Highlander Fruit Cake – Quick, cheap, versatile and easy

Sometimes you have a recipe that you use so often that you take it for granted….this cake is used so often that I didn’t even think to share it…. its quick, cheap, versatile and easy. The actual recipe was printed on the label of the condensed milk can and as you can see from the image, this page in my old recipe book has been well used. Highlander Sweetened Condensed Milk comes in a 395 gram tin, is really versatile in a range of recipes and is now part of the Nestle brand.  This makes a great formal cake for weddings or Christmas but is equally good as an everyday cake for afternoon tea.

Highlander Cake
Highlander Cake
  • 1 tin Condensed milk
  • 1¼ Cups Water
  • 275 grams Butter
  • 3¾ Cups Dried Fruit – commercial mix or blend your own.
  • 2½ Cups Flour
  • ¾ teaspoon Baking Soda (Bicarbonate of Soda)
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  1. In a pot. heat together Highlander Milk, Water, Butter and Fruit.
  2. Boil for 3 minutes then cool for about 10 minutes.
  3. Sift Flour, Soda and Salt.
  4. Mix dry ingredients into Fruit and stir thoroughly.
  5. Pour into a paper lined 22 cm round cake tin (or similar sized square one)
  6. Bake at 160°C for 2 hours.
  7. Cool then wrap in paper and store in a sealed container until ready to ice or use.


  • Decorate the top with blanched almond of Glacé fruits before cooking – then you don’t need to ice the cake.
  • Poke holes in the cake when you take it from the oven and pour a couple of shots of brandy or rum over the cake.
  • Add brandy or rum essence to the cake mix
  • In my fruit mix I like to use sultanas, currants, raisins, cherries, peel, crystallized ginger and dried apricots.
  • I have cooked this in muffin pans to make individual gift cakes – reduce cooking time accordingly





7 thoughts on “Highlander Fruit Cake – Quick, cheap, versatile and easy

  1. I have been making & decorate This same recipe which I got over 45yrs ago of the nestle condensed milk tin.For my families wedding birthdays& christmas ,The only thing I do different is I add a 1/4teaspoon nutmeg & mixed spice and 1cup water plus 1/4 cup sherry. This recipe is the best it keeps well
    & freezes for years if you have a tier left over from a wedding cake


  2. I remember making this cake often years ago, and then I lost the recipe – so thank you! It makes a lovely cake …. I tried making it with different wholemeal./whole grain flours with excellent results. I have a wooden cake box from the Wooden Cake Box Company (NZ) – which is really great for cakes that need a long slow cook, so I think I will give it a go in the cake box.


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