A delicious, orangey rich fruit cake with no refined sugar. This recipe is (very slightly) adapted from the River Cottage Baby & Toddler Cookbook by Nikki Duffy.
100g dried apricots
100g dried prunes
2 unwaxed or organic oranges
125g plain flour
100g strong wholemeal flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
50g ground almonds
- Preheat the oven to 170c. Line a large (1L) loaf tin with baking paper.
- Use scissors to roughly chop the apricots and dates. Put them in a small pan with the zest of one of the oranges.
- Squeeze the juice from both oranges into a measuring jug and top up with water to make 350ml of liquid. Add this to the dried fruit in the pan. Bring to the boil, then remove from heat and set aside.
- Combine flours, baking powder, almonds, sultanas and spices in a large bowl. Add the soaked apricots and dates, with their liquid, and mix thoroughly.
- Put the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth out. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Leave in the tin for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- Store in an airtight tin for several days. OR slice into thick slices (maybe even halve these to make fist-size sticks for your toddler) and pop them into freezer bags. Spread them out inside the bag and freeze flat at first, so they don’t stick together in one lump. Then you can take the slices out of the freezer one at a time for an easy treat – either a couple of hours in advance or in emergencies (well, need-for-cake emergencies) you can defrost a slice in the toaster. Just watch out for burning-hot sultanas if you do this!