Gingergirl celebration cake

Myself and my sister Anne from Stangmore Town House are currently working on a modern twist to the Traditional Fruit Cake. We’re not big on the ’70’s style of glace cherries and peel and we want to experiment with the wonderful range of dried fruits now available.

Of course this is a great excuse to talk constantly on the phone,(Anne is based in Dungannon, Co. Tyrone) so Neil and Andy, we do apologise, but we’re all about the cake!!!

Feb 25th, 2008

March 5th. Our little cake is very happy at the mo as it’s enjoying little sips of whiskey and sweet tea here and there! 10 days to go!

March 7th. Oh our cake must have hit adolescence as it’s insisting we play ‘Take That’ at full volume and we have to drive it all over town!!!

We’re delighted to present our Celebration Cake! Enjoy.

250ml hot tea – I used Green Tea with Pineapple & Grapefruit but this can be substituted for any other variety or just plain old Lyon’s.
2 tbsp Armagnac
2 tbsp Grand Marnier
3 tbsp good quality marmalade
600g dried fruit of choice – I used Whitworths Flame Raisin & Berry Mix combined with tropical mix (dried pineapple, mango, papaya etc)
200 g brazil nuts you can buy nuts pre-chopped but they never give you the same texture, much better to spend 20mins chopping them by hand – then toast them under a hot grill until just golden (watch them they will burn very quickly!)
225g butter – softened to room temperature
4 large eggs beaten
225g plain flour
225g soft light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
grated zest one small orange


1. The day before you want to bake the cake, mix together the tea, alcohol and marmalade in a large bowl and stir in all the dried fruit. Cover and leave to soak overnight.
2. Next day, heat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/Gas 3 and grease and double line a 20cm round, deep cake tin with greaseproof paper.
3. Cream together the butter and sugar – take time over this to make sure it is light and fluffy.
4. Add the beaten egg a little at a time and beat well.
5. Fold in the flour and spices, followed by the nuts and fruit (including any liquid which hasn’t been absorbed although most of it will disappear into the fruit.)
6. Spoon into the prepared tin, level the top and bake for 1 ½ hours – turn the oven down to 140C / 120C fan / Gas 1 and bake for another 1 ½ hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
7. Cool in the tin on a wire rack.
8. Whilst still warm, make some small holes in the top of the cake and spoon over a mixture of sweetened tea with your choice of alcohol in it. This is called “feeding” the cake and will add moistness but don’t overdo it or it will be soggy! If you are making the cake well ahead you can “feed” it every week until you need it. This cake should keep for a month if well wrapped up in greaseproof and tin foil.
9. Suitable for decorating as desired.

see all recipes