A Perfect Pantry

White Christmas Fruitcake with Sandra Reynolds

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    A couple of years ago when I first mentioned this on my blog, the response was immediate: My readers LOVE fruitcake, and if they make it at all, it will be at this time of year. Perhaps it’s the combination of fruit, brandy and warming spices, but on reflection, I think the reason we love it so is because the secret ingredient is nostalgia. We get very sentimental this time of year, referring to the way it’s always been done rather than trying something new.

    But if by chance there is someone reading this who wants to try something new, consider my white christmas fruitcake. I made it with the sensational new Kambrook Powermix planetary bench mixer. With three attachments for cutting through and whisking or beating all your mixtures from bread dough to lighter-than-air meringues, with a large bowl and motor that will manage your largest recipes and you are bound to use it for much more than a traditional fruitcake. It looks beautiful enough to keep on your benchtop permanently, but is light enough to carry or move around if you keep it tucked away In a cupboard.



    I put it through the great kitchen test, my once a year fruitcake and it worked splendidly.

    This recipe is a little different – with white chocolate and lots of delicately coloured dried and local fruit such as pineapple, pawpaw, golden sultanas and apricots, this cake makes a lovely and lightly-coloured cake. It will appeal to your fussiest fruitcake fanciers and it’s small enough that if it’s just you who likes fruitcake, you can halve the recipe and eat the lot without feeling guilty.

    It gives you the appearance of something traditional, while subverting your tastebuds with a new way of approaching an old favourite. Now that’s how we do an Australian Christmas.

    Makes two 38cm x 9cm cakes

    White Christmas Fruitcake 



    • 100g (¾ cup) dried figs
    • 100g (¾ cup ) dried apricots
    • 150g (1 cup) sultanas
    • 50g (⅓ cup) dried pawpaw or mango strips
    • 50g dried pineapple rings or tinned pineapple, well drained
    • ½ cup (125ml) brandy;
    • 4 eggs, separated
    • 125g butter at room temperature
    • 100g (½ cup).soft brown sugar, firmly packed
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 tsp mixed spice OR ½ tsp each of cinnamon and nutmeg
    • 250g white cooking chocolate
    • 200g plain flour
    • 120g pecans 


    1. Finely chop the figs, apricots, pawpaw and pineapple into pieces the same size as the sultanas. Place all the dried fruit in a large ceramic or glass bowl and add the brandy. Stir well to coat the fruit, then cover with cling wrap and leave for at least 24 hours. From time to time stir the mixture to coat with the brandy.
    2. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 150°C (fan forced). Line two small bar tins (28cm x 9cm x 5cm) with baking paper and set aside. 
    3. Set aside the egg yolks in a small bowl and place the egg whites in the bowl of the Powermix™ bench mixer. Use the whisk attachment to beat the egg whites at medium speed until soft peaks form. Scrape the egg whites into a clean bowl and set aside. Clean the bowl of the food mixer and place it back. Secure the leaf beater attachment. 
    4. Add the softened butter and brown sugar to the mixing bowl and cream the mixer for several minutes on medium speed. From time to time, stop the mixer and use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
    5. Add the vanilla and spices and one egg yolk and beat well until the mixture is lightened. Scrape down the bowl. Add the remaining egg yolks one at a time and scrape down the bowl with each addition. Beat in the egg yolks until thoroughly combined.
    6. Roughly chop or break up 200g of the white chocolate and place in a small heat-proof bowl. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in a microwave until it is smooth and warmed through.
    7. With the beaters still running, slowly pour the chocolate through the hole in the splatter guard of the food mixer and beat it into the mixture. Add the sifted flour a spoonful at a time and use the pulse function on your Powermix bench mixer to quickly and thoroughly incorporate the flour between additions.
    8. Add the soaked fruit to the cake mixture and stir well. Stop the food mixer at this point, and remove the bowl with the cake mixture in it. Scrape any mixture off the beater back into the bowl. Spoon one third of the egg whites into the mixture and use a large metal spoon to gently stir the egg whites into the mixture. Add the remaining egg white to the mixture and fold it in very gently until completely absorbed.
    9. Divide the cake batter evenly between the prepared cake tins and smooth the surface. Arrange the pecans over the top of the cakes and gently push them down into the mixture. Cover each tin with a sheet of aluminium foil and place the tins into a large roasting dish. Pour boiling water gently into the roasting dish until it comes half way up the sides of the tins,. 
    10. Bake in the oven for two hours. Remove the foil from the tins and bake for a further 20-30 minutes until they are golden and a skewer inserted into the cakes comes out clean.
    11. Allow the cakes to cool completely in their tins before you turn them out. At this point, you can store them, wrapped in foil and in an airtight container, for up to a month before eating. The longer you leave them, the better the flavours will be.
    12. To decorate the cakes, melt the remaining 50g white chocolate in a microwave or over a double boiler and pour the warm chocolate into a ziplock bag. Snip a tiny end out of one corner and gently squeeze the chocolate through the small hole. Drizzle the chocolate over the cake – accuracy is not important, just try for an even coverage.


