Take a sweet and citrusy approach to the classic Christmas fruit cake. This whiskey-spiked winner pairs wonderfully with dried orange slices, but fresh fruit would work a treat too. 






Skill level

Average: 3.5 (28 votes)


  • 170 g sultanas
  • 170 g raisins, chopped if large
  • 170 ml ( cup) whiskey
  • 150 g butter, softened
  • 160 g (⅔ cups) caster sugar
  • 1 tsp grated orange rind
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 225 g (1½ cups) plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 125 ml (½ cup) milk


  • 230 g (1½ cups) pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
  • dried orange slices, to decorate (see Note)

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.


Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease and line a 20 cm deep round cake tin.

Place sultanas and raisins in a medium bowl, add whiskey and mix well.

Place the butter and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat until pale and creamy, about 5 minutes. Beat in rind and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift flour and baking powder together then fold in alternately with milk. Fold fruit and whiskey mixture into cake mix. Spoon into your prepared cake tin and bake in preheated oven for 1¼ hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool in tin for 15 minutes, before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

While your cake is cooling, prepare your icing. First, place the icing sugar into a medium mixing bowl, before stirring in butter and enough lemon juice to make a thick paste. Spread over the top of cooled cake and allow it to set. This should take about 15 minutes. Decorate the cake with dried orange slices, if desired.



• This pudding is best eaten with 1-2 days after making.

• To make dried orange slices: wash and dry oranges then slice thinly. Place the slices onto wire racks over baking trays. Bake for 2-3 hours in the oven at 120°C or until the slices appear completely dried. Turn off the heat and allow your orange slices to cool in the oven. 


Recipe, photography, styling and food preparation by China Squirrel.

For plenty more puddings, head here, or check out our Christmas recipe collection