Guinness Fruit Cake

By Sally James

This isn’t the typical American fruit cake.  Made from a mixture of dried fruit soaked usually in sherry, I’ve used orange juice in this one so the sherry doesn’t overpower the Guinness.  The cake gets better with a few weeks age for the flavors to develop.  It’s a great one for celebrations and Christmas so guests can take a piece home with them and enjoy when they like! 


    All you need for this recipe and more...


    1 pound mixed dried fruit (raisins, currants, prunes, blond raisins, cranberries)

    1 cup orange juice or sherry

    1/2 pound butter

    2 cups brown sugar

    grated rind of 1 orange

    2 tablespoons treacle (or golden syrup)

    300ml warm Guinness 

    1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

    4 eggs

    4 cups plain flour

    1 teaspoon each nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon

    3 ounces diced candied ginger or peel

    2 tablespoons whisky


    1. Cover fruit with orange juice and allow to macerate overnight. Drain well.
    2. Preheat oven to 335°F. Grease and line a 9 or 10 inch cake tin with brown paper or parchment.
    3. Using electric beaters, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the rind and treacle and beat again until incorporated. 
    4. In a separate large bowl, Combine the Guinness with the soda and carefully beat in the eggs.  
    5. Sift the flour and spices together, and gently fold a quarter into the creamed butter and sugar. Add a third of the Guinness mixture, and continue to add remainder of flour and Guinness alternately, ending with flour.  
    6. Stir in the macerated dried fruit and the ginger, and mix well. 
    7. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, then reduce oven to low then cook for a further 1 - 1/ 2 hours or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.  
    8. Take out of oven, immediately sprinkle with the whisky, cover top with a sheet of parchment and then wrap a layer of newspaper and a towel.  Allow to cool like this.  (This cake is best stored for at least 1 week before eating to allow flavors to develop and will get even better after a month.  Store in a sealed container in a cool spot for up to 3 months.

    Photography – Rowan Fotheringham, for Guinness.