What do you reckon Queensland tastes like? Not the actual land, of course. That probably wouldn’t taste too good. But the flavours that instantly make you feel like you’re biting into the Sunshine State. For me, it’s the classic flavours in this easy tropical fruit cake: pineapple and Bundy rum.
Firstly, how good are pineapples?! Especially the fresh kind. And if you follow this handy guide over here, you can grow your own. But if you’re not up for backyard farming, or can’t get the fresh stuff in stores, pineapple juice will still give you that flavour hit.
Plus Bundaberg rum is pretty much the pride of Queensland, along with XXXX beer (who knows why), so why not mix the two?
Now, I’m a big fan of lazy baking, and this fruit cake is so bloody easy you pretty much just sleep through it. According to urban legend, the original recipe for a three-ingredient fruit cake – yes, just THREE ingredients – harks back to the Country Women’s Association queens. This version has a few tweaks, but essentially the process involves soaking dried fruit overnight, then adding self-raising flour and baking it in the oven. Too easy.
How to make a Queensland tropical fruit cake
What you’ll need:
- 1kg dried fruit
- 2½ cups pineapple juice
- ½ cup Bundaberg rum
- 2 cups self-raising flour
In a large bowl, combine the dried fruit mix, pineapple juice and run, and cover and let soak overnight in the fridge. The next day, stir in the SR flour (it becomes a pretty thick mix) and pour into a 20cm cake tin lined with baking paper. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 1 hour. You’ll want to keep an eye on it because the top of the cake can burn easily. With my oven, for example, I tend to lower the temp a bit and cook the cake for longer. The cake is done when you can put a skewer in the centre and it comes out clean. The cake will keep for a couple of weeks in an airtight container, or you can freeze it.
I served my Queensland tropical fruit cake with coconut and mango ice cream, but you can happily eat it as is. It’s a great snack option, good for packed lunches, and even goes alright on a cheeseboard (thank you to Jamie Oliver for enlightening us all on the joys of adding fruit cake to a cheeseboard).