This recipe was given to me years ago by an old friend — hence the imperial measurements — and I have been making it ever since. Sadly, since my diabetes, I can’t really eat it any longer although I still make it for my husband and for friends (although not this year, I’m afraid, due to the limit on how many people we can see).

While the recipe is for the cake itself, I recommend covering with marzipan and icing.

What you’ll need

3lb mixed dried fruit

4oz glace cherries

8fl oz rum

8oz butter

8oz plain flour

8oz soft brown sugar

5 medium eggs, separated

5fl oz clear honey


1. Soak dried fruit in rum overnight

2. Set oven to 340°F

3. Cream butter and sugar, then add egg yolks one at a time with a spoonful of sugar with each egg

4. Fold in the rest of the flour

5. Add fruit, cherries, rum and honey and mix

6. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold in

7. Put in cake tin and bake for 2 to 2½ hours.

This article was originally published in The Spectator’s UK magazine. Subscribe to the US edition here.