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  • Delaille Raubenheimer

Mynhardt's Festive Fruitcake

From ancient Rome's "satura," carried by soldiers on long journeys as a source of energy, to fruitcake in the Middle Ages enjoyed at celebrations with the addition of brandy or rum in 16th-century Europe, the fruitcake can tell stories!

Brought to America by early European settlers, it was often exchanged as a giff. And as this was often at Christmas time, the 20th century saw the commercial production of these legendary cakes.

While Germany has stollen, Italy has panforte, we proudly present Mynhardt's Free State fruitcake.


  • PREPARATION: 30 minutes

  • COOKING: 2–3 hours

  • PASSIVE: at least one month before eating the cake

  • SERVINGS: 8 - 10 servings



• 400ml water

• 100g Bonnita butter

• 200g soft brown sugar

• 400g fruitcake mix

• 250g dates, chopped

• 100g Montagu golden sultanas

• 200g Montagu raw whole almonds, roughly chopped

• 7ml bicarbonate of soda

• 3 eggs, beaten

• 20ml vanilla extract

• 75ml KWV brandy, plus 75ml to drizzle

• 100g whole red glacé cherries

• 100g whole green glacé cherries

• 200g SASKO self-raising flour

• 5ml salt

• 5ml ground cinnamon



1. Preheat the oven with the rack in the middle. Butter a deep 25cm cake tin, line it with 3 layers of baking paper and butter the top layer.

2. Bring the water, butter, sugar, fruits, and almonds to a boil in a large saucepan. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the bicarb, mix through and remove from the heat. Leave to cool completely.

3. In another bowl, combine the eggs, vanilla, and brandy and add it to the cooled fruit mixture. Add the cherries, flour, salt, and cinnamon and mix well, ensuring all the flour is incorporated. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 2 hours or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean (moist, but not doughy).

4. Once the cake comes out of the oven, drizzle the remaining brandy over it and leave to cool in the tin. Store the cake in an airtight container and moisten it liberally with brandy once a week to let it mature and allow the flavours to develop.

5. To keep the cake moist, wrap it in baking paper, cover it in cling wrap, and store it in an airtight container. After being ripened for a few weeks, it is easy to freeze.


To order yours in time for the festive season, please email


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