• Bush fruit Christmas cake (The Great Australian Cookbook)Source: The Great Australian Cookbook

Traditional Christmas meets outback flavours to bring you this richly spiced fruitcake, topped with dessert quandong for a tart, peachy finishing.






Skill level

Average: 4.7 (30 votes)


  • 1½ cups sultanas 
  • ½ cup raisins 
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped pitted dried dates 
  • 2½ cups fresh or frozen quandong, de-seeded
  • ½ cup chopped dried apricots 
  • ¼ cup quandong jam 
  • ¾ cup orange liqueur or orange juice
  • 250 g butter, softened 
  • ¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 2 cups plain flour 
  • 1 tsp mixed spice 
  • 1½ cups macadamia nuts 
  • 1 tsp ground bush tomato 
  • 1 tsp ground pepperberry 
  • 1 tsp wattleseed, toasted and ground 


  • 1 cup apricot jam 
  • 1½ cups water 
  • 500 g fresh or frozen quandong halves 

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Standing time: overnight

1. Combine fruit, jam and liqueur in a large bowl and mix well. Cover and stand overnight or for several days, stirring mixture occasionally. 

2. Pre-heat oven to 140°C. Line the base and sides of a deep 20 cm round cake tin with baking paper, allowing 5 cm to extend above the tin. 

3. Beat butter and sugar in a small bowl with an electric beater, until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating until just combined between each egg. Add butter mix to fruit mixture and stir well. Stir in sifted flour and mixed spice, then macadamias, bush tomato, pepperberry and wattleseed.

4. Spread mixture evenly into cake tin. Bake for 3 hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. 

5. To decorate, place jam and water in a small saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer uncovered until reduced to half. Strain into a bowl, discarding pulp. Allow to cool. Thaw quandongs if frozen. Quickly toss quandong halves in cooled glaze. Carefully place halves on top of cooled cake. This is a very sticky job, but take your time.