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Recipe for Christmas Drunken Fruitcake

Updated on May 11, 2017
Beth Eaglescliffe profile image

Science graduate and business advisor, health educator and author, Beth writes articles on a wide variety of subjects.

Bremer Klaben; a traditional German moist fruit cake made with vine fruits (raisins).
Bremer Klaben; a traditional German moist fruit cake made with vine fruits (raisins). | Source

Drunken or Boozy Fruitcake

One of the nicest fruitcakes to make is the drunken (or boozy) fruit cake. As its name implies, this fruitcake contains alcohol. (The alcohol can be replaced by fruit juice but this will give the cake a much shorter storage life.)

Drunken fruitcake is far moister than a standard fruitcake because of the large quantities of alcohol used in the recipe. Due to the preservative nature of alcohol, this fruitcake will remain edible and appetizing for several months if kept in an airtight container. It's usually baked at Christmas-time or other winter holidays, but it's a wonderful cake to make at any time of the year.

Do you like drunken boozy fruit cake?

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A Winter Treat for Xmas Holidays

The drunken fruitcake is made in the darkest part of winter and is intended to warm the spirit as well as provide fuel for the body. It is made by soaking dried fruit in alcohol before baking. After it's cooked yet more alcohol is added. The cake is soaked in alcohol and becomes moist and melt-in-the-mouth delicious. Don't just take my word for it; bake one today and try it for yourself!

Three Steps to Heaven

To make this tasty fruit cake, there are three steps.

1. The dried fruits are soaked in alcohol overnight so that they are enlarged before they are added to the dry ingredients.

2. The cake is baked using the alcohol bloated fruits.

3. The optional final stage is to “irrigate” the cake after it has been baked with even more alcohol.

A slice of American fruitcake with cherries, nuts and candied fruit.
A slice of American fruitcake with cherries, nuts and candied fruit. | Source

Ingredients for the Fruitcake

The following quantities will make a very rich, eight inch drunken fruit cake.

8oz butter

6oz soft brown sugar

2oz Muscovado sugar

2 tablespoons molasses

2 teaspoons mixed spice

10oz plain flour

5 large eggs

The prepared drunken fruit mixture (as given below)

Ingredients for the Drunken Fruit Mixture

1 ½ pounds of dried fruit and candied peel

This can be in any combination, but a good mix is as follows: 6oz light raisins, 6oz dark raisins, 4oz chopped dried figs, 4oz chopped dates, and 4oz mixed peel.

(Alternatively you can use a store bought ready prepared mixture of 1 ½ pounds of dried fruit and peel.)

2oz superfine sugar

½ cup of hot water

1½ cups of brandy

A small orange

Heaped teaspoonful cinnamon

How to Make the Dried Fruit Swell

1. Make a sugar syrup by dissolving the sugar into the hot water.

2. In a large bowl pour the sugar syrup over the dried mixed fruit.

3. Add the brandy, the cinnamon and then the zest and juice of the orange.

4. Stir it all together. Cover the bowl with Clingfilm or foil and place it in the fridge to rest. You should allow at least twenty-four hours for the dried fruit mixture to absorb all the liquid.

The boozy fruit is prepared the previous day.

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 2 hours
Ready in: 2 hours 30 min
Yields: Makes a very rich 8 inch cake (8 to 10 portions)

How to Make the Boozy Fruit Cake

1. Turn the oven on before you start to prepare the cake. That way it will have heated up by the time you have finished making your mixture. The cake needs to be baked at 325 degrees Fahrenheit, 170 degrees Centigrade or Gas Mark 3 for about two hours.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.

3. Stir in the treacle.

4. Add the eggs one at a time and beat air into the mixture as you do so. This will help your final cake taste light and airy.

5. Gently fold in the sieved flour and the mixed spice. The action of folding at this stage in the recipe, rather than beating, will help maintain the cake’s lightness.

6. Add the plump alcoholic fruit mix and stir the mixture well (but don’t beat it). This will help the fruit to be evenly distributed throughout the cake.

7. To stop the cake from sticking to your baking tin, grease it well or use greaseproof paper before pouring the mixture into it.

8. Put the cake into the preheated oven. Different ovens affect how long the cake will take to be ready.

9. About 15 minutes before the two-hour baking period is up, test to see if your cake is done by inserting a clean knife or skewer into it. If the knife comes out cleanly with no crumbs sticking to it, then the cake is cooked.

10. Turn the cake out of the baking tin and place it on a wire rack to cool.

11. The final optional stage is to make the fruit cake more alcoholic. To do this, make lots of tiny incisions into the cake with either a knife or skewer. Using a teaspoon, pour a few spoonful’s of brandy over the cake.

12. Place the cake in an airtight container in a cool place. Every day for a week pour an additional two teaspoonful’s of brandy onto the cake.

13. The drunken fruit cake is ready for eating when it will soak up no more alcohol (about a week). Or when you can resist eating it no longer!

14. Serve with either fresh cream or custard.

The video below shows a drunken fruit cake being made.

Recipe for Drunken Fruit Cake

5 stars from 1 rating of Recipe for Drunken Fruit Cake

How to Make a Fruitcake

Quick Batter Mix Drunken Fruitcake (with Even More Alcohol)

If you prefer to bake with ready mixes, the video below shows you how.

The Gluttonous Maximus recipe ingredients for a drunken fruitcake are as follows.

1 box golden cake mix

1 packet vanilla pudding

½ cup oil

1 cup milk

2 shots whisky

4 eggs

Step 1. Mix all the above into a batter. Then add the fruit and nuts.

½ cup rum soaked raisins

½ cup brandy soaked cranberries

1 cup mixed nuts (walnuts and hazel nuts)

Step 2. Pour the batter into a greased cake ring.

Step 3. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

Step 4. Make a sugar glaze to pour over the baked cake.

4 tablespoons butter

1 cup sugar

2 shots whiskey

Step 5. Allow the glaze to soak into the cake for 70 minutes.

Step 6. Make a thin icing glaze as follows and drizzle on the cake.

1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar (icing sugar)

1 shot of alcohol or orange juice

This recipe serves 8 people. There is one shot of alcohol in each portion.


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    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Sounds great! I like anything with treacle in it and even better if it's alcoholic! This sounds a bit like the Christmas mix I do which I then divide to make one cake and one pudding. The moistness is so important as fruit cake can dry out so quickly and then it just sticks in your throat - ugh!

      Great instructions for the likes of me who aren't great cooks!


    • quildon profile image

      Angela Joseph 2 years ago from Florida

      Where I come from, Trinidad and Tobago, we make our fruitcake similar to yours, but we grind and soak our fruit in sweet, red wine weeks, sometimes months in advance, so that every inch of the cake is saturated with the fruit and alcohol, and it stays moist for a long time. Some people darken the mixture with burnt sugar or store-bought browning. Great stuff!

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