This moist light fruit cake recipe makes a perfect light fruit cake. It is moist, filled lightly with an array of delicious dried fruits and has the perfect balance of spices for a truly scrumptious fruit cake.
This moist light fruit cake recipe is another one of my true and tried cake recipes that I have made countless times now. This lightly fruited cake has the right amount of mixed fruits in it - raisins, sultanas, candied mixed peel, cherries, and candied ginger.
The good thing about this cake is that you can actually adjust the quantity of mixed fruits that go into the cake. If you think you would prefer lesser fruits, or prefer more of one type of dried fruit to another, simply reduce or substitute each accordingly.
But do take note that when you reduce the quantity of the mixed fruits for a lighter version of this fruit cake, your cake will tend to be smaller, and you would, therefore, need to adjust the size of cake tin you use.
I usually make this light fruit cake for special occasions as door gifts. It is perfect to be cut into pieces, wrapped in plastic wrap, and packed in cute, fancy boxes.
The cake takes at least 1 week to mature and is at its best if stored for 2 weeks.
❤️Why you will love this recipe
- This is an easy fruitcake with simple making method.
- The recipe yields a moist cake and is simply the best fruitcake for anyone looking for a light fruit cake.
- It is perfect for the holiday season, and makes a perfect Christmas fruit cake for those who prefer a lighter Christmas cake (which is typically packed with fruits).
- The cake has just the right amount of fruits and spices and is also light enough to be enjoyed as an everyday fruit cake, with a cup of afternoon tea.
These are the ingredients that go into my light fruit cake:
- All purpose flour + baking powder + mixed spices + salt - mix these and sift them into the cake batter.
- Brown sugar - adds to the deep molasses taste in the cake. Dark brown sugar is the best.
- Butter (at room temperature) - I use salted butter. If you are using unsalted butter, double the amount of salt in the recipe.
- Eggs (at room temperature) - use large eggs (large sized eggs)
- Golden raisins
- Ground almond (almond flour)
- Glace cherries
- Mixed peel (candied orange peel)
- Candied ginger
- Molasses (optional) - gives depth in taste to the cake.
- Lemon juice - use fresh lemon juice and strain it to remove pulp and seeds.
- Vanilla extract - adds a lovely aroma and flavor to the light fruit cake.
- Orange juice - use fresh orange juice. Strain to remove any seeds and pulps.
*Refer to the recipe card below for full list of ingredients and exact quantities. For best results, use a digital kitchen scale where applicable*
🧾Substitution and variations
- Golden raisins, sultanas, glace cherries and mixed peel can be replaced with other mixed candied fruits. Replace them in the exact same quantity.
- The proportion of each of the dried fruits in the recipe (sultanas, cherries, raisins and mixed peel) can be altered but the total measure of all the dried fruits used should be the same as provided in the recipe.
- Vanilla extract can be substituted with almond extract.
This recipe has not been tested with other substitutions or variations. If you do try, please let me know in the comments section below!
👩🏻🍳How to make
- This light fruit cake is made using the creaming method, which means the cake batter is mixed by first creaming the butter and sugar before all the other ingredients are added in one by one.
- Here's how it should be done:
- Measure the mixed fruits (raisins, sultanas, cherries, mixed peel) and candied ginger. Chop them if you like and mix them into a large bowl. Add the ground almonds to the fruits and mix well. Set aside while you make the cake batter.
- For the batter, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time followed by molasses, lemon juice and vanilla. Fold in the flour mixture alternately with orange juice.
- Finally, add the dried fruits mix into the cake batter.
- Fold until they are well incorporated.
- Prepare the cake tin. Since this is a tall cake, you need to make sure the tin is double lined with parchment paper and wrapped with cake strips.
- Spoon batter into the prepared pan and bake for 2 hours and 10 minutes in a preheated oven. If the top is browning too much, cover with a layer of foil. Remove cake from the oven, let it cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
🍽️Serving & storage
- This light fruit cake is best left to rest for at least one week after baking. To store the cake, wait until its completely cool. Wrap it with parchment paper, followed by aluminum foil.
- Leave the cake in a cool place for one to two weeks before cutting.
- The cut fruit cake pieces can last at room temperature for a good 2 weeks provided they are handled with care, without any moisture.
- The cake can last in the fridge (in an airtight container) for a good one month. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Line your cake tins well
- This light fruit cake takes approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes to bake to perfection. Given the long baking time, to avoid the sides of the cake from over baking and to dry out, you must wrap the sides of the cake tin with a double layer of brown paper or baking strips. This cake recipe has been calculated to produce cakes of approximately 3 inches high.
- If you are using a 3 inches tall cake pan, it is advisable that the parchment paper lining the insides of your cake tin be left at an extra height of one or 2 inches than the cake tin. This will prevent the cake from overflowing from the sides, should that ever happen (the cake has never even overflown for me - after having made this cake for so many times, but its always better to take precautions.)
