Aunt Mava's Rum Fruit Cake

This recipe by Paul Da Costa Greaves was demonstrated at the Cake Show 2013 London. He says "To share is to enjoy even more."

Plus: For the best results, the ingredients should be left soaking for a minimum of 3 weeks or longer! The recipe below will give you 2 very tasty cakes and if you bake this cake at Easter you could make it into a Simnel Cake.


  • 907g Raisins
  • 450g Currants
  • 225g Prunes
  • 100g Glace Cherries
  • 2tsp Mixed Spice
  • 2tsp Nutmeg
  • ½ tsp powdered Cloves
  • ½ tsp Allspice
  • 675g Brown Sugar
  • 10 Eggs
  • 450g Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 100g Chopped Mixed Nuts
  • 225g Mixed Peel
  • 100g Brown Sugar
  • 1cup Wray & Nephew white overproof Rum
  • 450g Butter
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 2tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2tsp Almond Extract
  • 1 cup Port
  • 1 cup Water
  • Optional 250g Golden Marzipan
  • Honey or Apricot Jam


  1. Mince the fruit and soak in 1 cup of rum with the spices, vanilla & almond extracts, (nuts optional) and the 100g of the sugar.
  2. Mix these ingredients well, put into a glass or earthenware container, cover and allow to soak for a minimum of 3 weeks or the longer the better.
  3. When ready to bake the cake – cream butter & sugar well adding the eggs one by one. Now add the soaked fruit mixture, which has been warmed over a low heat with the cup of water for about 15 mins, constantly stirring, this preliminary cooking of the fruit shortens the baking time of the cake & reduces the possibilities of the cake burning in the oven.
  4. Add the sifted flour with baking powder & salt last.
  5. Put mixture into 2 greased baking tins, lined and bake them in a slow oven 140C or Gas 1 for 2-3 hours according to the size. Test with a skewer before removing from the oven.
  6. As soon as the cakes are removed from oven prick well with a skewer and pour slowly over them a mixture of a little more rum and the port, which the cake will absorb. Allow leaving the cakes in the tins for a couple of days to soak up all the liquid.
  7. If desired it's at this stage you can marzipan. Remove the cake and place upon a cake stand. Brush with melted apricot jam or a little honey. Using a little icing sugar roll out the marzipan to cover the top of the cake only.
  8. You can also make this cake into a simnel cake by taking 11 small pieces of Marzipan roll into equal small balls and using the jam or honey stick the balls onto the cake. Gently glaze under a medium heated grill or using a blow torch.