Whisky Fruit Cake

Kirsten Gilmour

Kirsten Gilmour

7th February 2017
Kirsten Gilmour

Whisky Fruit Cake

180 min

Kirsten Gilmour is the owner and head chef at Aviemore’s Mountain Café. This recipe comes from her new book, The Mountain Café Cookbook: a Kiwi in the Cairngorms, which is published on 14th February.

“This recipe originally came from my absolute favourite chef, Alison Holst. This incredible lady revolutionised Kiwi cooking in the eighties. I have tweaked her recipe very slightly, adding whisky to keep the Scots happy and an apricot glaze to pimp it up.

• The cake lasts for three weeks in an airtight container at room temperature.
• It also freezes really well. Give it another wee drink of whisky once it has defrosted.”


  • Serves 10–12
  • Easy
  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • For the cake:
  • 300g mixed dried fruit
  • 70g glacé cherries
  • 400ml orange juice
  • 195ml blended whisky
  • 190g butter, diced
  • 250g dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 470g plain flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 150g flaked almonds
  • for the apricot glaze:
  • 280g apricot jam
  • 70ml blended whisky
  • For the garnish:
  • pecans
  • flaked almonds
  • pistachios
  • glacé cherries
  • mixed peel
  • 23cm springform cake tin


Grease your cake tin and preheat your oven to 170.C (150.C fan).
In a saucepan big enough to take all the ingredients, place your dried fruit, glacé cherries, orange juice and 120ml of the whisky. Bring to the boil on a medium-high heat, then reduce to a simmer for five minutes.
Take off the heat and stir in the butter until it has melted. Leave till the mix is cool enough to hold your finger in.
Add the dark brown sugar, the remaining 75ml of whisky and the eggs and beat with a wooden spoon until really smooth and glossy. Sieve your flour and baking powder over the wet mix, add the flaked almonds and stir again until everything is fully incorporated.
Tip the batter into your greased tin and bake for 60 to 70 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in its tin on a rack.
Take the cake from the tin and put on a serving plate.
You now need two medium-sized saucepans. In one of the saucepans, melt the apricot jam and the whisky over a medium heat until it is hot and runny. Sieve this into the second pan, discarding any lumps of fruit from the sieve, to get a smooth glaze. Heat the glaze again until it is hot, then brush about half of it over the top of the cake. Garnish the top with nuts and fruit as elaborately (or not) as you like.
Heat the glaze up again, adding a little more whisky if it is too thick to pour, then drizzle it slowly over the top of the cake until it is well coated. Leave to cool before serving.

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