Mary Berry Fruit Cake Loaf Recipe: A Delicious and Easy-to-Make Treat

Yields: 6 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 30 Mins Cook Time: 1 Hr 30 Mins Total Time: 2 Hr

Mary Berry Fruit Cake Loaf is a delicious and moist cake, packed with dried fruits and nuts, and flavored with mixed spice and orange zest. It’s a classic recipe from the British baking legend, Mary Berry, who is known for her simple and foolproof cakes.

This recipe makes one large loaf, which can serve 10-12 people. It can be made in advance and stored for up to a week, or frozen for up to a month. It’s perfect for afternoon tea, breakfast, or as a gift for your loved ones.

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

What is Mary Berry Fruit Cake Loaf?

Mary Berry Fruit Cake Loaf is a type of fruit cake, which is a cake that contains dried fruits, such as raisins, currants, sultanas, cherries, and apricots, as well as nuts, such as almonds and walnuts. Fruit cakes are often soaked in alcohol, such as brandy, rum, or whisky, to enhance their flavor and preserve them for longer.

Mary Berry Fruit Cake Loaf Recipe

Other Popular Recipes to Try

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

There are many reasons to love this recipe, but here are some of the main ones:

  • Ease of Preparation: Straightforward, no-fuss recipe that doesn’t require advanced baking skills or specialized equipment.
  • Customizable: Easily adaptable to include your favorite dried fruits, nuts, or additional flavorings.
  • Delectable Taste: Offers a perfect balance of sweetness, spice, and fruitiness, ensuring each bite is packed with flavor.
  • Storage Friendly: Excellent shelf life, allowing you to enjoy the loaf over several days or freeze for later consumption.

Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Fruit Cake Loaf

To make this cake, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 175 g (6 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 175 g (6 oz) light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 225 g (8 oz) self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 400 g (14 oz) mixed dried fruits, such as raisins, currants, sultanas, cherries, and apricots
  • 50 g (2 oz) chopped nuts, such as almonds and walnuts
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 2 tbsp milk

Instructions to Make Mary Berry Fruit Cake Loaf Recipe

To make Mary Berry Fruit Cake Loaf, follow these steps:

Step 1: Preheat the oven and prepare the loaf tin

  • Preheat the oven to 160°C (140°C fan, gas mark 3).
  • Grease a 900 g (2 lb) loaf tin and line it with baking parchment.
  • Alternatively, you can use a loaf tin liner, which is a ready-made paper case that fits inside the tin.

Step 2: Cream the butter and sugar

  • In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon, until light and fluffy.
  • Alternatively, you can use an electric mixer or a stand mixer, but be careful not to overmix the batter, as this can make the cake tough.

Step 3: Add the eggs

  • Gradually add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture, beating well after each addition.
  • If the mixture looks curdled, don’t worry, this is normal and will not affect the final result. You can also add a tablespoon of flour to help prevent curdling.

Step 4: Add the flour, baking powder, and mixed spice

  • Sift the flour, baking powder, and mixed spice over the batter, and fold in gently with a metal spoon or a spatula, until well combined.
  • Do not overmix the batter, as this can make the cake tough. Just mix until there are no traces of flour left.

Step 5: Add the dried fruits, nuts, and orange zest

  • Stir in the dried fruits, nuts, and orange zest, and mix well, until evenly distributed throughout the batter.
  • You can use any combination of dried fruits and nuts that you like, or follow Mary Berry’s suggestion of using 100 g (4 oz) raisins, 100 g (4 oz) currants, 100 g (4 oz) sultanas, 50 g (2 oz) glacé cherries, and 50 g (2 oz) chopped dried apricots. For the nuts, you can use 25 g (1 oz) chopped almonds and 25 g (1 oz) chopped walnuts, or any other nuts that you prefer.

Step 6: Transfer the batter to the loaf tin and level the surface

  • Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf tin, and level the surface with the back of a spoon or a spatula.
  • Make a slight dip in the center of the batter, to help the cake rise evenly and prevent cracking.

Step 7: Bake the cake

  • Bake the cake in the preheated oven for about 1 to 1.5 hours, or until golden and firm to the touch.
  • To test if the cake is done, insert a skewer or a knife into the center of the cake, and if it comes out clean, the cake is ready. If it comes out with some batter or crumbs, the cake needs more time in the oven.
  • If the cake is browning too quickly, cover it loosely with aluminum foil, to prevent burning.

Step 8: Cool the cake

  • Once the cake is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool slightly in the tin for about 10 minutes.
  • Then, carefully lift the cake out of the tin, using the parchment paper or the liner, and transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Peel off the parchment paper or the liner, and enjoy your cake.

