Chocolate Fruit Cake

A recipe for the more experienced cook as it can be difficult to tell when it is cooked

This recipe is a must for all chocolate lovers. It is a rich fruit cake with a delicious chocolate flavour.

Makes an 8″ round or 7″ square cake

175g (6oz) Butter – softened
175g (6oz) soft dark brown sugar
175g (6oz) plain flour
4 level tablespoons cocoa powder
3 medium sized eggs, beaten
500g (1lb) mixed fruit
125g (4oz) glace cherries
100g (3.5 oz) flaked almonds
200g dark chocolate (chocolate cooking drops are the best although a bar grated can be used)
Half teaspoon vanilla extract
Milk to mix

Grease and line the cake tin and set the oven to 160 deg C, 325 deg F, Gas Mark 3

Sift the flour and cocoa powder together and mix with the dried fruit, cherries, nuts and chocolate.
Cream the butter and sugar until it is light and creamy.
Gradually beat the eggs into the creamed butter and sugar. then fold in the floured fruit and nut mix.
Finally add the vanilla extract and enough milk to give a dropping consistency.

Spoon mixture into prepared tin and smooth the surface making a slight hollow in the centre.

Bake cake in the centre of the oven for one hour then reduce the temperature to 150 deg C, 300 deg F, Gas Mark 2 and contine baking until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean (approx further one and a half hours)
(Note) care must be taken not to overcook this cake as melted chocolate on the skewer can give the impression that the cake is not cooked.

When cooked, remove from the oven and leave in the tin until completely cold. Remove the lining paper and “feed” the cake (See No 9 in Basic Rules). A mixture of 2 tablespoons Dark Rum and 1 Tablespoon of Sherry works best with this cake.

Wrap in greaseproof paper and place in a sealed container. This cake is best left for at least four weeks before decorating/eating, but the wait is definately worthwhile.


  1. @Geraldine. You do not say whether your cake is round or square, but to made the calculation easier for you, I am going to assume square. If your tin is round, say 10″ then just assume it is a 9″ square as square tins take more mixture than round. This is why the recipe is for an 8″ round or 7″ square tin.
    My recipes assume that the depth of the cake tin is 2″. To start you need calculate the volume of the tins.
    7″ tin (7 x 7 x 2 = 98 cubic inches)
    9″ tin (9 x 9 x 2 = 162 cubic inches)
    To find percentage difference (98/162 x 100 = 60.49%). Round down to 60%.
    You can now use this percentage to calculate your ingredients. For example 100g Raisins would become 160g (100 + 60% = 160g).
    You may find that you have some odd quantities so may have to round down or up accordingly.

  2. @Geraldine. I will answer this is two parts. Firstly it is fine to bake the Golden fruit cake in May for a late June wedding. This cake is naturally moist due to the soft juicy sultanas and apricots, so does not take long to mature. The Chocolate fruit cake however, is denser due to the chocolate content and needs preferably 8 – 10 weeks. However if you are short of time, just feed it weekly and it will be lovely. Secondly there is a formula for increasing and decreasing cake mixtures and I really need to know if the cakes are to be round or square as the volume needs to be calculated.

  3. I have cooked this and it was amazing! I’ve been asked to make a top tier 6”double and 10” tier. Silly question would I make double the mixture for both cakes or how would I increase to make a 10” and reduce to make a 6”.
    How far in advance would you suggest I make these so they can mature thoroughly.
    I am also making the Golden fruit cake. Am I ok to cook this in May for a June 27 wedding or should I make it sooner? Many thanks for your help on this.

  4. @Geraldine. This would definitely make a wedding cake layer and I have done this. It does take a bit longer to mature though due to the chocolate content.

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