Cranberry fruit cake

A superb cake for a special occasion.

Vegetarian. Hands-on time: 10 mins. Total time: 1 hour 10 mins.

Contributed by Janey Macleod (November 2008).

If you want to make a truly special cake, this is the one to go for. It really is delicious light and fruity, with a superb texture. This is the recipe I turn to when I want a cake for a special occasion, and it's never let me down. It's especially welcome at Christmas (when cranberries are plentiful), as it makes a lighter, more nutritious alternative to the typical stodgy Christmas fruit cake.



Oven: Pre-heat to 350F (175C)

Cover the apricots and prunes with cold water, and gently stew until they are soft. You can do this either on the stove top or in the microwave. Drain off most of the excess liquid, leaving just enough to moisten the fruit (don't throw the excess liquid away; when cooled, it can be added to fruit juice or drunk on its own). Puree the fruit in a blender or food processor.

In a large bowl, mix the fruit puree with the butter or margarine, orange juice, honey, eggs, lemon juice, vine fruit, cranberries and pumpkin seeds. Sift in the flour, then stir in the baking powder and spices.

Transfer the mixture to a large oiled cake tin. Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat by 20F (10C) and bake for a further 40 50 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Cool in the tin for about ten minutes before turning out.

Note on quantities and temperatures:
Quantities are given in American (cups), imperial (oz, fl oz) and metric (g, ml) units. Do not mix the units - use one or other system throughout the recipe.
See also How much does a cup weigh?
oz = ounces, fl oz = fluid ounces, g = grams, ml = milliliters, tsp = teaspoons, tbsp = tablespoons.
Oven temperatures are given in degrees F (Fahrenheit) and C (Celsius).
For fan-assisted ovens, reduce the temperature by 20F or 10C.