Enjoy Winston Churchill’s Favourite Cake On VE Day

Rich brown fruit cake on a cake stand, one slice cut on a plate, bunting hung behind

Credit: The National Trust

As we mark 75 years since VE Day, The National Trust helps us to celebrate at home with the fruit cake that was wartime prime minister Winston Churchill’s favourite! Read more about him and his beloved cook Mrs Landemare here.

  • If you don’t have glacé cherries, use dried apricots or mixed nuts instead.
  • Black treacle is used to add a rich darkness and flavour to the cake, but it is not essential. Without it, the cake will simply have a lighter finish – with the same delicious taste.
  1. Soak the dried fruit in tea, preferably overnight.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl, until almost white. Remember to scrape the sides of the bowl and continue to cream together.
  3. Gradually beat the eggs into the mixture, remembering to add a little flour to stop the mixture from splitting or curdling.
  4. Fold in the flour and add the mixed spice to the mixture.
  5. Add the the mixed fruit and the glacé cherries and continue to fold together.
  6. Continue to fold and stir, while adding in the black treacle.
  7. Preheat oven to 150ºC/Fan 130ºC. Grease and line a cake tin.
  8. Once completely mixed together, scrape the mixture into the cake tin and leave to bake for 2 hours. Check that the fruit cake is cooked throughout before leaving to cool on a wire rack.
  9. Finish with a light dusting of caster sugar.