Use good quality ingredients
- This light fruit cake uses orange juice and lemon juice. Use only fresh juice squeezed from the fruits and not bottled juices. This recipe also calls for the use of molasses. This is an optional ingredient, but if you do use it, it adds depth to the cake, which positively enhances the taste of the cake.
- There is minimal baking powder in the cake, and that is intentional. Fruit cakes don't quite require much raising agents, as they are meant to be dense. I use salted butter in this light fruit cake recipe, and so the amount of salt I add separately to the cake batter is rather little. You can use unsalted butter, and if you do, double the amount of salt you add separately in the recipe to compensate.
Reduce baking temperature
- The baking heat for this cake is slightly reduced at 160 degrees Celsius compared to other cakes, which is generally at 170 degrees Celsius. This is to adjust to the height of the cake, which is pretty tall at 3 inches.
- At this height, the cake requires a lot longer baking time compared to a shorter layer of cake, and therefore, to prevent the sides of the cake from drying out due to over baking, the baking temperature needs to be reduced so that the cake sides don't bake too soon.
- Also, place the cake in the lowest rack in your oven. That way, you can prevent the top of the cake from browning too much.
Maintain the total quantity of dried fruits
- The mixed fruits used in this lightly fruited cake consist of sultanas, raisins, glace cherries, mixed peel, and candied ginger. While the recipe calls for a specific quantity for each of these fruits, they are entirely customizable. You can increase or reduce the amount of one type of fruit and replace it with another provided the total quantity of fruits used in the recipe remains the same.
- You can even use fruit mix sold in packages provided the weight equals the total of all the dried fruits mentioned in the recipe. Should you prefer an even lighter version of this light fruit cake recipe, you can reduce the quantity of fruits used, but keep in mind that decreasing fruits could result in a smaller cake and you would need to adjust the total baking time as the cake batter will be reduced.
Store this cake for at least one week before cutting
- Since this cake is filled with fruits, it requires time to mature so that when you cut it, the fruits don't crumble. Ideally, it should be stored for at least two weeks before cutting, but I have tried cutting it at one week, and it was ok too, so if you need to serve this cake sooner than planned, it's best you let it rest for at least one week.
- To store the cake, wrap it in parchment paper (you can use the same ones used to line the cake tin), followed by cling wrap and finally with foil. Keep the cake in a cool, dry place.
A light fruit cake has less fruits, and also less spices. Dark fruit cake on the other hand is often filled with more fruits, and mostly darker fruits, have a higher amount of spices and are often made using higher amounts of alcohol.
This light fruit cake can become dry if you overbake it. Using a high baking temperature and placing the cake on the top racks on the oven are other contributing factors for a dry fruit cake.
Follow the baking temperature and time as indicated in the recipe for best results.
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Moist Light Fruit Cake (the Best Ever)!
For best results, use the metrics measurements. US customary measurements have not been tested and are only meant for guide.
- 250 g all purpose flour
- 240 g brown sugar
- 275 g butter at room temperature
- 4 eggs at room temperature
- 85 g raisins
- 85 g sultanas
- 40 g ground almond (almond flour)
- 60 g glace cherries
- 60 g mixed peel (candied orange peel)
- 30 g candied ginger
- 1 ⅓ tablespoon molasses optional
- ½ teaspoon mixed spices
- ⅛ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅓ teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ tablespoon orange juice
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 160 °Celsius. Grease and line cake tin with parchment paper and wrap the tin with 2 layers of brown paper or baking strips.
- Chop the fruits if you like them chopped and mix with ground almond. Leave aside.
- In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract, lemon juice, and molasses and mix well.
- Gently fold in the sifted dry ingredients alternately with orange juice. Mix until flour is well incorporated in the batter.
- Add the mixed fruits into the batter and mix well.
- Pour batter into a greased and lined cake tin and bake for about 2 hours and 10 minutes on the lowest rack.
- Remove cake from the oven and let it rest in the tin for 10 minutes. Remove cake from tin and let it cool completely.
- Once completely cooled, wrap it neatly in parchment paper, followed by plastic wrap and foil and store in a cool, dry place for 1 week before icing or cutting the cake.
Calculated Tin Sizes9 inches round/ 8 inches square (makes 1 layer of approx. 3 inches high cake)
- 410 g all purpose flour
- 400 g brown sugar
- 460 g butter (at room temperature)
- 6 eggs (at room temperature)
- 140 g raisins
- 140 g sultanas
- 65 g ground almond
- 100 g glace cherries
- 100 g mixed peel
- 50 g candied ginger
- 2 tablespoon molasses (optional)
- 1 teaspoon mixed spices
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 630 g all purpose flour
- 615 g brown sugar
- 705 g butter (at room temperature)
- 9 eggs (at room temperature)
- 200 g raisins
- 200 g sultanas
- 100 g ground almond
- 150 g glace cherries
- 150 g mixed peel
- 75 g candied ginger
- 3 tablespoon molasses (optional)
- 1 ½ teaspoon mixed spices
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ tablespoon orange juice
- ½ teaspoon salt