December 5, 2018

Granny Thelma’s Christmas Fruitcake

Recipe: Thelma Lawlor

Wooden fruitcake boxes can be purchased online but are also easy to build at home. Or, you can bake in a 9-inch x 5-inch x 3-inch loaf pan. Though there are varying opinions on how long a fruitcake needs to mature, this cake does well made anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks in advance.


  • 2 cups dried currants
  • 2 cups sultanas
  • 1⁄2 cup dried figs, chopped
  • 1 1⁄2 cups glace fruit mix, chopped
  • 1 cup mixed peel
  • 1⁄2 cup dark rum or brandy, plus more for feeding
  • 1⁄3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3⁄4 cup firmly packed demerara sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1⁄2 cup molasses
  • 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3⁄4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1⁄4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1⁄2 tsp all spice
  • 1⁄2 cup ground almonds
  • 1 cup whole almonds


Yield: Makes one 9-inch x 5-inch fruitcake

Make Batter

  1. In a pot over medium heat, combine currants, sultanas, figs, glace mix, mixed peel and 1⁄4 cup rum. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely with lid on. This will soften the fruit. Alternatively, allow fruit and rum to sit together in an airtight container overnight.
  3. Cream butter with sugar until pale and fluffy. Stir in eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Stir in molasses, soaked fruit and liquid.
  4. In separate bowl, mix flour with baking powder, ginger, nutmeg and allspice, then stir dry ingredients into wet. Stir in ground almonds and make sure batter is fully combined.
  5. Line the interior of the box with parchment paper. Pour in batter and smooth the top to avoid creating a dome in the center. Arrange almonds on top.

Bake Fruitcake

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Bake in center of oven, uncovered, for 1 hour.
  3. Reduce heat to 275°F and cover loosely with parchment paper. Bake for 1 more hour, then check cake for doneness. If needed, continue baking until skewer inserted into cake comes out clean.
  4. Remove from oven; allow to cool in box.
  5. Poke holes in top of cake and brush on remaining 1⁄4 cup rum.
  6. Fully wrap box in plastic wrap to allow cake to mature, storing at room temperature.
  7. If maturing your cake, feed it once a week. Unwrap the plastic and brush on 1 to 2 tablespoon of brandy or rum to add moistness and flavour, and then rewrap.
Author: Kristen Eppich

Donna Griffith


House & Home November 2017


Prop styling by Sasha Seymour