La Différence

La Différence
A passion for food

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Irish Farmhouse Boiled Fruit Cake ( the easiest Fruit Cake you will ever make)

Irish Farmhouse Boiled Fruit Cake          


Both the English and Irish halves of me adores this lovely cake. Perfect for St Patrick's day celebrations...especially with a wee glass of Jameson's or a good strong cup of tea. It so reminds me of the family farm in Ireland and the wonderful Sunday afternoon teas we enjoyed.  Always with ham sandwiches, hard boiled eggs, floury potatoes and salad, boiled fruit cake & soda bread and buckets of hot tea.  Such wonderful memories.   

  Gorgeously moist this has to be the quickest and easiest fruit cake you could ever's all prepared in a large saucepan ... yay!!!  Not a bowl in sight so very
limited washing up which is such a bonus. 

 Just use whatever dried fruit you may have or like... I used a mixture of vine fruits from Waitrose, but if you love candied peel then use the regular mixed bags of fruit.   I also added a few glacé cherries left over from Christmas, (you don't have to, just use what you have).  Sprinkle over with chopped nuts... again whatever you have in..mine were almonds.  I brushed over a little apricot jam glaze to pretty it up but you really don't have to do this if you don't feel the need. 

Now, I baked this in a 8" /20 cm square baking tin that I buttered and line with baking parchment.
You could split the mixture between two 2lb loaf tins if preferred. 

You will need a large saucepan

If you prefer to measure rather than weigh your ingredients then here's a detailed 
Conversion Chart

Ingredients :-

250ml / 1 cup  water 
2 tbsp Irish Whiskey (Optional)
900 gms / 6 cups  mixed dried fruits ( see my comments above)
225 gms/ 1 cup soft brown sugar  ( use granulated if that's all you have)
230 gms / 2¼ cups plain (all purpose) flour
170 gms/ 1½ sticks butter
1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda ( Baking Soda)
1 heaped tsp mixed spice ( pumpkin spice will do nicely)
2 large beaten eggs
a handful of chopped nuts to top (Optional)
Apricot glaze (Optional)

Method :-

Add the water, Whiskey ( if using) butter, sugar and fruit to a large pan and heat slowly to a simmer stirring regularly, simmer for 10 minutes.
Leave to cool slightly,

Heat the oven to 150C / 300F / Gas 2
Sieve together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and mixed spices
Add the flour mix and the eggs to the pan and give it a stir ... just to combine everything together... don't beat it.
Pour this into the prepared baking tin.
Smooth over and sprinkle with any nuts if using.
Place into the centre of the pre-heated oven and bake for around 1½ hours but check after 1¼ hours.  Place a skewer into the centre of the cake ..if it comes out clean it's ready.  Leave a little longer if not quite ready.

Remove from the oven , leave in  the tin for around 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire cooling rack.

For the glaze if using 2 tbsps of apricot jam and 1 tbsp water into a small pan... slowly bring to the boil and simmer for a couple of minutes... leave to cool slightly then brush over the cooled cake.

This cake can be served on the day but I find it improves greatly if left either wrapped in tin foil or in a sealed container for a couple of days.

Enjoy it and let me know how you get on ♥


Irish Farmhouse Boiled Fruit Cake

Well are you tempted to make this delicious cake?  If you are or especially if you have already please let me know how it went in the Comments below
Cheers me dears ♥


  1. Dor this looks absolutely sensational. I'm not a nut or whiskey fan but I can only imagine how wonderful your kitchen smelt whilst baking this. I hope it was delicious and packed with flavour. Enjoy sweetheart <3 Happy Sunday x x x

    1. Thanks Doodle, it certainly smells like Christmas whilst it's baking ♥

    2. It looks so moist and flavoursome. Like malt loaf, but better :) I do not eat cake as you know, but the last couple of recipes you have made/posted, have really had my mouth watering. I could even be swayed by one of your lovely cakes <3 xXx

    3. This is a recipe which was passed around neighbours years ago and I have been looking for it as forgot the proportions! However we steeped the fruit in tea first to plump it up and didn't use the whiskey!I think we might have used a little more b soda and I remember when you added the eggs the mixture fizzed up and seemed to almost double!

  2. Totally delightful Dor, my hubby won't stop at one piece so I woon't have to worry about it's shelf life. Thank you Natalie x

  3. You're such a sweetheart Natalie thankyou...I'm glad that hubby enjoys it so much ♥

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  5. Made one today, absolutely delicious! So I'm looking forward to trying it in a couple of days time. I shall definatly be making it again, in fact I will be making it next week for a charity event.Thank you for taking the time to put this recipe on the Internet x

  6. Making this for hubs, he will go crazy!! Nettie

  7. I am so making this! I hate fruitcake, but this one sounds great to me!

  8. Just found this site whilst generally browsing & I have sat here drooling over the lovely old style recipes of cakes from my childhood. My dad was a Master Baker & Confectioner so smells of wonderful things coming out of the oven bring back wonderful memories. I can't wait to try some of these starting with the Irish Boiled Fruit Cake or maybe the Iced Ginger Cake or perhaps. .... Oh blast - I'll just do several at once & invite some friends for afternnoon tea! 😛

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  10. sounds your oven temp. fan forced?

    1. yes it is, they almost all are here in the UK. It may take a little longer to bake in a conventional oven Lynnette x


I love sharing my recipes with you all...please feel free to comment's great to get some feedback ♥