Rosemary fruitcake

Rosemary fruitcake

Rosemary fruitcake

This rosemary fruit cake is decorated with poured fondant – it’ll give you a smooth surface without the stress!

  • 3 hrs + cooling
  • 15
  • Intermediate



  • 800g mixed cranberries, raisins and sultanas
  • 150g slivered almonds
  • 150g dates, chopped
  • 100g glacé cherries, halved
  • 100g mixed peel
  • 1 green apple, peeled and grated
  • 625ml sherry
  • 8ml ground cinnamon
  • 5ml mixed spice
  • 580ml cake flour
  • 3ml bicarbonate of soda
  • 3ml salt
  • 30ml rosemary, leaves chopped + extra, to decorate
  • 300g soft butter
  • 310ml brown sugar
  • 15ml vanilla essence
  • 4 eggs
  • 125ml smooth apricot jam


  • 310ml sugar
  • 200ml water
  • 700g fondant, finely chopped
  • icing sugar, for dusting



  1. For the fruitcake, preheat oven to 150°C. Line a 23cm round cake tin with baking paper. Line the outside of the tin with foil.
  2. Bring the cranberries, raisins, sultanas, almonds, dates, cherries, mixed peel, apple and 375ml of the sherry to a boil. Cool.
  3. Combine the fruit mixture, cinnamon, mixed spice, flour, bicarb, salt and rosemary.
  4. Beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla for about 8 minutes or until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in the fruit mixture. Spoon into prepared tin. Bake for about 2 hours or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Pour over the remaining sherry as soon as it comes out of the oven. Cool in the tin.
  5. Turn the cake over onto a 21cm cake board. Place the board on a glass, set over a baking tray to catch drips. Heat the jam for about 1 minute in the microwave until melted. Brush all over the cake to trap crumbs and fill indents. Set aside to dry for about 30 minutes.
  6. For the pouring fondant, heat the sugar and water in a small saucepan on medium, stirring until dissolved.
    Cover and bring to a boil.
  7. Add the hot sugar syrup to the fondant and stir until the fondant has melted. Use a stick blender to blitz
    any lumps. It should be thin enough to pour and slowly spread over the cake. Heat in the microwave at 10-second intervals if it’s too thick.
  8. Pour the fondant over the cake. You can use a spatula to gently push the fondant to the edges that are not covered, allowing it to drip down the sides. If your icing is too cold, you might have to use a wet spatula to spread the icing around the sides. Set aside until the fondant hardens.
  9. Transfer the cake to a cake stand. Decorate with upsidedown rosemary sprigs inserted on top and around the base to look like trees. Dust with icing sugar.


Follow this gingerbread biscuits recipe (halve the recipe, if you like) and cut into 7cm and 5cm deer cookies and a 9cm x 21cm house. Decorate with royal icing in patterns of your choice. Decorate the cake, using bamboo skewers if necessary to make the biscuits stand up.

Click here to download the deer template Cick here to download the house template



Poured fondant is a shiny, pourable sugar icing traditionally used to cover petits fours, and
also makes a lovely glaze for cakes and cupcakes.



Magazine issue date: December, 2017

Joni van der Merwe

About Joni van der Merwe

Your Family’s Digital editor. Avid retweeter. When I’m not scrolling Instagram you’ll find me in my garden. Keen on DIY and I don’t believe there’s anything that can’t be fixed with some chalk paint.