From Marsh Mash Winter 2011

beery fruit cakeIngredients:

  • ½ pint/10fl oz (285ml) Bishops Finger Ale (take from a 500ml bottle and drink the rest)
  • 3oz (85g) Butter/Margarine/Spread (i.e. Olive Oil/Sunflower Spread/Utterly Buttery)
  • 3oz (85g) Soft Moist Brown Sugar
  • 5oz (140g) Dried Mixed Fruit
  • 1 Extra Large Egg (or 2 small ones)
  • 10oz (240g) Self Raising Flour
  • 1 tsp Mixed Spice
  • 1 level tsp Bicarbonate of Soda


  1. Put beer, fat, sugar and fruit into a saucepan and gently bring to the boil, stirring all the time. Turn out the heat and cool for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.

  2. Grease and line an 8" (20cm) round cake tin (or use a round cake tin liner, available from most supermarkets)

  3. Sieve all of the dry ingredients together into a fairly large mixing bowl.

  4. Beat egg/s and add to beer mix, stir well to mix.

  5. Add liquid mix to dried ingredients and beat well until combined.

  6. Pour mixture into prepared cake tin, smooth over and make a well in the centre (to allow for rising).

  7. Bake in pre-heated oven at 195°C/390°F/Gas 5 for 45 minutes.

  8. Reduce oven temperature to 185°C/360°F/Gas 4 and bake for a further 20-40 minutes until a skewer/thin bladed knife comes out clean.

To make a more economical cake with a crumbly texture, replace the fat with lard and omit the egg.

Recipe by Shirley Johnson