Around the 1970s it became popular to grown zucchinis in backyard vegetable patches, they were easy to grow and produced a good crop. As a result recipes for slices, soups, and cakes started to pop up everywhere. This cake is just one of the many. We tried it out without the nuts, mixed fruit or coconut. It came out very moist and we feel that it needs the either the nuts or fruit to give it more flavour. Lemon icing would be a good addition as well.

Zuccini Cake


  • 1kg zucchini (small one are best)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2¼ cups sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 cups Self Raising flour
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon carb soda
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup of either walnuts, mixed fruit or ½ cup coconut – if desired

Wash and grate zucchinis (skin and all). Beat eggs well and gradually add sugar and beat till thick and creamy. Add vanilla, oil and zucchini and nuts/fruit/coconut, if using, mix well. Add dry ingredients that have been sifted together. Pour mixture into 2 loaf tins or a large cake tin. Bake at 180ºC for 1 hour or 1¼ if using larger tin. Mixture is not very thick. Ice, if desired.


Fruitcakes are essentially easy to make once the fruit is prepared. You can tell this is an old recipe as it has an ingredient not heard of today – Parisienne Essence. Parisienne essence has nothing to do with Paris or even French cooking it was a flavouring used to darken dishes and was used in gravies, fruitcakes and puddings. Leaving it out of this recipe won’t affect the finished cake as there are plenty of other ingredients to give it a good flavour.

Rich Boiled Fruit Cake - Bernice


  • 500g sultanas
  • 375g raisins
  • 125g mixed peel
  • 125g cherries
  • 60g dates
  • 60g apricots or prunes

Or use 1.25kg of mixed fruits of your choice

  • 2 level tablespoons golden syrup
  • 3 tablespoons rum or sherry
  • ¾ cup water
  • 250g butter
  • 250g brown sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 315g plain flour
  • 60g self raising flour
  • ¼ level teaspoon salt
  • 2 level teaspoons mixed spice
  • ¼ level teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ level teaspoon nutmeg
  • 60g whole blanched almonds

Place all the fruit, golden syrup, rum or sherry and water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil stirring occasionally and simmer for two minutes. Pour into a bowl, cover and allow to stand overnight. Cream butter and brown sugar well together. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift dry ingredients, then sift half over the fruit mixture. Mix lightly and then blend into the creamed mixture. Add remainder of flour and blend well. Turn into a 22cm cake tin which has been lined with brown paper and with baking paper (the original recipe says 2 layers of brown and 2 of white, while that might be a bit much you shouldn’t skimp on the paper as the cake cooks slowly and the paper stops it drying out). Top with blanched almonds. Bake at 140°C for 3½ hours or till done.


I’m not sure of the age of this recipe, but the milk measurement of 1 gill dates it back a fair way. Mum would serve this with cream and made it often for afternoon teas along with sandwiches and other small cakes and biscuits. I can remember coming home from school, after the guests had left, and being allowed to eat some of the leftovers from the spread she had put on – a great treat.

Apple Sponge


  • 1 cup Self Raising flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 60g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • Apples, stewed

Rub butter into flour, beat egg with sugar add milk until combined. Make a well in centre of dry ingredients, add milk mixture. Put the stewed apples in a greased 18cm cake tin and pour mixture over. Bake 30-45 mins in moderate oven 180°C.


This more of a fruit slice than a traditional fruit cake. The fresh fruit makes it quite moist and it’s nice sliced and buttered.

Mena's Boiled Fruit Cake cropped


  • ½ carton margarine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 packet mixed fruit
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 apples
  • Cherries & nuts (walnuts, pecans)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups self raising flour
  • 1 heaped teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 heaped teaspoon cinnamon

Put the margarine, water, sugar and mixed fruit into a saucepan and boil. Set aside to cool. Squeeze 2 oranges, save juice, finely dice peel and add to saucepan. Mash 2 bananas, grate 2 apples, add to saucepan with cherries and nuts. When cool add orange juice and 2 eggs, then sifted flour & spices. Bake 160°C for ¾ hour in 3 small loaf tins.