Purple Reign - Fruit Cake

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Purple Reign - Fruit Cake


  • 200ml hot, strong tea
  • 3 tbsp Purple Rye Whisky
  • 3 tbsp good-quality orange marmalade
  • 700g mixed dried fruit
  • 100g mixed peel
  • 100g glacé cherry
  • 225g butter
  • 225g golden caster sugar
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 225g plain flour (we used heritage harvest flour)
  • 2 tsp ground mixed spice
  • finely grated zest 1 lemon or orange

To feed the cake

  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 50ml hot black tea
  • At least 1 tbsp Purple Rye Whisky

To decorate

  • Royal Icing
  • Marzipan


  1. Mix the hot tea, Purple Rye and marmalade in a large bowl until the marmalade has melted. Stir in all of the dried fruit, peel and cherries, then cover and leave to soak overnight.
  2. Next day, heat the oven to 160 C/fan and grease and double-line a 20cm round, deep cake tin with non-stick baking paper. Using electric beaters, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy (this works best if the butter is at room temperature).
  3. Then add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition, fold in the flour and mixed spice, followed by the zest and Purple Rye soaked fruit (including any syrupy whisky liquid).
  4. Spoon into the prepared tin, level the top, then bake for 1½ hrs. Turn the oven down to 140C/fan and bake for another 1½ hrs or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack in the tin.
  5. While the cake is still warm, use the skewer to make many little holes in the cake, poking it all the way down. Dissolve the sugar in the tea, add the Purple Rye whisky, then spoon over the surface of the cake. Let it cool completely in the tin.
  6. To decorate, roll out the marzipan and royal icing to the same thickness. You can either cover the whole cake in icing or if you want to just do the top you can trace around the cake tin to make a 20cm round disk. Slightly melt some of your marmalade in the microwave and brush to the top of the cake, then top with the marzipan and icing.


If you’re making the cake ahead of time, feed it with a fresh batch of the tea and Purple Rye mixture, but take care not to make the cake soggy. It can be kept for a month well-wrapped in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

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