Light Fruit Cake Loaf Recipe

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One of my favourite bakes is an everyday fruit cake. It’s something you traditionally think of at Christmas – a traditional Christmas cake covered in icing! But easy fruitcake recipes are something that I make and eat all year round – just without the layer of marzipan and icing over it! This is a much lighter bake than a traditional rich fruit cake.

A naked fruit cake is the perfect pick me up to enjoy with a cup of tea and to share with friends at any time of the year. You can’t beat a nice fruity tea loaf or tea bread and this one is a really wholesome, hearty cake that will leave you more satisfied than a simple sponge.

Unlike Christmas cakes, this traditional farmhouse fruit loaf doesn’t use soaked fruit and there’s now alcohol in it. It doesn’t need any forward planning so it’s a quick easy option compared to a Christmas fruit cake! It is a fantastic everyday bake to make for any occasion or no reason at all.

Light Fruit Cake Loaf

What fruit do you use in an easy fruit loaf?

For a fruit loaf you can pretty much use any dried mixed fruits you have in the cupboard. For this recipe I used a ready made dried fruit mixture – the cheap bags you get in the supermarket that have raisins, sultanas and dried mixed peel in them as well as golden raisins, glace cherries and apricots. You can also add candied mixed peel or dried pineapple if you want as well. 

You could add candied cherries, dried cranberries, prunes, or any other candied fruit or dried fruits you can think of or have to use up. You could even add some nuts if you like them in your old fashioned farmhouse fruit cakes to give a whole new texture to the mix.

If you want to create a simple currant loaf cake then you could use all currants instead of a mix of dry fruits. This is such a simple recipe to vary and tweak easily to use whatever you have at home.

Light Fruit Cake Loaf

Is this a crumbly fruit cake recipe?

A lot of traditional fruit cakes are crumbly, like a traditional Genoa Cake or but this one holds together really well, with just the right amount of cake mix and fruit. It’s delicious, light, moist fruit cake and such a lovely treat as well as being just really easy to make.

Light Fruit Cake Loaf

How do you keep the cake from being too crumbly?

The secret to a super moist fruit loaf recipe is to make sure there’s enough liquid in the mix for all the dried fruit to soak up whilst it’s baking. If there’s not enough liquid it will turn out too dry and crumble easily. We tend to use medium eggs for this bake but you can use large eggs if that’s what you have in the kitchen.

We always use self raising flour for this recipe as we always have it in the cupboard but if you only ever use all purpose flour or plain flour – feel free. just make sure you add a teaspoon baking powder or baking soda to give the bake that little boost it needs!

If you like to add vanilla extract to your cakes then feel free – just replace a teaspoon of milk with a teaspoon of vanilla. You could also add a teaspoon of mixed spice if you like your home made fruitcakes to have that musky, traditional flavour.

For this English fruit loaf cake we always use caster sugar but if you didn’t have any you could use soft brown sugar, light brown sugar or even granulated sugar if you wanted. Both work well with the fruit in the bake.

Light Fruit Cake Loaf

Is this light fruitcake recipe a fruit bread recipe?

If you’re looking for fruit bread, like a fruit loaf you can toast and smear with butter, then this isn’t for you. This is definitely a home made fruit cake rather than fruit bread – there’s no dough here – and definitely a sweet bake rather than savoury. 

How to make this simple fruit cake recipe

This mixed fruit loaf couldn’t be easier to make. You just need to make sure that you grease the tin you’re using really well or use loaf cake liners. I love using liners as they present the cake really well – perfect if you’re taking it to a friends’ house for afternoon tea! You could also line the tin with baking parchment paper.

I also use a stand mixer to mix this old fashioned fruit cake. Like with all homemade fruit cakes, it takes a lot of arm power to mix it thoroughly so I love to take the hard work out of it by using my trusty mixer instead! You don’t need a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, just a standard mixer attachment will do. 

This easy fruit cake loaf stores well in an airtight container for a few days although it doesn’t often last that long! It’s one of our favourite bakes to make when friends or family visit and everyone always really enjoys it. Who doesn’t love fruit cake?!

If you’re looking for other recipes to try here’s our banana bread, lemon madeira cake, cherry bakewell fairy cakes, gingerbread rocky road and blueberry fairy cake recipes. You can see all our recipes to date here and includes plenty more bakes and dessert recipes as well as lots of slow cooker dishes too!

Light Fruit Cake Loaf

What equipment do you need for this easy fruit loaf cake recipe?

