“All tours are wrapped up in a narration loaded with stories, history and humour and his boiled fruit cake takes first prize!”

“Highlight was our cup of tea made with rain water in the billy can and delicious cake made by Neil’s wife.”

“…not to mention Neil’s beautiful horses and Coralie’s yummy orange cake enjoyed with tea by the creek!”

“He was great with our 3 year old, letting her pick flowers and pet his horses – and giving her second helpings of the cake she was eyeing up! We saw lots of Kangaroos, and the tea and cake sitting by the pond surrounded by lilies was just lovely.”

This boiled fruit cake recipe belonged to my mum, most people in Exmouth knew her as “Mrs Mac”. It’s a lovely, light fruit cake, not heavy or dense like some can be. Mum baked this cake every day for our safari tours in Exmouth and it really did become quite famous!  I’ve now taken over as the person who makes boiled fruit cakes for every occasion – and I love it!

Last Christmas I made at least 30 fruit cakes – all decorated with cherries and almonds on top. They were mostly given away as Christmas gifts!

Mum was a great cook and loved to bake – our family were very lucky indeed.

For 20 years she made two cakes a day for our Exmouth tour guests – this fruit cake plus an orange cake too.

So for everyone who has asked for the recipe, here it is! We hope your family loves it too.

Neil McLeod

  Greasing the cake tin

Boiled Fruit Cake

Neil making his mums cakes

Fruit cake’s are ready to go in the oven.


  • 500gms Sunbeam mixed fruit, plus about
  • 8-10 glace cherries cut through
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 small tin crushed pineapple
  • 125gms (4/5 ozs) butter
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 Tablespoon sherry
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 1/3 cups self raising flour
  • 1 cup wholemeal self raising flour



  • Preheat oven: 180 degree Celsius (conventional oven) or 160 degree Celsius (fan-forced oven)
  • Grease a ring tin and line with paper. Grease again with margarine and dust with flour
  • Put the mixed fruit, glace cherries, brown sugar, pineapple and butter in saucepan and simmer until the pineapple is tender
  • Set aside to cool
  • When cool add grated rind and juice of one lemon
  • Add 3 beaten eggs, plus 4 tablespoons sherry
  • Gradually add sifted flour with 1 teaspoon mixed spice and a good pinch of salt
  • Place mixture into the ring tin and bake for 1 hour
  • 7 minutes before time, turn tin around in oven