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Easy Lunchbox Fruitcake

Updated on January 2, 2013
BlossomSB profile image

Bronwen is interested in food, diet, and creating recipes, as she has prepared family meals and organised church and home functions.

Healthy Fruitcake Straight From the Oven
Healthy Fruitcake Straight From the Oven | Source

Easy Fruitcake Recipe

This recipe is for the easiest way to make a nutritious fruitcake for the children's lunchbox, but with a few additions it is good enough for any festivity that requires a fruitcake.

It's Easy and Healthy

Dried fruit is sweet enough on its own, so the cake does not require added sugar. There is no need to add butter or other shortening and even the eggs can be omitted if necessary. The tins are lined so the only things needing cleaning are the bowl and spoon. Rinse in cold water straight after use and they will wash easily.

I made this cake in varying quantities for my children's lunch boxes (and mine) for years. The only problem was that it never lasted long enough. I've just made a large quantity of the celebration kind and cooked it in three tins of different sizes. By the time Christmas and some family birthdays arrive, they will be nicely matured. The waiting really adds to the flavour of a birthday or Christmas fruitcake.


This cake is easy to make, but there are choices you need to make first.

  • The amount of dried fruit you use is your choice.
  • The dried fruit you choose to use is your choice; if in a hurry, you may simply use a supermarket pack of dried fruit.
  • An eggless fruitcake is fine. You may omit the eggs and this recipe will work quite well. The cake should still be moist, but if the yours turns out to be a little dry and crumbly, simply spread with butter as with a teacake.
  • If the cake is intended for a celebration of some kind, you may decide to use a range of fruits such as raisins, sultanas, currants and then add in candied peel, glacé cherries, slivered almonds, or any amount of other items such as glacé pineapple and ginger.
  • It won't be quite as healthy, but you can use all white self-raising flour if you prefer.
  • You may want it to be a fruitcake with rum. Simply by adding some rum or other alcohol, either to the tea and fruit when soaking, or to the mixture you can turn a celebration fruitcake into a Christmas cake. Make it several weeks before Christmas and the alcohol can act as a preservative as well as a flavouring. Don't forget the cherries! You can also flavour your cake with vanilla or almond essence.
  • Lining the cake tins helps to prevent the cake from burning and keeps the tins clean - no messy washing-up.
  • If you want to decorate the celebration version, keep it upside down, remove the baking paper and you have a lovely smooth surface to work on. Paint it first with warmed apricot jam that has been sieved to remove lumps. This will help the covering of icing or marzipan to adhere to the cake.

The ingredients and instructions given below are for the simplest fruitcake suitable for adding slices to a lunchbox. You can choose to add any or all of the above suggestions and the only things that need adjusting is the quantity of black tea and the number of eggs.

Cast your vote for Easy Lunchbox Fruitcake

Cook Time

Prep time: 12 hours 10 min
Cook time: 1 hour 15 min
Ready in: 13 hours 25 min
Yields: In ratio to the amount of dried fruit used


  • 1 kg mixed dried fruit, with any stems removed
  • 1 pot black leaf-tea, fairly strong
  • 2 eggs, beaten, but not frothy
  • wholemeal self-raising flour, or half wholemeal and half white
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon, or other preferred spice
Soak the fruit in hot black tea
Soak the fruit in hot black tea | Source


  1. Put the fruit in a large bowl, add the hot tea to just above the same level, cover with a clean cloth and leave to stand overnight.
  2. Heat the oven to 200 deg C or about 390 deg F. Line the cake tins with baking paper so the sides are covered and there is a double layer on the bottom.
  3. Stir the fruit a little. Add the beaten eggs, spice and flour and stir until well mixed. Continue adding flour and stirring until the mixture is a good, moist consistency.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the lined cake tin and smooth the top, leaving a slight hollow in the centre so that it rises flat.
  5. Place in the centre of the oven. After about 15 minutes turn the heat down to 125 deg C or about 260 deg F. Continue to cook for about one hour. About 5 minutes before it is ready, open the oven door slowly and test the cake with a cake tester or skewer. If it comes out clean, the cake is cooked. If not, it may need a little longer. Close the oven door slowly to prevent the cake from going flat in the draught.
  6. When the cake is cooked, remove it from the oven and tip it gently out of the tin onto a cooling wire stand. Leave until cool and then store in an airtight container - if it gets that far!


