The family recipes of Deborah and Simon Jessey

British-Style Basic Fruitcake


  • 250g of margarine (plus extra for greasing a pan)
  • 250g of light muscovado sugar
  • 250g of raisins
  • 250g of sultanas (white raisins)
  • 250g of self-rising flour
  • 150g of glacĂ© cherries (candied cherries)
  • 4 lightly-beaten eggs
  • 2 circles of parchment paper


Preheat the oven to 275°F (140°C). Combine the margarine, flour, eggs and sugar with the flat beater of a food mixer on its slowest setting until the mixture is a heavy paste. Add the raisins and sultanas and continue to beat until fully mixed up. Add the cherries last, but only continue mixing for a few moments or the cherries will be broken up. Grease the inside of a deep 8-inch cake tin with some margarine. Line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper. Pour the mixture into the tin and spread it out. Bake for 2¼ hours, covering the mixture with the second circle of parchment paper for the last hour. Let the cake cool in the tin and store in an airtight container.