Val remembers this cake from her own childhood and inherited the recipe from May’s well-used recipe book.
It even played a role in a budding romance. Val recalls when she used to bake the fruitcake for her son David to take to high school and was surprised at how quickly he was going through the large cake. Thinking she was feeding a growing young man, she would continue to keep up the supply. Years later, she served the cake to her daughter-in-law Elizabeth who exclaimed how much she loved the cake and the memories it brought back. It turns out the reason the cakes were disappearing so fast was that David was packing an extra piece for Elizabeth while he was trying to gain her affections. They’re now happily married and the cake is demolished just as quickly by their two sons.
470g can pineapple pieces
500-750g mixed fruit (I usually use sultanas, raisins, currants, apricots, dates and sometimes prunes)
1 cup sugar (I usually substitute with honey for at least half of the quantity)
125g unsalted butter
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 eggs (I usually just use the whites)
1 cup wholemeal plain flour
1 cup self-raising flour
125g chopped walnuts (optional)
A liberal splash of Muscat liqueur or rum (optional)