely with a piece of tin foil if it is.
- Once cake is cooked, drizzle brandy or rum evenly all over – it will sizzle and soak in.
- Cool in the tin for 30 minutes before turning out onto wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to four weeks.