DIY weddings

DIY Ethical Wedding cake

Traditional fruit cake ethical style

This recipe for fruit cake is the one we followed for our own wedding, so it must be pretty foolproof!

This recipe will make one11 inch (28cm) round cake or a 10 inch (25cm) square cake.

Fruit cakes like this are best made about 8 weeks before the big day. 

8 weeks before wedding  - making the cake

To make the cake, soak the following ingredients in 6 tablespoons of brandy (or fruit juice) for 12 hours in a bowl covered with a cloth:

900g currants
350g raisins
350g sultanas
110g mixed peel, finely chopped
110g glace cherries, rinsed and finely chopped

Much of this fruit is available fair trade from health food shops, Traidcraft or online from ethicalsuperstore.com

You could use organic or fair trade juice or try a delicious locally produced fruit liqueur from a farmer’s market 

450g organic plain flour (Doves Farm or supermarket own brand)
½ teaspoon salt
1 level teaspoon fair trade mixed spice (available from Steenbergs)
½ teaspoon of fair trade nutmeg (available from Steenbergs)
2 dessertspoons organic black treacle or molasses
450g soft brown / demerara sugar (available from most supermarkets / health food shops)
450g unsalted organic butter
8 large free-range organic eggs
110g fair trade almonds, blanched, peeled and chopped (available from Traidcraft / health food shops)
Grated rind from 2 fair trade lemons (available from most supermarkets)
Grated rind from 2 fair trade oranges (available from most supermarkets)

Brush the cake tin with melted butter and line sides and base with two layers of greaseproof paper. Brush again with butter.

Preheat the oven to 140oC / 275oF

Sieve flour, salt and spices into a bowl, then in another large bowl cream the butter and sugar together thoroughly until smooth.

Beat the eggs and beat into the sugar and egg mix a bit at a time.

Fold in the flour mixture bit by bit then stir in all the fruit, nuts and treacle (warm the treacle slightly first as it will pour more easily). Lastly add the fruit rind.

Spoon the mixture into your prepared cake tin, using the back of the spoon to even it out.

Tie some thick paper around the edge of the tin to stop the edge of the cake burning then cut another double thickness square of greaseproof paper to cover the top. Cut a hole about the size of a 50p piece in the centre of this paper and bake on the bottom shelf of the oven for 5 1/2 hours. Try to resist the urge to open the door while it's cooking!

Leave to rest on a wire rack.

Once cool, store the cake in double layers of greaseproof paper and every week or so unwrap it, make a few small holes in the top or bottom and pour some brandy or fruit juice onto the holes to soak in and keep the cake moist.

2 weeks before the wedding - making the marzipan

The next stage is to cover the cake with marzipan. This should be done ideally a week before icing.

For the cake recipe above use the following quantities of ingredients:

450g soft brown / demerara sugar (available from most supermarkets / health food shops)
8 large free-range organic eggs
110g fair trade almonds, blanched, peeled and chopped (available from Traidcraft / health food shops)
Grated rind from 2 fair trade lemons (available from most supermarkets)