Tips For Baking Fruit Cake

Top Tips For Baking Fruit Cake

The autumn is here and I must admit this is my favourite time of year. As the days get shorter and colder, there is nothing I like more than sitting with a cosy blanket around me, a piece of homemade fruit cake on my plate and a warm cuppa in my hand.

Fruit cake is a staple in our house; it tastes great for breakfast lightly toasted with a bit of butter, makes a perfect teatime treat with a slice of cheese and is an ideal afternoon snack for boosting energy and avoiding that mid-afternoon slump. 

Here are my top tips for succeeding a moist yet rich fruit cake:

  1. Set the oven to a low temperature (135 to 165 degrees C) and bake the cake slowly to avoid dryness and ensure the cake cooks evenly.
  2. Be sure to grease the sides as well as the bottom of the tin and use a double layer of parchment paper or liner to stop the cake from sticking to the sides and browning too quickly.
  3. Substitute for the same weight if you are not a fan of the fruits or nuts used in the traditional fruit cake. Swap for dried figs, almonds, dates and candied orange peel for a Mediterranean inspired cake or add dried mango, pineapple or papaya for a tropical twist.
  4. Soak fruits and nuts at least overnight in juice, tea or liquor to soften and add flavour.
  5. Drain and coat with flour to prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the tin, save the excess liquid to use in the recipe. 
  6. Add fruit puree, applesauce or grated courgette to your recipe for a soft moist cake.
  7. Don’t overfill the tin; fill only 2/3rd of the way for an even baking of cake.
  8. Add a pan of water on the lower rack to keep the cake moist.
  9. Leave the cake to cool down completely before removing from the tin.
  10. Wrap in clingfilm and store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.