"No love sincerer than the love of food"


Elizabeth Taylor’s Fruit Loaf

Elizabeth Taylor I hear you gasp.  How did such a Hollywood Great manage to keep her culinary passions under a bushel?  But of course the Elizabeth Taylor I am writing about is the equally impressive, though slightly less famous Mrs Grumbling Tummy senior.

In fact my Dad was the real baker in our family, but as he spent most of the week trawling for fish in the North Sea, mum was forced to master some simple but fabulous recipes to keep the home fires burning and one of these recipes was for Fruit Loaf.  

Although I am a first class cake eater,  I rarely make cakes.  You see all to often things go horribly wrong –  my daughters first birthday cake is still referred to as the birthday pancake.  Perhaps my cooking style does not transfer well to baking, which is altogether a more scientific beast.  I favour the ‘dab of this and dash of the other’ approach to cooking and rarely stick religiously to a recipe. Besides attention to detail was never my strong point.

However that said, every man and his dog seems to have been bitten by the baking bug lately, and not wanting to be left behind, I decided to give it another bash. So what better cake to make than my mum’s fruit loaf? It is the easiest and tastiest cake imaginable, thus ensuring that my fragile ‘bakers’ ego remains intact.

Apart from being a little more cakey than loafy it pretty much does what it says on the ‘loaf’ tin, delivering a fruity and spicy offering that tastes equally great on its own or further enhanced with a slab of butter.

So without further ado here is the recipe for my mums Fruit Loaf


1 egg

1 cup of sugar

1 cup of sultanas

2 cups of self raising flour

2 heaped teaspoons of mixed spice

2oz butter 

1 cup of milk


Put the milk, sultanas, sugar and butter into a pan and bring to the boil

Leave this to cool for a while

Then add in the egg, flour and mixed spice

Pour mix into a greased loaf tin and bake for around 20 mins to half and hour (sorry, slightly sketchy on the timings.  I just keep an eye on it and when it looks ready I stick the knife in, so to speak and if it comes out clean then we’re done)