Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Fruit Cake Recipe

When I asked my wife what chocolate recipe she’d try this month she instantly and joyfully said the Chocolate Fruit Cake by Nigella Lawson from her recipe book Feast: Food that Celebrates Life. What I didn’t realise was the sheer volume and cost of the ingredients. It took over half an hour to source them in our local supermarket (I plumped for the most cheap locally – Asda) and in total it cost £26.66 with the most expensive item being the Tia Maria. Next time I think it’d be Paul A. Young’s Chocolate Water Biscuits For Cheese Recipe as that shouldn’t hurt my wallet as much.


  • £26.66 at Asda – you do have a great deal of the ingredients left over though


  • 350g chopped dried soft prunes
  • 250g raisins
  • 25g currants
  • 175ml honey
  • 125ml coffee liqueur
  • 2 oranges, zested and juiced
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 2 tablespoons good quality cocoa
  • 175g softened unsalted butter
  • 175g dark muscovado sugar
  • 3 free-range eggs, beaten
  • 150g plain flour
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

For decoration:

  • 25g dark chocolate-covered coffee beans
  • Edible glitter
  • Gold mini balls
  • 10 edible gold stars
  • But, to be honest, you choose, its your cake


Line the sides and bottom of an 20cm x 9cm round, deep and loose-bottomed cake tin with some of baking parchment. You can do this by cutting strips and then just placing them around – making sure all of the tin is covered.

Place the all of the fruit, butter, sugar, honey, coffee liqueur, orange zest and juice, mixed spice and cocoa into a large saucepan and then heat the mixture to a gentle boil. Make sure you stir the mixture as the butter melts.

What I was surprised about was actually how little cocoa there was in the cake :-(

Let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes and then remove the saucepan from the heat and leave it to stand for for half an hour.

At this stage its a good idea to preheat the oven. Get it up to to 300°F / 150°C / Gas Mark 2 and then get yourself a glass of bubbly.

After those 30 minutes have elapsed the mixture should have cooled a enough so you can add the eggs, flour, ground almonds, baking powder and baking soda, and mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula until the ingredients have combined.

Carefully pour the fruitcake mixture into the cake tin and then place it into to the oven and bake for between 1 3/4 to 2 hours, or until the top of the cake firms up but still has shiny and sticky appearance. You should be able to insert a sharp knife into the middle of the cake and should look slightly uncooked in the middle. Then place the cake on a cooling rack and leave to cool properly and slice as required.

To decorate, place the chocolate-covered coffee beans in the centre of the cake and arrange the gold stars around the perimeter of the top of the cake. Then sprinkle some gold mini-balls over the whole cake and sprinkle the top with edible glitter.

A slice of Nigela Lawsons Chocolate Fruit Cake

And the end result, a gorgeously crisp chocolate fruit cake with a delightful moist centre. Yum!

Lee McCoy

I'm the editor of this blog and you can find me at my Google Profile as .

  • Chezzielechoux

    is that cooked? mine looked like that and i thought it was underdone?

    • It’s supposed to look slightly “undercooked” but I suppose the hardest thing is getting it to the consistency you actually like. But you’ll only know that after baking it a few times.

      How did yours taste like though?

      • Chezzielechoux

        i used cointrau (sorry wrong spelling i know) the taste was yum- chocolate orange, but the recipe needs some work – i may play with it in the new year when i have more time – get in touch if you have any tips x