Fruit & Nut Loaf Cake

The luscious richness of taste and texture make this a memorable cake. You could use a range of different fruits and nuts; the recipe below is for my delicious Date and Almond version. And it’s gluten free.

Time: 50 – 60 minutes

Serves: 10 – 12

Level: Easy

Tins: 900g (2lb) loaf tin

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 50ml / 2 fl oz sunflower oil
  • 25ml / 1 fl oz runny honey
  • 100g / 4oz golden caster sugar
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 250g / 9oz ground almonds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder*
  • A pinch of salt
  • 75g / 2.5oz chopped nuts (I used blanched almonds)
  • 100g / 4oz dried fruit, chopped (I used dates)
  • 75g / 2.5oz raisins and/or sultanas and/or currants
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp demerara sugar (Optional – omit if you intend adding a topping.)

*Normal, everyday baking powder doesn’t usually contain any gluten, but check the label and, if necessary, use specifically GF baking powder for a fully GF bake.

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 180C / Fan 160C / 350F / Gas 4. Grease the tin and line with baking parchment (or use a shaped liner).

2. Break the eggs into a large bowl and add in the oil, honey, sugar and almond extract. Whisk to thoroughly mix.

3. Add the ground almonds, cinnamon, baking powder and pinch of salt. Mix well then stir in the chopped nuts and dried fruit. Mix well.

4. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and sprinkle the demerara over the top (if using).

5. Bake for 35 – 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

6. Allow it to cool in the tin for 5 – 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool fully.

7. You can leave it as it is, with a light covering of demerara sugar.  If, like mine (here’s an admission coming up) the top of the loaf dipped then a topping will make it look better.

8. For this topping I used the following mixture: 75g full fat cream cheese + 75g softened butter. Beat together then sift in 200g icing sugar + 1/2 tsp almond extract. Beat again and pipe or spoon it on. “Other buttercreams are available”.