Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family

Grandma’s Boiled Fruit Cake

Boiled Friot Cake (7)

My Grandma was the best.

Not only was she lovely, but she hit a mean sliced forehand on the tennis court too. She was the queen of sponges and her potato salad always went first at a BBQ. For each birthday growing up we would go over to Grandma’s house and have a jam and cream sponge, often followed by jelly cakes and something fizzy. You would not have called her food healthy, but it was delicious and cooked with love.

Christmas at Grandmas house involved everyone packed into a hot lounge room wearing Christmas cracker hats and eating too much turkey. Dessert was pudding; made with suet and littered with old coins (as was the norm back then) which we could then exchange for real money. It was Granddads job to carve the turkey and we would all eat until the top button of his pants came undone.

I was at a family Christmas picnic last week and my Aunt had one of Grandmas old recipe books. It contained her hand written notes for her infamous recipes; sponge cake, date slice, apricot chicken and boiled fruit cake. It was a surreal feeling reading Grandmas recipes; almost like she was there, apron on with a whisk in one hand and a sieve in the other.

Adapting Grandmas Boiled Fruit Cake recipe was surprisingly easily. I swapped the butter for pumpkin, subbed Gluten Free flours for the Wheat flour and left out the sugar. I thought 1 can of pineapple and a packet of mixed fruit would suffice and an extra cup of sugar wasn’t really required (no wonder Granddad had diabetes!). This cake bakes for a long time… a really long time, but it’s worth the wait. Grandmas Boiled Fruit Cake is moist, slightly fruity and wonderfully nostalgic. It’s not firm or hard like a boxed fruit cake is (you can find  a firmer recipe in my eBook ‘Mummy Made.It A Healthy Christmas’; it’s soft and melts in your mouth. Grandmas Boiled Fruit Cake is easy to make and tastes like Christmas past.

Want more healthier Christmas recipes? Check out my eBook ‘Mummy Made.It A Healthy Christmas’. It’s filled with over 50 festive dessert and treat recipes for you and your family to enjoy. Get your instantly downloadable copy today for only AUD$12.99.


Grandmas Boiled Fruit Cake

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 45 mins
Total Time2 hrs



  • 430 gram can 15 ounces crushed Pineapple
  • 115 grams 4 ounces Pumpkin Purée (Sweet Potato can also be substituted)
  • 375 grams Dried Mixed Fruit
  • 1 teaspoon Bicarb Soda
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Mixed Spice
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1/3 Cup Coconut Flour
  • 2/3 Cup Almond Meal Seed Meals can be substituted
  • 1/3 Cup Arrowroot



  • In a medium sized saucepan place the pineapple, pumpkin and mixed fruit. Bring to the boil over medium heat and then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often to prevent the mixture sticking to the bottom of the saucepan.
  • After 10 minutes remove the saucepan from the heat and immediately add the bicarb. Allow to cool completely (I placed mine in the fridge).
  • Preheat the oven to150C/350F. Line and grease a 20 cm square cake tin. (line the edges of the tin as well)
  • Using a kitchen stand mixer, beat the eggs for 5 minutes or until pale and fluffy (this could also be done by hand if you have large muscles).
  • Stir the cooled, boiled fruit mixture into the eggs.
  • Sift the dry ingredients together then fold into the wet mixture.
  • Pour the fruit cake mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes, or until cooked through.
  • Leave the cake in the tin to cool completely before removing.
  • This Boiled Fruit Cake is quite moist and needs to be kept in the fridge.


Adapted from my Grandmas old cook book

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