In need of a sweet treat? This Spiced Irish fruit cake is tasty, moist and flavorful without being overwhelmingly sweet. If you are really feeling naughty, you can top with whipped cream and
my homemade blackberry jam. It is quick and easy to put together and is perfect for serving at breakfast or tea parties.
This cake is delicately spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. The simplicity of this classic Irish treat requires no complicated mixer or tools. The only tools you need are mixing bowl, whisk, and spatula. This lovely recipe was adapted from my favorite Irish kitchen cookbook found here. The method was vastly modified, but the ingredients are similar.
USING DRIED FRUITS
As the name implies, this recipe calls for a variety of dried fruits NOT candied fruits. I have used a combination of dried fruits like raisins, currants, cranberries, dates, apricots, blueberries, and prunes. Aside from dates and prunes, the other fruits combine well with this recipe when the fruits are soaked in liquid overnight.
First, you soak the dried fruit (about 1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups) in the liquid overnight. I used cold Irish breakfast tea and a splash of cinnamon whiskey. Feel free to use coffee or juice. Also, if you are eager to wait that long for the fruits to soak, simply simmer the fruit and liquid on a stovetop for five minutes and allow to cool completely before adding to the batter. Soaking the fruits don’t only plump them up but prevents the cake from drying out. Also, the remaining liquid from the soak is added to the cake to thin out the batter.
The batter is as simple as it gets. Easy as sifting the dried ingredients, and combining with butter and sugar. Once you’ve added the soft butter, rub it into the flour until it resembles fine crumbs, then add the sugar and mix. Stir in the egg, and fold in the soaked fruits with the remaining liquid. Then transfer to a baking pan. I used two 6x3” pans, although an 8” pan works best. Lightly grease the bottom of the cake pan, and line with parchment paper, this helps for a smooth release of the cake when baked.
This treat would make a perfect mother’s day gift or any occasion gifting in general. Bake the cake in a mini loaf pan(I love this pan from Wilton) and wrap in a cellophane bag, finish with a bow of kitchen twine and a personalized gift tag(inexpensive one from Amazon here). Please let us know in the comments below if you give this recipe a try. Also, don't forget to follow World treat on social media, we are on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Stop by and say hi. Until next time, loads of love for your support.
SPICED BARMBRACK FRUIT CAKE
- ½ Cup raisins
- ½ Cup dried apricot
- 1 Cup dried cranberry
- 1 Teaspoon whiskey
- 1 Cup cold brewed tea
- 1 ¾ Cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ Cup butter, cubed (1 stick)
- ½ Cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
- 2 large eggs
- ½ Cup walnut, roughly chopped (optional)
- Place the dried fruits in a bowl and tip over the cold tea and whiskey. Let soak overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease one loaf pan or 8” cake tin.
- Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and all the spices mentioned above into a mixing bowl. Add the butter and with your fingertips, rub it into the flour until it resembles fine crumbs. Add the sugar and mix.
- Gently stir in the egg and combine. Add the liquid from the overnight soak to make a moderately thick but moist texture. Stir in the dried fruits. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and level the surface with the back of a spatula.
- Bake for 55 minutes or until it’s stiff to the touch or a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
- Leave the cake to cool completely on a wire rack. Top with jam and whipped cream or serve as is with a cup of tea or coffee.