Mary Berry Fruit Cake Loaf


What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Fruit Cake Loaf?

This versatile loaf pairs well with a variety of accompaniments:

  • Buttery Spread: A classic slice with butter or margarine enhances its richness.
  • Jam or Marmalade: Adds a layer of sweetness and complements the dried fruits.
  • Creamy Toppings: Serve with whipped cream, custard, or a scoop of ice cream for an indulgent treat.
  • Cheese Pairing: A slice of sharp cheddar or creamy brie offers a delightful contrast.
  • Beverage Pairing: Perfect with a cup of tea, coffee, or a glass of your favorite wine.

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Fruit Cake Loaf

Here are some pro tips to make sure your cake turns out perfect every time:

  • Ingredient Temperature: Use room temperature ingredients to ensure a smooth batter.
  • Plump Up Fruits: Soak dried fruits in warm tea, juice, or alcohol to enhance flavor and moisture.
  • Even Distribution: Toss fruits and nuts in a little flour to prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the loaf.
  • Baking Time: Oven temperatures may vary. Start checking for doneness a little earlier than the recipe suggests to avoid overbaking.
  • Cooling: Allow the cake to cool completely in the tin before transferring it to a wire rack. This prevents the cake from falling apart.

Variations of Mary Berry Fruit Cake Loaf

You can make some variations of this cake by changing some of the ingredients or adding some extra ones.

Here are some ideas:

  • Chocolate Chip Addition: Stir in chocolate chips for a sweet twist.
  • Tropical Flavors: Incorporate dried pineapple, mango, and coconut for a tropical flair.
  • Extra Spices: Enhance the cake with additional spices like cinnamon or ginger for a warm flavor.
  • Nut Substitutes: For a nut-free version, replace nuts with seeds like pumpkin or sunflower, or simply increase the quantity of dried fruits.

How do I Store Mary Berry Fruit Cake Loaf Leftovers?

  • Room Temperature Storage: Keep in an airtight container for up to a week.
  • Refrigeration: For extended freshness, store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
  • Freezing: Wrap tightly and freeze for up to a month for longer preservation.

How do I Reheat Mary Berry Fruit Cake Loaf Leftovers?

  • Microwave Reheating: Warm slices briefly in the microwave, covered with a damp paper towel, for softness.
  • Oven Reheating: Wrap the cake or individual slices in foil and gently warm in a preheated oven to retain moisture and warmth.

Nutrition value (per slice, based on 14 slices):

  • 462 calories, 20 g fat,
  • 11 g saturated fat,
  • 0.6 g salt,
  • 64 g carbohydrates,
  • 49 g sugars,
  • 6 g protein,
  • 3 g fiber


Can I make this cake gluten-free?

Yes, you can make Mary Berry’s Banana and Carrot Cake gluten-free by substituting the self-raising flour with a gluten-free self-raising flour blend. Ensure to check that your baking powder and any other added ingredients are also gluten-free. Keep in mind that the texture might be slightly different, so you may need to adjust the amount of liquid to get the right batter consistency.

How can I make the cake moister?

This cake is already known for its moistness, thanks to the bananas and carrots. However, if you’re looking for an even moister cake, consider the following tips:

  • Add Applesauce: Substitute a part of the sunflower oil with applesauce for added moisture.
  • Don’t Overbake: Keep a close eye on the baking time. Overbaking is a common reason cakes become dry.
  • Use Brown Sugar: You can substitute part of the caster sugar with brown sugar, which has a higher moisture content due to its molasses content.

Can I freeze the cake with the frosting on?

Yes, you can freeze the Banana and Carrot Cake with the cream cheese frosting. However, for the best texture, it’s recommended to freeze the cake and frosting separately. If freezing the frosted cake, place it in the freezer uncovered until the frosting is firm, then wrap it tightly with plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

What can I use instead of walnuts in the recipe?

If you’re allergic to walnuts or simply don’t like them, you can either omit them entirely or substitute them with a variety of other options:

  • Other Nuts: Pecans, almonds, or hazelnuts make great alternatives.
  • Seeds: For a nut-free option, consider adding pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds for a crunch.
  • Dried Fruit: Increase the amount of sultanas, or add dried cranberries or chopped dates for texture without the nuts.

Final Words

I hope you enjoyed this article on how to make Mary Berry Fruit Cake Loaf, and that you will try this recipe soon. This cake is a wonderful treat for any occasion, and I’m sure you and your family will love it. If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, please let me know in the comments section below. Thank you for reading, and happy baking!

More By British Recipes Book:

Leave a Reply