Mum's Fruit Loaf

A few of you mentioned comfort food when we were talking about Autumn. Well, this is the ultimate comfort food for me, my mum's fruit loaf! It is a double whammy, first you have the smell of spices drifting around the house and then out comes a gorgeous cake filled with fruit and tasting of cinnamon and ginger. Mmmmm!

Mum's Fruit Loaf

1/2 block of butter
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup sultanas
1 tsp ground mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup plain flour
1 cup self raising flour
1 egg

Preheat the oven to 150c, 300f, Gas Mark 2.

Add the butter, water, sultanas, sugar and spice to a pan and bring to the boil. Set aside to cool.

Once cool add the flour, baking soda and egg and mix well.

Pour into a prepared loaf tin (I buy greaseproof inserts for mine) and bake in the centre of the oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Insert a skewer, if it comes out clean, it is ready.

The first bite is the best. Still warm and smothered with butter!

My mum has made this loaf for as long as I can remember. She has the recipe scribbled into the margin of a cookbook, under the title: Australian Fruit Loaf. Her favourite cook books are filled with newspaper and magazine cuttings and with notes and recipes scribbled in with a pencil. I am not bold enough to write on the pages of a cookbook. I don't know if this is a healthy respect for books or if I am just not brave enough to put my thoughts into them!

Wendy over at A Wee Bit of Cooking made my mum's loaf for a cake stall at the Highland Games in June, but I am sure she won't mind if I share it again!

ps Wendy, I had some of your Membrillo Paste on oatcakes with cheese last night and it was gorgeous! I especially liked it with white stilton with apricots, it worked really well!


  1. I must post a recipe for a fruit cake given to me by a Scottish cook. His 'secret' was to boil the fruit to keep it moist.

    Have a great weekend!

  2. OOps! Read the recipe this time, you boil the fruit, too...

    Silly me

  3. Hi MissLionHeart, Nevermind, I would still like to see the recipe. Hope you have a good weekend too!

  4. Dear holler. Delish! I just love fruit (and fruit and nut) loaf. My mum used to buy (well, she probably still does) a delicious one from the farmer's markets in Brisbane, Australia where she lives. She also makes a really nice one. Oh I'm blathering. But out of interest, I wonder why your mum called the recipe Australian fruit loaf? Oh and I'm terribly guilty of writing in cookbooks, but I usually do it in pencil!

  5. Cor, that looks fantastic. My mum has a recipe that's very similar and I always associate the wonderful smell of it cooking with spending time in the kitchen with her as a kid. Comfort food par excellence.

  6. You don't know how lucky you are. My Mum's not much of a baker. Cherish these recipes.

  7. Now all you have to do is to ferret out the secret ingredients that she doesn't write down. ;)

  8. Love the sounds of your mom's fruit cake. I love raisins in many different ways. You will have to pass this recipe down from generation to generation!

  9. Very glad you enjoyed the membrillo. Haven't tried it with stilton yet. Must do so!
    And a lovely picture of what I know is a very tasty cake. Spicy and not too sweet. Yum.

  10. This really sounds comforting, especially with the butter! I love the pretty plate you served it on. Ya know, my mom was the same with writing down recipes. I have her collection of magazine clips, newspaper articles and her cigar box full of recipes on pieces of scrap paper. My grandmother did the same thing. I cherish all of these pieces of paper! They did not have very many cookbooks, just the scraps of paper. But I made up for that with my collection of books. But like you I cannot write in them!

  11. It has been a while since I have had a fruit loaf/cake. This one sounds tasty.

  12. Holler, congrats on coming in 2nd at this month's Joust! Cool!

  13. Hi Little Miss Moi, My mum does actually have cousins in Australia, but I think she got this one from a magazine.

    It is such a great smell, isn't it Jen?

    Hi Lynn, I will definitely keep hold of this recipe as it is foolproof. It has never failed me yet!

    Hi David, I shall have to quiz her to see if she has secret ingredients!

    Hi Val, It is certainly a keeper!

    Hey Wendy, The membrillo paste was good. A really interesting flavour, not too sweet, but it had a depth to the flavour! A tang I suppose, a bit like fruit peel!

    That must be a great collection to look through Deb. It must hold a lot of memories!

    It is very fine indeed Kevin!

    Hi Deb, I am very proud of my 2nd place in this month's food joust! I'll just have to try harder the next time! Stiff competiotn though!

  14. I love recipes that have been passed down - they always work so well

  15. I've a weakness for a fruit loaf...this will be added to my "to do" list!

    Hope the 3R cake gives you as much pleasure as it did me

  16. Hi Carolyn, This is definitely my favourite recipe from my mum!

    Hey C.C., That cake looks amazing, I will definitely try it! I wonder if Lakeland do greaseproof liners for square tins?

  17. Hey could you tell me how much 1/2 block of butter would be?? The Indian quantity may vary....th4, the question

  18. Hi, Sorry to take so long to reply Sheila. 1/2 block is 125g of butter.

  19. well its 2010 and I have just made your loaf in New Zealand. (with the extra addition of glaced cherries) Smells good. Hopefully tastes good too. Its cracked on top but I think thats pretty normal for a loaf.

  20. Really nice but very crumbles big time when I cut it. Not sure why that is.

  21. Hi Vanessa, glad you enjoyed it. It has a tendency to crumble if you cut it while it is still warm, but cuts beautifully after that :)

  22. Also, do you really only use one cup of sultanas? I used one cup and your loaf looks like its diffinietly full of more?

  23. Hi Jacqueline,this cake is just lovely. As happens with fruit cake, it is even better after a couple of days.Once again thanks for sharing x.


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