You can make this fruitcake loaf cake recipe simply with things you already have in your kitchen but here are the things we use in case there’s something you don’t already have:

As you can see, it’s all things you probably have already. We use loaf tin liners to guarantee that bakes come out of the tin easily and they’re great when baking as gifts too.

Light Fruit Cake Loaf

So here’s our easy Light Fruit Loaf Cake Recipe – happy baking!

Ingredients for a fruit cake

  • 185g low fat spread or unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 185g self raising flour
  • 60g plain flour
  • 260g mixed dried fruit
  • 60g dried apricots, chopped
  • 100g glace cherries, halved
  • 125ml milk


  • Preheat oven to 160C/315F/Gas 3. Grease a loaf tin using a little butter or spread or add a loaf tin liner.
  • Beat spread and caster sugar together in a large bowl until pale and fluffy.
  • In the large mixing bowl, gradually beat in the eggs until combined, then fold in the flour, fruit mixture and milk. Mix everything together well.
  • Spoon the cake batter into a loaf pan and bake for 80-90 mins until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Cool in the cake tin for 15 mins then remove from tin and cool completely on a wire rack.

If you’d like to print or pin the Light Fruit Loaf Cake Recipe for later you can do so below. Enjoy!

Light Fruit Cake Loaf

This light fruit cake loaf is a fantastic bake for any occasion. Not as heavy and dense as a traditional fruit cake but light, moist and full of fruit flavour. Perfect with a cup of tea!
Course Afternoon Tea, Dessert
Cuisine British
Keyword baking
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 185 g low fat spread or butter at room temperature
  • 115 g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 185 g self raising flour
  • 60 g plain flour
  • 260 g mixed dried fruit
  • 60 g dried apricots chopped
  • 100 g glace cherries halved
  • 125 ml milk


  • Preheat oven to 160C/315F/Gas 3. Grease a loaf tin using a little butter or spread or add a loaf tin liner.
  • Beat spread and caster sugar together in a large bowl until pale and fluffy.
  • Gradually beat in the eggs until combined, then fold in the flour, fruit and milk.
  • Spoon the cake batter into a loaf pan and bake for 80-90 mins until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Cool in the cake tin for 15 mins then remove from tin and cool completely on a wire rack.

*Note: Nutritional information is estimated, based on publicly available data. Nutrient values may vary from those published.

Light Fruit Cake Loaf

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    1. Yes you can but make like a parcel around the cake with parchment paper then add the cake to a freezer bag or two to protect well against ice, but the cake needs to be really cool ok ♥️

  1. I’m so pleased I found this recipe. The cake came out perfect and this will be my go to recipe from now on. ?

  2. Just made this turned out good only needed 70mins felt it could be a little bit sweeter and an extra ounce of butter but first attempt at making this

  3. Is there a reason why you use 60g of plain flour, never come across a recipe asking for different flours before

    1. I’ve always used a combination when making fruit based cakes to give slightly less rise and a slightly denser bake. I’m sure you could use all self raising if you wanted and it would still be delicious!

      1. One of the earlier comments said you always 1lb loaf tins. I was wanting to make 2 1lb loaf tins for a fete. Would the recipe make 2.

  4. I would like to make a larger version of this cake in an 8 inch round tin. What quantities would I need an how much longer baking time?

    1. The quantity is perfect for an 8 inch round cake tin. I’ve just made it that way to perfection

  5. I’ve made this today & we’ve just cut it up & it’s very crumbly but lovely & moist. What have I done wrong? I mean it’s lovely, but just doesn’t slice very well.

    1. So sorry to hear that! Ours always slices fine as long as I don’t slice too soon after getting it out the oven. It needs to be left to cool. If it’s still crumbly, I’d usually put it down to being too dry and needing more liquid – if the dried fruit has soaked up more than it should have – but you’ve said it’s moist which sounds like it had enough eggs/milk in it.

  6. I really love baking this delicious fruit loaf cake. It is simple and easy to mix and is quick to prepare and bake. I like to coat Demerara Sugar before putting into oven. Gives a crunchy top.

  7. I found the quantities far too much for a 2lb loaf tin, especially the amount of fruit and four eggs! Didn’t have any cherries or apricots so did a bit of substituting but not as much as in the recipe. It’s supposed to be a light fruit cake after all. Having said that the cake is nice. Needed a lower temperature. Will probably make again but using 2/3 quantities and less fruit.

  8. Hi Donna, just tried your recipe recently,,I blitzed up a tin of strawberries and soaked the fruit for afew hours.. I added 2tbsp of treacle,, 1tsp Mixed spice,,1/4 tsp ground cloves,, it turned out tasty,,. I’ll be making afew of these for gifts for Xmas,, cheers 👍

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