• Sweet and nutty, this tea cake with glazed fruit is elegant and tasty. The lightness of the cake makes it a perfect accompaniment to a steaming cup of tea. Serve to friends or at a high tea function. 

    Tea cake with glazed fruit

    Serves: 12
    Cooking Time: 1 hr 10 mins + overnight for soaking


    • 100g sultanas
    • 80ml (¾ cup) sweet sherry
    • 230g peeled almonds, roughly chopped
    • 230g glacé dried orange and lemon peel, chopped
    • 2 glacé dried green figs, chopped
    • 10 glacé cherries, halved
    • 200g pine nuts, roasted
    • 150g dark chocolate, chopped
    • 150g castor sugar
    • 125g self-raising flour
    • 5ml (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
    • 3 cardamom pods, shelled and ground
    • 50g unsalted butter
    • 3 large eggs
    • 45ml (3 tbsp) honey, melted
    • whole glacé fruit to decorate the cake
    • thick cream, to serve



    Preheat the oven to 180°C. Generously grease a medium cake tin – preferably a loose-bottom one (baking paper lining might also help).


    Soak the sultanas in the sherry overnight. Place the sultanas, any remaining sherry, almonds, orange and lemon peel, figs, cherries, pine nuts and chocolate in a large bowl. Mix the sugar and flour together and add the cinnamon and cardamom. Tip the sugar mixture into the fruit and nut mixture and set aside.


    Whisk the butter and eggs until light and foamy. Fold this into the fruit mixture and add the honey. Gently fold all the ingredients together until the mixture is lovely and shiny. Pour the doughy mixture into the cake tin and bake until a skewer comes out clean, about 50 minutes.


    Allow the cake to cool slightly before removing it from the tin. Place on a stand and, if you like, sprinkle a little sweet sherry or brandy onto the still-warm cake. Decorate with the glacé fruit and serve with thick cream.