Delia Fruit Loaf Recipe

Last updated on March 14, 2024

Delia Fruit Loaf
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 15 Mins Cook Time: 50 Mins Total Time: 1 Hr 5 Mins

Delia Fruit Loaf is a delicious and moist cake, packed with dried fruits, nuts, and spices. It’s a perfect treat for tea time, breakfast, or any occasion. It’s also very easy to make and requires no special equipment or skills. This recipe makes one large loaf and can be prepared in about 2 hours, including baking time.

In this article, I will show you how to make Delia Fruit Loaf step by step, with tips and tricks along the way.

What is Delia Fruit Loaf Recipe?

Delia Fruit Loaf is a classic British cake recipe, created by the famous chef and cookbook author Delia Smith. It’s also known as Boiled Fruit Cake, as the dried fruits are boiled with sugar, butter, and water before adding to the batter. This makes the cake very moist and flavorful, as well as extending its shelf life.

Delia Fruit Loaf is a versatile cake that can be enjoyed plain or with butter, jam, cream, or cheese. It’s also a great way to use up any leftover dried fruits and nuts that you may have in your pantry.

Delia Fruit Loaf Recipe

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

There are many reasons to love this recipe, such as:

  • Simplicity in Preparation: With no need for advanced baking equipment or techniques, anyone can create this cake using just a bowl and a saucepan.
  • Rich and Flavorful: Though rich with fruits and nuts, this cake strikes a perfect balance in sweetness, offering satisfaction without heaviness.
  • Healthful Ingredients: Incorporating dried fruits, nuts, and wholemeal flour, the loaf is not just tasty but packed with nutrients.
  • Customizability: The recipe is highly adaptable, allowing for various combinations of fruits and nuts based on preference or what’s available in your pantry.
  • Vegetarian-Friendly: Easily adaptable to vegan alternatives, this recipe is suitable for a wide range of dietary preferences.

Ingredients Needed to Make Delia Fruit Loaf

To make Delia Fruit Loaf, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 225 g (8 oz) mixed dried fruits, such as raisins, sultanas, currants, cherries, apricots, cranberries, etc.
  • 50 g (2 oz) chopped mixed nuts, such as walnuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios, etc.
  • 150 g (5 oz) light brown sugar
  • 150 g (5 oz) butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 225 g (8 oz) wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Instructions to Make Delia Fruit Loaf

To make Delia Fruit Loaf, follow these steps:

Step 1: Preheat the oven and grease the loaf tin

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan, gas mark 4).
  • Grease a 900 g (2 lb) loaf tin and line it with baking parchment.

Step 2: Boil the dried fruits, nuts, sugar, butter, water, salt, and spices

  • In a large saucepan, place the mixed dried fruits, chopped mixed nuts, light brown sugar, butter, water, salt, mixed spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from the heat and let it cool slightly.

Step 3: Add the eggs and flour to the fruit mixture

  • In a small bowl, whisk the eggs lightly with a fork.
  • In another small bowl, sift the wholemeal self-raising flour and baking powder together.
  • Add the eggs and flour to the fruit mixture and stir well to combine.

Step 4: Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf tin and bake

  • Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf tin and level the surface with a spatula.
  • Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • If the top of the cake is browning too quickly, cover it loosely with foil halfway through the baking time.

Step 5: Let the cake cool and enjoy

  • Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool slightly in the tin.
  • Transfer the cake to a wire rack and let it cool completely.
  • Cut into slices and enjoy as desired.

Easy Delia Fruit Loaf Recipe

What Do I Serve With Delia Fruit Loaf?

Delia Fruit Loaf’s rich and moist texture makes it incredibly versatile, suitable for serving in various ways:

  • Enjoy it plain, savoring the loaf’s natural richness and flavor.
  • Pair it with butter, jam, cream, or cheese for a more decadent experience.
  • Serve alongside fresh fruits, yogurt, or custard for a lighter, refreshing dessert.
  • Complement it with ice cream, whipped cream, or chocolate sauce for an indulgent treat.

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Delia Fruit Loaf

Achieving the perfect Delia Fruit Loaf is about understanding and mastering a few key aspects:

  • Quality Ingredients: Opt for high-quality dried fruits and nuts for the best flavor and texture.
  • Proper Preparation: Boil the fruits with sugar, butter, and spices as directed to enhance moisture and flavor.
  • Don’t Overmix: Mix the batter just until combined to keep the loaf tender.
  • Bake to Perfection: Watch the baking time closely to avoid overbaking, which can dry out the cake.
  • Storage: Store the cooled loaf in an airtight container to maintain its moistness and extend its shelf life.