    This cake really is best served at room temperature, due to the chocolate in it and will feel quite firm if you attempt to cut it straight out of the fridge, but will soften to a beautiful texture as it warms through.



    b2ap3_thumbnail_image005.jpgRecipe created and shared by Sandra Reynolds


    Sandra Reynolds has written over 1000 nutritious budget-friendly recipes for her blog The $120 Food Challenge, surviving unemployment payments and Aldi checkout lines along the way and turned personal adversity into a thriving blog.


    Her first cookbook, The $120 Food Challenge is published by Penguin Viking and Sandra is now writing her second cookbook. She still shops at Aldi every week.



    • Tanya 09 December 2013

      I would love to win this so I could gift it to my daughter who is about to have her first child, so that she can make fabulous cupcakes for him.

    • Syrine 09 December 2013

      Wow, I'm not a fan of the traditional fruitcake but this I will be giving a go! Sounds and looks amazing.
      Thank you for your original take on an old classic :D Merrry Christmas

    • Johanna 09 December 2013

      What a fantastic machine! I will surprise my husband with his favourite dessert - a custard tart. Not that I've ever made one but with this machine in my kitchen, I will give it my best shot!

    • Steph 09 December 2013

      I have a hand-held mixer, but Kambrook definitely takes the cake with this one. It would make my lunchbox muffins for the kids a treat to make :)

    • Rhonda Dryden 09 December 2013

      My husband has just been diagnosed as diabetic and I have to become more creative in the kitchen and cook nutritious food from scratch . This machine would be perfect:D:p;)

    • Deanna 09 December 2013

      Oh wow, what an amazing Christmas present this would be!! My old mixer recently went to mixer heaven so I am in dire NEED of a new one and this would make a great addition to our family and be well loved!!

    • Tanya 09 December 2013

      My pavlova would turn out so much better with this fabulous machine than with my Nan's old hand beater and my arm would appreciate the rest!

    • Dominique 09 December 2013

      This would look amazing in my mum's kitchen and together we could make lemon meringue pies like we did when I was little.

    • Cee Wee 09 December 2013

      Without a doubt my Nan's banana cake. It will be just like she used to make. I loved licking the bowl when she was done as an extra treat.

    • Jenny Mitchell 09 December 2013

      Can't wait to try this recipe for White Christmas Fruitcake, but I desperately need a mixer. This recipe brings together all the fine foods we love best...Merry Christmas everyone...

    • Ellie 09 December 2013

      I would love to win this! My very restrictive FODMAP diet dictates me having to cook and bake most things from scratch, bench mixer would be a huge help. I would definitely love to make a lemon meringue pie!

    • Sue 09 December 2013

      I have been a number of mixers in 35 years and new one is on the cards again, I love cooking and making cakes for birthdays is always important. I love pavlova and it would be the dish dessert I'd make

    • Lina A. 09 December 2013

      To be honest ,I've always used a little hand beater. If I won the Kambrook Powermix I'd be making pancakes, carrot cake, pavlova, cookie mix, & my neighbour, the truckie's favourite :Banana/raisin cake! I live in my kitchen! (so hubby says :)

    • Alyce 09 December 2013

      This looks delicious! :) I would love to use this bench mixer to make lemon meringue pies again. My poor hand mixer just doesn't cut it anymore.

    • Natasha Marcus-Taylor 09 December 2013

      I came across $120 food challenge last October after having my son and have been followering ever since. I am always trying different muffins recipes, but can't wait to try this white Christmas cake!

    • Sandra 09 December 2013

      This would be fantastic to win. The White... Chocolate... Fruitcake.. looks and sounds devine. The first thing I would make if I won, would be my Mother-in-Law's famous pavolva roll for my husband. She is an unable to bake anymore (dementia), and has passed her recipe book on to me. My husband would be so surprised that I made this (with the help of Kambrook) for him.

    • Donna 09 December 2013

      With the right tools and the know how,
      I will start my own $120 challenge now,
      And I will whip up a healthy and delicious meals everyday.
      And be slim, fit and healthy by May!

    • Vivienne 09 December 2013

      I've never actually owned a mixer and 67 seems a good time to start! I'm sure it would transform my baking, and I could leave it to one of my grandchildren.

    • Theresa 09 December 2013

      What a wonderful machine. Just in time to make all the Christmas goodies

    • Anna 09 December 2013

      Thank you for the opportunity to take part in this.
      I would love to win this Powermixer as I've never owned a mixer and have always had a cheapie handheld. The first thing I would make would be Pavlova :)
      Thank you and blessings.

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