Anne and Nell’s Grandmother’s Fruit Loaves

Sisters Anne and Nell have been members of the Tinamba Red Cross Branch in Victoria for over 35 years. They have fond memories of visiting their grandparents’ dairy farm in Gormandale, Victoria and hearing their grandmother’s fruit loaf cans rattle on the wood fire stove. 

She would serve the fruit loaves with custard or cream, creating a favourite dessert for the family. Not only are the fruit loaves delicious but the recipe was practical in that it didn’t use valuable ingredients like eggs and butter which were reserved for other meals - and eggs weren’t always available when the chooks stopped laying!  

Anne and Nell’s mother carried on the family tradition of serving this treat, as do the sisters today.


Overnight soak (2 hours is enough if busy)

2cups Kellogg’s All Bran

2 cups Milk

2 tablespoons Golden Syrup or Honey

1 cup Sugar

1 ½ cups mixed fruit (dates, sultanas or apricots)

½ cup chopped walnuts (ginger or almonds)

Next day add:

2 cups plain flour and 2 teaspoons bi-carb soda: sifted


Mix all ingredients very well.

Grease 4 soup cans and fill each to about ¾ with the mixture.

Place a sheet of foil over the opening and secure with rubber band. Bring water in large saucepan to boil. Place cans in saucepan, turn down heat to simmer and simmer for 1 ½ hours. Loaves will come out easily by shaking cans. The loaves are suitable for freezing.