Easy Four Ingredient Fruit Cake

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Four Ingredient Fruit Cake - It's Not Complicated Recipes #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes #desserts #fruitcake #cakerecipes #vegan #veganrecipes

You are going to love this Easy 4 Ingredient Fruit Cake.  I have seen similar recipes circulating for a number of years but I was sceptical that such a simple recipe could produce a worthwhile result. So, I finally plucked up some courage and baked this cake and I’m delighted that I did. Although this fruit cake recipe contains minimal ingredients, it has fabulous flavour and great texture. It is extremely moist and cuts beautifully. The method is simple and the results are surprising and delicious.

Baking a traditional fruit cake can be quite daunting and time-consuming, and the result, unfortunately, is sometimes a cake which is dry and disappointing. This recipe, however, makes a beautifully moist cake which is full of fruit. In fact, there’s more fruit than cake.

The cake will suit a large number of people with specific dietary requirements as it does not contain any added sugar, is nut-free and vegan. I have also chosen to use gluten-free flour for this recipe, but if you’re able to eat wheat flour, use regular self-raising flour.

If you’re concerned that you don’t have the time to make a fruit cake, this is the recipe for you.

It is, without a doubt, the easiest fruit cake you can make. Whilst the recipe is simple, it does require a little forward planning. To obtain the best result, soak the dried fruit 24 hours in advance. The fruit will absorb most of the liquid, becoming beautifully plump and moist. I have soaked my fruit in almond milk but I have seen recipes that use various fruit juices, cold tea or even iced coffee. The following day, after soaking the fruit, fold in the sifted flour and mixed spice. Turn the mixture into a greased and lined baking tin and bake in the oven for about 1 ½ hours. I brushed 1 tablespoon of brandy onto the top of the cake after removing it from the oven, but this is optional.

You can use a commercial package of mixed dried fruit in this recipe, or you can customise a mixture to your own taste. You could add dried cranberries or blueberries, or, like me, juicy glace cherries. You may like to include dates, chopped finely, which will add a wonderful caramel sweetness.

Most similar recipes on the internet are for 3 ingredient fruit cakes. I like the addition of mixed spice, making it 4 ingredients, as the spice gives a more traditional “Christmassy” flavour.

I’m not sure of the origin of this recipe, but I did notice that a version of it is a CWA (Country Women’s Association) Blue Ribbon Prize Winning recipe. The cake may have originated during the Depression, when eggs, sugar and butter were difficult to obtain.

I will say that it is not an overly sweet cake so if you have a “sweet tooth” and no dietary restrictions you may prefer to use apple, cranberry or orange juice, or even apricot nectar.

So, if you feel you would like a fruit cake, but you just don’t have the time, I encourage you to try this recipe. You could even get the children involved, it is that simple. It is an ideal cake to serve with a cup of tea or coffee when family and friends visit over the festive season.

Xx Alex

P.S. Looking for some other fabulous festive recipes? I recommend you check out our Caprese Christmas Wreath and Christmas Cosmopolitan!

Adapted from a recipe by Annabel Langbein.

Easy Four Ingredient Fruit Cake
5 from 35 votes

Easy Four Ingredient Fruit Cake

This easy recipe is perfect for busy people who want quickly prepared, fantastic food. I am certain that you will enjoy this delicious, easily made, fruit cake which is gluten-free, vegan, nut-free and with no added sugar.

Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Australian
Keyword cake, christmas, Christmas cake, delicious, easy, gluten free, no added sugar, nut free, simple, vegan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Fruit Soaking 1 day
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 20 people
Calories 191 kcal
Author Alexandra


  • 1 kg mixed dried fruit *
  • 2 1/2 cups almond milk*
  • 2 3/4 cups gluten-free self raising flour I used Orgran
  • 1 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • optional: 1 tbsp rum, sherry or brandy brushed over
  • optional: icing sugar to dust omit if wanting to leave as no added sugar


  1. Place the dried fruit in a bowl, add the almond milk and stir well.

    Cover the bowl with cling wrap and leave the fruit to soak overnight in the fridge. (Ideally, soak for 24 hours)

  2. When ready to bake the cake, pre-heat the oven to 160oC/320oF.

  3. Grease and line the base and sides of a 23cm/9” spring-form cake tin with baking paper.

  4. Remove the fruit from the fridge. If the bowl in which you soaked the fruit is not large enough to add the flour, transfer the fruit to a larger bowl.

    Add the mixed spice to the flour and gradually sift it into the fruit mixture, mixing with a wooden or large metal spoon until well combined.

    Add the mixture to the prepared tin and smooth the top.

  5. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 1 ¼ – 1 ½ hours.

    Check that the cake is done by inserting a skewer into the centre of the cake. The skewer will come out clean when the cake is cooked. All ovens are different, so first check at 1 ¼ hours.

    Return to the oven for a little longer if necessary.

    Remove from the oven when cooked and brush with a little rum, sherry or brandy if using.

  6. Cool completely in the tin before turning out.

    Wrap well in cling wrap and then in foil. Or, store in an airtight container.

    Just before serving, dust with icing sugar if using.

