This recipe originated from Trinidad & Tobago but has been slighly modified. It involves quite a lot of alcohol and a week’s pre-soaking; but it certainly is worth the wait!


For the pre-soaking:

  • 3 tablespoons rum
  • 3 tablespoons brandy
  • 3 tablespoons cherry brandy
  • 3 tablespoons port
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1½ teaspoons Angostura bitters
  • ½ level teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ level teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
  • ½ level teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 level tablespoon molasses sugar
  • 450g raisins
  • 225g currants
  • 110g no-soak prunes, chopped
  • 50g glacé cherries, chopped
  • 110g whole candied peel, finely chopped
  • 50g mixed chopped nuts

For the cake:

  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 250g demerara sugar
  • 250g spreadable butter
  • 5 large eggs


  1. About seven days before you intend to bake the cake, measure out all the pre-soaking ingredients into a large saucepan, ticking them off as you add them as it’s so easy to leave something out! .
  2. After that allow everything to cool completely, then pour the mixture into a large jar with a lid or an airtight plastic container and leave it in the fridge for seven days, shaking or stirring it around from time to time.
  3. When you’re ready to bake the cake, pre-heat the oven to gas mark 1, 275°F (140°C).
  4. Measure out the flour, sugar and softened butter into a very large mixing bowl, then add the eggs and either whisk or beat with a wooden spoon until everything is blended.
  5. Now gradually fold in the fruit mixture until it’s all evenly distributed. Then spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, levelling the surface with the back of the spoon.
  6. Bake the cake in the centre of the oven for 3 hours without opening the door, then cover the cake with a double thickness of silicone paper and continue to bake it for a further hour or until the centre feels springy when lightly touched.
  7. Cool the cake for 45 minutes in the tin, then remove it to a wire rack to finish cooling. When it’s completely cold, wrap in double silicone paper and then foil and store in an airtight container. There’s no need to feed this cake as it already has enough booze, but it does improve with keeping for about 1 month before cutting.