Autumn Leaves Country Fruit Cake

The actual cake recipe is a lovely, easy, traditional one. It produces a moist, fruity cake that everyone will enjoy.

I posted the original recipe some time ago and chose not to add any ideas for decorating it. Looking back I can see how ordinary it looked (even though it tastes good). A recent baking club theme was “Autumn”, so I used this recipe as the basis for the decorated version featured here. First the original: photo, ingredients list and instructions.

Servings: 10 – 12 slices

Time: 15 min prep, 90 min baking, 15 min cooling

Level: very easy

Need: A 20cm/8” loose bottomed round cake tin


  • oil or butter for greasing the pan
  • 175g/6 oz plain white flour
  • 75g/2½oz plain wholemeal flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 175g/6 oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 175g/6 oz light muscovado sugar
  • 3 medium eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 200g/7oz mixed dried fruit
  • 1 tbsp demerara sugar


1.  Preheat oven to 160°C / 325°F / Gas 3. Grease and line the tin.

2. Sift the flours, baking powder & nutmeg into a large bowl, adding any leftover bran. Add in the butter, muscovado sugar, beaten eggs & vanilla extract. Beat well, until it’s smooth then stir in the milk & dried fruit.

3. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface; tap it firmly a couple of times onto your work surface to release any trapped air. Sprinkle the demerara sugar evenly over the surface, then bake for about 80 – 90 minutes.

4. When a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean and dry, the cake has baked. Leave it to cool in the tin for 15 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

The Autumn Leaves version

Now for the decorated cake which was actually a 20cm/8” cake with a 15cm/6” cake on top. Here are the increased ingredients for this combination. I’d recommend keeping the baking time much the same as for the original, but maybe check the smaller cake a little earlier. Sorry if this seems vague; see my comment on the depth of the cakes to understand the reason.


  • Oil/butter for greasing
  • 275g/9½oz plain white flour
  • 125g/4½oz plain wholemeal flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 275g/9½oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 275g/9½oz light brown sugar or muscovado
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 325g/11oz mixed dried fruit or a mixture of fruit and nut
  • Various fondants in Autumnal colours – see notes below  

Notes and photos

1. I made a slight error by having the 15cm cake deeper than the 20cm one, which affected the baking times. I recommend having each cake the same depth.

2. The baked cakes will need to be glazed ready for the fondant coating.

3 & 4. I planned to cover both cakes in the same colour fondant, but ran out of brown. I think a green cake on top looks fine though.

5. I had some patterned sheets of plastic, which gave a nice effect. Next time though, I’ll cut the sheet into two halves to make it easier, by pressing against both sides of the cake at the same time.

6 & 7. I cut cocktail sticks to support the upper cake, but they weren’t necessary.

8 – 10. I had three sizes of cutter. I used a number of coloured fondants and just mixed in different colours leaf by leaf so that each one was different. (You can use food colouring with white fondant, but it’s terribly messy.)

11 & 12. Get everything to hand before you start assembly. Brush on a clear alcohol to “glue” the leaves into place – it won’t leave any marks. I used some Brennivin spirit that my wife brought back from Iceland. (It was too disgusting to drink. Sorry Icelanders)

I hope this has been of value to you. If you want more cake recipes click this link, or have a look at my site for lots of other great recipes, both sweet and savoury.

Here are a few cakes that I’d love you to try:

Rhubarb, Almond and White Chocolate Cake

Turkish Delight and Pistachio Cake

Golden Chocolate Cake

To make a comment or ask a question please go to the contact page. Click here to return to the home page.

Very best wishes & Happy Baking