Recipe Notes

*Use commercially packed, good quality, mixed fruit or customise a mixture to suit your taste. Add or omit mixed peel, use dried cranberries or blueberries, add glace cherries or include chopped dates for caramel sweetness.
*I used almond milk for this recipe but you can also use orange, apple, pineapple or cranberry juice. You could even try apricot nectar. I have also seen recipes that use cold tea or iced coffee.
*You can use regular wheat self-raising flour if you do not need to make a gluten-free cake.
* This cake is not overly sweet. If you would prefer a sweeter cake you may choose to soak the fruit in fruit juice.
*I brushed the top of the cake with brandy when it came out of the oven. It’s a nice touch but not absolutely necessary.

Nutrition Facts
Easy Four Ingredient Fruit Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 191 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Sodium 46mg2%
Potassium 357mg10%
Carbohydrates 44g15%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 24g27%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 5IU0%
Vitamin C 0.6mg1%
Calcium 122mg12%
Iron 1.2mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Easy Four Ingredient Fruit Cake
Four Ingredient Fruit Cake - It's Not Complicated Recipes #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes #desserts #fruitcake #cakerecipes #vegan #veganrecipes
Four Ingredient Fruit Cake - It's Not Complicated Recipes #glutenfree #glutenfreerecipes #desserts #fruitcake #cakerecipes #vegan #veganrecipes

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About the Author


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I'm Alex – a passionate foodie and writer. I love sharing delicious and simple recipes to inspire you in the kitchen. Try a recipe? I'd love to see your creations! #itsnotcomplicatedrecipes

187 Comments on “Easy Four Ingredient Fruit Cake”

  1. This is a perfect way to use up some of the dried fruit we dehydrated this summer. Only four ingredients is perfect.

  2. 5 stars
    I love the simplicity of this and the fact that it’s vegan with no added sugar! I imagine it would be really good with dates and/or prunes and apricots.

  3. I had absolutely no idea that fruit cake can be made with such few ingredients! And I really like that your recipe already uses almond milk, which I use mostly. Thank you!

  4. 5 stars
    I like nuts and raisins in my fruit cake. How much more flour and liquid would I need or how would I balance out the dried fruit to accommodate these extras? BTW thanks for such an awesome sounding recipe.

    1. Hi Fem! Thanks for stopping by 🙂
      You can absolutely add some raisins into the fruitcake – the mixed fruit amount can be any dried fruit of your fancy. In respect to nuts, I have made this cake before with blanched almonds on top, which worked really well, otherwise, you could add some into the mixture. I wouldn’t add any more flour, and you likely wouldn’t need any more liquid – you could add an additional tablespoon if you felt necessary once the cake had been well mixed. Love to hear how you go! 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    I have always heard bad things about fruit cake specifically that it is dry and hard. Your recipe (based on photos) does not seem to fit those categories. Thanks for sharing!

  6. 5 stars
    I have never seen a fruit cake recipe that actually appealed to me, but this one looks easy & delicious! Even though the Christmas season has gone, I may still have to try this out! Thanks for sharing!

  7. The first and last time I baked fruit cake was in high school during baking class. I’ve never baked since because it’s not quite an easy recipe. So when I saw this, I was surprised, intrigued!

  8. 5 stars
    My aunt used to make fruit cake every holiday. And I never enjoyed eating it. Your cake looks simple and yummy. Especially for someone like myself who really doesn’t enjoy cooking

  9. 5 stars
    This fruit cake looks absolutely delicious! I enjoy baking and have never made a fruit cake so I think this will be a fun one to make with my daughter since she loves baking as well.

  10. This looks like a great recipe to try fruitcake. It’s been on my list for a while but the ingredients list and expense always put me off! I’ll have to try this!

  11. My mother in law loves fruit cake! I am going to have to make this for her, I have always wanted to try to make fruit cake and this sounds like my chance.

  12. I might actually try this recipe! Most recipes are way too complicated. Thanks for sharing an easy one!!

  13. I’ll be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of fruitcake, but my partner loves it! That said, I’ll be trying to make this for him! Thank you x

  14. This looks pretty yummy! I haven’t made fruitcake but I know it’s a classic desert around the holidays. I could definitely try this!

  15. Pingback: Vegan Chocolate Cake - It's Not Complicated Recipes

  16. I am making this for the second time today. The first was absolutely delicious. I soaked the fruit (dates, golden and dark raisins, dried cranberries and a little bit of candied pineapple and cherries. I added nuts to the flour mixture. It is solo good. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. I love that there are just a few simple ingredients; it’s so quickly put together and is perfect for some people with dietary restrictions. 🙂

  17. 5 stars
    That was easy Alexandra..not so complicated at all and I want to believe that it was as delicious as always. I’ll agree about getting great fruits or else the cake will not be as yummy.

    1. It is much lighter than the traditional fruitcake; it is great to make when you need something in a hurry or if cooking for people with specific dietary requirements. Let me know if you try it. 🙂

  18. I will try to copy this recipe and hopefully, I can make it the same as you did, finger-cross. 🙂

  19. I grew up eating one made with NoneSuch Mincemeat which comes out much darker than this one. I agree with adding the mixed spice and think the addition of it would balance the flavors in this cake. Which many fruit cake recipes are missing.

    1. Fruit cake quite often divides people Kathy; some love it some don’t. This is a much lighter cake than the traditional fruit cake and is so quickly and easily made. 🙂

  20. I am not the most super fond person of Fruit cakes although I have wanted to try one recipe I saw out there. This one does really look pretty good and simple. And my dad loves these kinds of cakes. Will have to try out making one for him someday.

    1. Thank you David, this recipe is much lighter than the traditional fruit cake but is great when you’re running out of time and don’t have a cake. 🙂

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