Can we talk about Christmas yet? Cherry and coconut Christmas loaf cake

There is something inherently festive about little red fruit. No matter what you bake, if you throw in a few cherries and cranberries it immediately feels like Christmas. The only danger is that glace fruits can make things over-sweet, so here they’re mixed with tart, dried cranberries to make sure you end up with a perfectly balanced, Christmassy cake that’s perfect with tea on a wintry afternoon. 

175g butter or stork

175g caster sugar plus extra for dusting

3 eggs

80g dessicated coconut plus extra for sprinkling

175g self raising flour

Finely zested rind of an orange

80g glace cherries, halved

80g dried cranberries

Heat oven to 180/160/gas 4 and line a large loaf tin with greaseproof paper.

Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy, then beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a third of the coconut in between each egg. Stir in the orange rind, then the flour, and three quarters of the cherries and cranberries.

Pour the mixture into the tin, then scatter over the remaining fruit, and push it just below the surface of the mixture (so it doesn’t burn)

 Bake for 40 minutes, then loosely cover with foil and bake for another 20 minutes. Check that a cake tester comes out clean, then remove from the oven and leave in the tin for 15 minutes. Remove from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack, still in its greaseproof paper. Dust with a little extra coconut and caster sugar before serving.