This chocolate fruit cake is a fun twist on the classic Christmas dessert. It’s packed with flavor from rich chocolate, cranberries, figs, and apricots.
This chocolate fruit cake is a little out of my comfort zone – but I just had to give it a try.
I was watching Nigella’s Christmas special last holiday season, and saw her make a fantastic chocolate fruit cake. I immediately decided I had to make a version of it as my own Christmas cake this year.
I love the idea of including cocoa in a fruit cake and selecting fruits that are a bit more decadent and creative than the usual suspects found in a traditional fruit cake.
So for my own cake I used dates, cranberries, figs, apricots and sultanas.
I also substituted Pedro Ximinez Sherry for the coffee liquer that Nigella used in her chocolate fruit cake.
This chocolate fruit cake is fantastic because it doesn’t need to be made weeks or months in advance, like most fruit cakes. And better still – it’s super easy and doesn’t even require a mixer.
Decorating a Chocolate Fruit Cake
I’ve only used fondant once before, not very successfully I’ll admit, so I decided to challenge myself and see what I could come up with to decorate the cake.
So I decided to make some Christmas trees and a snowman for a winter scene.
Whilst the process was quite fiddly and frustrating due to my lack of knowledge, I have to admit I am actually really pleased with the results.
You won’t find fondant decorating instructions in this recipe – just the fruit cake – but you can check out this video for some awesome decorating ideas.
For more Christmas desserts, be sure to check out these recipes:
- Eggnog Truffles
- Plum Pudding Vodka
- Candy Cane Cake
- Christmas Wreath Cookies
- Strawberry-Chocolate Christmas Wreaths
- Gingerbread Christmas Trees
Chocolate Fruit Cake
- 200 g of dried dates chopped
- 200 g of sultanas
- 200 g of dried cranberries
- 250 g of dried figs chopped
- 100 g of dried Turkish apricots chopped
- 175 g of unsalted butter at room temperature
- 175 g of dark brown sugar
- 175 ml of honey
- 125 ml of Pedro Ximinez sherry
- 2 oranges zested and juiced
- 2 teaspoons of mixed spice
- 2 tablespoons of good quality cocoa
- 3 eggs beaten
- 150 g of plain flour
- 75 g of ground almonds
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
- Place the dried fruit, honey, butter, sugar, honey, sherry, cocoa, mixed spice, orange zest and juice in a large saucepan over a medium low heat. Heat until the mixture until it reaches a gentle boil. Stir until the butter melts and reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside for 30 minutes.
- Line a cake tin with baking paper and preheat the oven to 150 degrees celsius.
- Add the beaten eggs, flour, ground almonds, baking soda and baking powder to the fruit mixture and mix until well combined.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake 1 3/4 hours to 2 hours or until the cake is firm. Remove from the cake tin and set aside on the wire rack to cool.