The classic Calcutta fruitcake—a fixture in many homes around Christmas-time—is a rum-soaked, fruit-and-nut encrusted indulgence.

COOKING TIME 4 hours (including 3 hours of oven time)
YIELDS 4-pound cake (serves 20–25 people)
CALORIES 316 kcal per serving


Quantity Ingredient
100 g Raisins
150 g Pitted dates
100 g Dried apricots
100 g Tutti frutti
100 g Crystallised ginger
125 g Orange/mixed peels
180 ml Dark rum/whiskey/brandy
275 g Flour
275 g Butter (softened; extra for greasing)
275 g Brown sugar
5 Eggs
75 g Almonds
40 g Cashewnuts
40 g Pistachios
From one orange Orange zest
8 pcs Cloves
4-cm stick Cinnamon
¼ tsp Nutmeg
15 pcs Allspice berries (optional)


  • Mixing bowl
  • Balloon whisk
  • Spatula
  • 9 × 4 inch rectangular baking tin
  • Greaseproof baking paper
  • Aluminium foil (optional)
  • Weighing scale
  • Knife
  • Sieve
  • Grater


  • OTG or convection oven (you can’t bake this in microwave mode)
  • Grinder | spice grinder | mortar and pestle


Soaking the fruits:

  1. Chop dates, apricots, ginger, and orange peels into 1 cm chunks.
  2. Put the chopped dates, apricots, ginger, and orange peels along with the raisins, and the tutti frutti into an airtight glass jar.
  3. Pour 180 ml of dark rum (we are using Old Monk), or brandy, or whiskey or a mixture into the jar over the fruits.
  4. Shut the jar and leave it in a cool, dark place for 20 days. Give the jar a mild shake every couple of days.

Baking the cake:

Instructions will be published on Friday, 15 December, 2017.

Served with

  • A cup of Darjeeling or coffee
  • Mulled wine