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Holyroodhouse’s Whisky Glazed Fruitcake

Customers find it nearly impossible to walk past this cake without buying a piece and yet they are always amazed by how delicious it tastes. Bursting with fruit, it is made with love by the chef team in the Holyroodhouse kitchen, who soak it in orange juice and whisky for two full days, ensuring that it is beautifully moist and full of flavour.

The cake has "followed” head chef Mike around for the past ten years. It began as a mini canapé-sized cake, circulated at events. Back then, it was served with a malt whisky cream, which has now been adapted to the whisky glaze.


A Sin-free treat

Not only is the cake delicious, but it is also virtually fat free – no wonder customers so often ask for the recipe. It uses no eggs, sugar or butter. It is also surprisingly easy to make.

The cake tells its own story but Holyroodhouse staff love telling customers "it’s almost good for you, so how can you resist?!"

Best served

…with a cup of Tea Palace English breakfast tea.



300g raisins

300g sultanas

300g currants

300g mixed peel

300g chopped glacé cherries

600ml orange juice

100ml whisky

600g self raising flour

Good splash of malt whisky

75g apricot jam


  • Soak all the fruit in orange juice and whisky for 2 days, making sure you return to it a couple of times to give it a good mix.

  • After 2 days, the fruit mixture should have soaked up all the liquid, leaving you with lots of delicious, moist and plump fruit. You now need to fold in the flour, a bit at a time, by hand until fully incorporated in the fruit mixture with no lumps.

  • Line a 10" round cake tin with 3 layers of cling film, leaving enough overhang to cover the top of the cake when it’s in the tin.

  • Fill with your cake mix, making sure to push the mix right to the edges of the tin before giving it a strong tap on the table. Then fold over the cling film and pat down on to the top of the cake.

  • Bake the cake in the oven at 150°C for 3 hours and ten minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when poked into the middle of the cake.

  • Allow to cool in the tin, then take out and remove the cling film.

  • Put your apricot jam and a splash of good malt whisky in a small pan on a low heat. Once the jam has melted you are ready to brush your cake.

  • If you pop the cake in the fridge for 10 minutes after you have glazed it, you can then glaze again. Repeating this step until your cake looks amazing and all your jam is used up.

  • You can get 18 good-sized wedges out of the cake and it freezes very well if you want to save some for later.

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