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    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Kathryn Stratford: It is tasty and healthy, too. Do try to make it, it's not really difficult - and then you know what's in it and that there are no nasty additives. Thank you for your comment.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 5 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      This looks tasty, and simple to make. I have never actually made fruitcake myself, but I may try it sometime. I love dried fruit. Thanks for sharing this with us!

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Claudia Tello: I agree. The fruit provides the sweetness; it really needs no further sweetening. It is easy to customize and can be adjusted to whatever ingredients are available in the pantry. It holds together without eggs quite well unless I add too much liquid, and then it seems to get a bit crumbly, but it still tastes good. Sometimes I even serve it up heated with custard as a dessert!

    • Claudia Tello profile image

      Claudia Tello 5 years ago from Mexico

      I usually find fruitcakes too sweet. Commercial ones are normally too filled with fruit, almost no bread (I see the fruit, where is the cake!! :D) Also, I’d rather use dried fruit only and, instead of the candied fruit, add some walnuts/pecans and spices.

      I love your idea of customizing the fruitcake to one’s preferences adding the right amount of fruit, sweetness and flour. No fruitcake can be better to the one we make at home right? (and healthier, like you well said).

      I didn’t know an eggless fruitcake could turn out fine! You have given great information and tips.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      GusTheRedneck: Hey! Why wait for your wife to make it? Some of the best chefs in the world are men - why don't you have a try? It's not really difficult and gives a great sense of achievement. Give her a surprise!

    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 5 years ago from USA

      "BSB" (BlossomSB) - Stop it ! You are being grossly unfair. I gotta have some of this stuff. Where's that goofy wife of mine? She needs to get busy here. I am going outside for oxygen to use in awakening my lazy tastebuds. You better doggone well stop doing this to us ordinary folk. :-)

      Gus :-)))

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      stars439: It can be quite simple to make and is healthy and filling as well. I hope you enjoy it. May God bless you, too.

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 5 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      A wonderful idea to make when I get well. A great idea. God Bless You.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      PurvisBobbi44: Thank you, that is lovely of you. Sorry I did not see your comments before.

      Mekenzie: The quantities depend on how much fruit you put in the bowl. Add just enough hot, black tea to cover the fruit; the flour is the same: add enough to make a good, not too stiff and not too runny mixture. A cake tin is the receptacle that the cake is cooked in; its size will depend on the amount of fruit you put in, and so the size of the completed mixture. For me, a muffin tin is very small, a one-person size and you can use that, too, if you only have a very small amount of fruit, but that would be a waste of energy, unless you try cooking it in a microwave oven. If you do that, I 'd love to know how it goes!

    • Mekenzie profile image

      Susan Ream 5 years ago from Michigan

      I adore fruitcake and this recipe looks very healthy. I do have a few questions though. Sometimes our cultures different methods of measurements gets confusing.

      First, How much is in a pot of tea? 4 cups - 6 cups? How much flour do you use in this recipe. What is a cake tin ... is it equivalent to our muffin tin?

      I'm excited to try this recipe for Christmas. Thank YOU!

      Voted up and useful!


    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 5 years ago from Florida

      Hi Blossom,

      What a great hub and just in time for the holidays. Thanks I am going to try this one for sure.

      Thanks again---I voted and Tweeted to my followers.

      Bobbi Purvis

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Movie Master: Thank you. One of the best features for me is that cleaning up afterwards is so easy, too.

      shampa sadhya: Thank you. I hope you enjoy it.

      carriethomson: It really is useful for lunchboxes; healthy and tasty.

      LaThing: Thank you for your vote, I hope you try it.

      JayeWisdom: Ha! I remember a letter that one of my brothers-in-law sent back home. He thanked his mother for the cake, adding "the lads and I enjoyed the drink of cake!"

      teaches12345: You can actually make it into a dessert by heating a slice and pouring cream or custard over. It tastes a treat that way!

      shara63: I hope it worked and was well accepted. About the only thing that can go wrong is if it's under or over cooked. I hate burnt fruit!

    • shara63 profile image

      Farhat 5 years ago from Delhi

      i'm not gud at cakes...bcoz i'm never ever taught by anyone the way you have guided us here ..step by step, with small small valuable tips, so perfectly... for the beginners to learn easily...and now i hope, i wud be able to make the cake that my boys will enjoy & appreciate my baking skills....Thankyou so much BlossomSB!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I remember my parents would get these for Christmas and we all enjoyed having it for dessert afterwards. Your recipe looks really good. I like the fact that you made these for lunchboxes, how sweet a treat. Voted up.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 5 years ago from Deep South, USA

      You must be a fruitcake master, Blossom, with so much experience making them! This hub reminded me of the holiday fruitcakes my late father-in-law always made. He baked them about a month before use, wrapped them in cheesecloth and soaked them in bourbon. Then, almost daily, he added a bit more bourbon. After a couple of weeks, you could smell them when he opened the front door! Ha-ha.