Variations of Delia Fruit Loaf

Delia Fruit Loaf is a canvas for creativity, allowing you to infuse a variety of flavors and textures based on your preferences or what you have on hand.

Here’s how you can customize this delightful cake:

  • Explore with Fruits and Nuts: Mix and match dried fruits such as dates, figs, prunes, and citrus, or nuts like hazelnuts, cashews, and macadamia for diverse textures and flavors.
  • Sweet Additions: Incorporate chocolate chips, candied peel, crystallized ginger, or glace cherries to add a layer of sweetness and texture.
  • Flavor Enhancements: Add zest from lemons or oranges, or a splash of vanilla, almond, or rum extract for a fragrant aroma.
  • Dairy-Free and Vegan Options: Use margarine, oil, or vegan butter instead of traditional butter, and substitute eggs with flax eggs, chia eggs, or mashed bananas to cater to dietary restrictions.

How do I Store Delia Fruit Loaf Leftovers?

Proper storage is crucial for maintaining the freshness and moisture of Delia Fruit Loaf.

Follow these steps to keep your leftovers tasting great:

  • Cool Completely: Ensure the loaf is entirely cool before storing to prevent condensation that can make the bread soggy.
  • Wrap Tightly: Use plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or an airtight container to wrap the loaf or slices, minimizing exposure to air.
  • Room Temperature Storage: Store the wrapped loaf at room temperature for up to a week. This environment is ideal for keeping the texture and flavor intact.
  • Refrigerate for Longer Freshness: For extended storage, refrigerate the wrapped loaf for up to 2 weeks. This can help preserve freshness and prevent mold growth.
  • Freeze for Long-Term Storage: Freeze the loaf or individual slices wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and then foil. Frozen, the loaf can last for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature or in the refrigerator before serving.

How do I Reheat Delia Fruit Loaf Leftovers?

Reheating Delia Fruit Loaf can bring back the warmth and enhance the flavors, especially if you enjoy your cake slightly warm.

Here’s how to properly reheat your leftovers:

  • Oven Method: Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F). Wrap the loaf or slices in aluminum foil to prevent them from drying out, and warm for about 10 minutes or until heated through. This method helps retain moisture and revives the loaf’s texture.
  • Microwave: If you’re short on time, you can microwave slices for about 20-30 seconds. Cover the slice with a damp paper towel to prevent it from drying out. Be cautious as microwaving can sometimes unevenly heat the loaf or alter its texture.
  • Toaster Oven: For individual slices, a toaster oven is a great option. Set it to a low-medium setting and heat for a few minutes until warm. This method is excellent for reviving the crust’s crispness while keeping the inside moist.


Can I Use Fresh Fruit Instead of Dried in Delia Fruit Loaf?

Using fresh fruit in Delia Fruit Loaf is not recommended due to the moisture content of fresh fruits, which can alter the cake’s texture and baking time. This recipe is specifically designed for dried fruits, which provide concentrated flavor and moisture without making the batter too wet. For the best results, stick to dried fruits or, if you want to incorporate fresh flavors, consider adding zest from citrus fruits for a burst of freshness without the extra liquid.

How Long Does Delia Fruit Loaf Last?

Delia Fruit Loaf, when stored properly, can last up to a week at room temperature, two weeks in the refrigerator, and up to three months in the freezer. To maximize freshness, wrap the loaf tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or store it in an airtight container. This helps to preserve its moisture and flavor, ensuring that the loaf remains delicious over time.

Can I Make Delia Fruit Loaf Gluten-Free?

Yes, Delia Fruit Loaf can be adapted to a gluten-free version by substituting wholemeal self-raising flour with a gluten-free self-raising flour blend. Additionally, ensure that your baking powder and any other added ingredients, such as dried fruits or nuts, are also gluten-free. Note that the texture and moisture content may vary slightly with gluten-free flour, so you might need to adjust the liquid ingredients accordingly.

Is It Possible to Make Delia Fruit Loaf Vegan?

Making Delia Fruit Loaf vegan is quite straightforward. Substitute the butter with plant-based butter or oil and replace the eggs with flax eggs (1 flax egg equals 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons of water, left to sit for 5 minutes). Ensure that any additional add-ins, such as chocolate chips, are also vegan. These substitutions can help you create a loaf that’s just as delicious and satisfying as the original while adhering to vegan dietary preferences.

Final Words

Delia Fruit Loaf is a delicious and moist cake, packed with dried fruits, nuts, and spices. It’s a perfect treat for tea time, breakfast, or any occasion. It’s also very easy to make and requires no special equipment or skills.

I hope you enjoyed this article and learned how to make Delia Fruit Loaf step by step, with tips and tricks along the way. If you have any questions or feedback, please let me know in the comments below.

Thank you for reading and happy baking!

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