This Mixed Fruit Tray Bake recipe is ideal for coffee breaks and packed lunches. The secret to keeping this fruit cake moist is adding freshly brewed coffee or tea to the mixed dried fruit. Using soft dark brown sugar enhances the sponge cake with rich toffee flavours that you will not get if you were to use ordinary white sugar.
Get a small dish and add the freshly brewed coffee to the mixed dried fruit, leave for at least 30 mins to allow the fruits to plump up. Give them a little stir every few minutes to ensure all the fruit gets a chance to soak up the coffee.
While the fruits are soaking....
Preheat the oven to 180 deg (fan assisted). Grease and line a 10.5 inch (27cm) x 7 inch (17.5cm) x 1inch traybake tin or similar with baking parchment or greaseproof paper.
Using an electric mixer, or wooden spoon/spatula, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. If needed, scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go along.
Add the eggs one at a time adding a little flour between each one to help prevent curdling. Mix until well combined.
Add the remaining flour and mixed spice. Mix until well combined.
Drain off and discard any excess liquid from the soaking fruit, you won’t need this anymore, add the fruit to the cake bater and mix until well combined.
Pour the cake mixture evenly into the prepared baking tin. Scatter the demerara sugar over the top, this will give your cake a nice crispy topping.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 25 – 30 mins. Or until baked with a nice golden colour. Testing the centre of the cake with a skewer until it comes out clean.
If you wish, while the cake is still warm scatter more Demerara sugar on the top.
Leave in the tin to cool a little before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely. Wait until the traybake has cooled completely before cutting into slices and serving. If you slice it while still warm, there’s a risk your cake will crumble.
Soft Dark Brown sugar- There is no alternative to this and I urge you not to use white sugar for this recipe. The taste and look of the fruit traybake will simply not be the same, and you will be missing out on such a delicious tasting cake. I have many other recipes that use Dark Brown Sugar, so buying a packet will not go to waste. But if you must use white sugar, at least you are aware of how different the end result will be.
Any residual coffee will be discarded, so don't worry if all the coffee doesn't get soaked up into the dried fruit.
Scatter the top with demerara sugar, this will give your cake a nice crispy topping. You can add more sugar when it's baked if you wish.
If you cut this fruit slice traybake while still warm, there’s a risk your cake will crumble. So be patient, let it cool completely.