      Voted Up++


    • LaThing profile image

      LaThing 5 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      This looks good and simple.... I have to try this out. Thanks for sharing, Blossom!

      Voting up and useful....

    • carriethomson profile image

      carriethomson 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      This recipe is something unique and differently been prepared, i wanna try this in my kitchen for kids and guests even for neighbour.Thanks for the sharing recipe with us.

    • shampa sadhya profile image

      Shampa Sadhya 5 years ago from NEW DELHI, INDIA

      Voted up and useful!

      I do make cakes but have never tried this recipe. I loved the recipe because dry fruits are also my favorite. I will try this at the earliest. Sharing and pinning.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Wonderful recipe Blossom, I love fruit cake and your recipe is so easy and flexible too!

      Thank you and voted up

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      coffeegginmyrice: I'm sure you'll be brave enough for this one. It really is easy - not even any pans to clean afterwards, although for Christmas I would at least add the glacé cherries and some flavouring. I don't think my photos do it justice as you can't see any of the cherries, but I made a big mixture, so at least now my Christmas and birthday cakes are made.

      livingsta: Thank you for your comments. Hope you try it.

      Frank Atanacio: Ha! But you're not doing anything for those 12 hours! The fruit is just soaking overnight in the black tea, so the actual prep time is about ten minutes. Thanks for the rating.

      shiningirisheyes: Well, ahead in that department, but just think of all those cards and gifts still to be done! That reminds me, I was going to start making a list today. Oh, well, there's always tomorrow.

      RogerSanchezJr: I know! They smell so good I'm going to have to be very strong-minded!

      Aviannovice: I was tempted to make it with rice flour to see what would happen. Maybe one day I'll try as I have a granddaughter who is allergic to wheat.

      Michele Travis: Please do! I hope you enjoy it.

      Angela Blair: Have fun! I've never had a failure, except when I forgot it in the oven once and the outside fruit burned. It wasn't wasted though, I just scraped off the burnt bits and hid the bumpy surface with icing.

      kj force: That is so true! When you make it yourself you know what has gone into it. Using the mix for cookies is a good idea, I'll have to try it.

    • kj force profile image

      kjforce 5 years ago from Florida

      BlossomSB...thank you sharing this receipe (I didn't know you could make it without eggs ) Wow.. ...I have been making a version of this for years, thanks to my Aunt....everyone looks forward to my " holiday cake " best part,

      no preservatives or chemical additives..I have even made cookies from this receipe.. great for older friends and relatives.. ( always bake on parchment paper on cookie sheets )....thanks again...

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Sounds like an exceptional recipe to me and I'll definitely try it over the holidays. Best/Sis

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 5 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Looks great. I am trying to learn to be a better cook. May I have you permission to bookmark this to my front page? That way I can look it up and cook it later.

      Voted up!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Very, very nice! If you had me around, it wouldn't last at all, even with my wheat allergy.

    • RogerSanchezJr profile image

      Roger A Sanchez Jr 5 years ago from Sequoyah County of Oklahoma

      Blossom, you are making me hungry! Thank you for your sharing this! Be blessed!

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 5 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Blossom - Aren't you just the creative one. And you are well ahead of the game for the upcoming Holiday Season!


    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

      Blossom what a treat for the holidays.. I rated it a five just not sure about the prep and ready time.. LOL thank you for the share

    • livingsta profile image

      livingsta 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Very nice recipe, thank you for sharing. Voted up, useful and sharing!

    • coffeegginmyrice profile image

      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      I have to be brave to try this for I love holiday fruit cakes. These fruit cakes are getting expensive and it is only in Christmas season where I get to eat it again. Nobody else in my family likes it because of the dried fruits and jellies, but it doesn't matter, I still buy a small block all to myself. I say, "You'll lose one half of your life."

      Some commercialized ones are too rich, that it take days even weeks for me to finish. I love the homemade fruit cake my aunt used to bake a month early before Christmas. I wonder if she still does it.

      Would love to bookmark this, Blossom! Pinning as well! Useful. Awesome. Interesting.