Rich Fruit Cake Recipes for Various Sized Tins

This Rich Fruit Cake recipe can be used for Christmas, Birthday and even Wedding Cakes.  If you do not have enough of one type of fruit, you can always make it up with another.  Just remember to ensure that the total quantity of fruit matches that of the recipe.  In my experience, these quantities produce a cake which is 2.5  – 3 inches deep.

Choose the table you are most happy with – metric or imperial.

If you are looking for a recipe for a larger cake  please see  14″ Fruit Cake Recipes.

Fruit Cake Recipes


Size of Cake in cm

Round  15

Square 12.5

Round 17.5

Square 15

Round 20

Square 17.5

Round 22.5

Square 20

Round 25

Square 22.5

Round 27.5

Square 25

Round 30

Square 27.5

Round 32.5

Square 30

Currants 150g 200g 275g 375g 500g 550g 700g 800g
Sultanas 75g 100g 175g 200g 250g 350g 375g 400g
Raisins 40g 50g 75g 100g 125g 150g 175g 225g
Glace Cherries (halved) 40g 50g 75g 100g 125g 150g 175g 225g
Mixed Peel 40g 50g 75g 100g 125g 150g 175g 225g
Flaked Almonds 40g 50g 75g 100g 125g 150g 175g 225g
Lemon Rind (grated – teaspoon) 1 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4
Plain Flour 90g 125g 200g 250g 300g 400g 450g 500g
Mixed Spice (teaspoon) 0.75 1 1.5 1.75 2 3 3.5 4
Ground Almonds 25g 25g 50g 50g 75g 75g 100g 100g
Butter (softened) 75g 100g 175g 225g 275g 325g 400g 450g
Soft Brown Sugar 75g 100g 175g 225g 275g 325g 400g 450g
Black Treacle (desert spoon) 0.5 1 1 1.5 2 2 3 4
Eggs 2 3 4 5 7 8 10 12


(Imperial)Fruit Cake Recipes

Size of Cake in inches

Round 6


Round 7

Square 6

Round 8

Square 7

Round 9

Square 8

Round 10

Square 9

Round 11

Square 10

Round 12

Square 11

Round 13

Square 12

Currants 5 oz 7 oz 10 oz 13 oz 1 lb 1 lb 2 oz 1 lb 7 oz 1 lb 12 oz
Sultanas 3 oz 4 oz 6 oz 7 oz 9 oz 12 oz 14 oz 1 lb
Raisins 1.5 oz 2 oz 3 oz 3.5 oz 4.5 oz 6 oz 7 oz 8 oz
Glace Cherries (halved) 1.5 oz 2 oz 3 oz 3.5 oz 4.5 oz 6 oz 7 oz 8 oz
Mixed Peel 1.5 oz 2 oz 3 oz 3.5 oz 4.5 oz 6 oz 7 oz 8 oz
Flaked Almonds 1.5 oz 2 oz 3 oz 3.5 oz 4.5 oz 6 oz 7 oz 8 oz
Lemon Rind (grated – teaspoon) 1 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4
Plain Flour 3.5 oz 5 oz 7 oz 9 oz 11 oz 14 oz 1 lb 1 lb 4 oz
Mixed Spice (teaspoon) 0.75 1 1.5 1.75 2 3 3.5 4
Ground Almonds 1 oz 1 oz 2 oz 2 oz 2.5 oz 3 oz 3.5 oz 4 oz
Butter (softened) 3 oz 4 oz 6 oz 8 oz 9 oz 12 oz 14 oz 1 lb
Soft Brown Sugar 3 oz 4 oz 6 oz 8 oz 9 oz 12 oz 14 oz 1 lb
Black Treacle (desert spoon) 0.5 1 1 1.5 2 2 3 4
Eggs 2 3 4 5 7 8 10 12


Grease and line the cake tin

Set oven to 160 deg C,325 deg F, Gas Mark 3

Cream butter, sugar, treacle and ground almonds together until light and creamy.

Add the egs one at a time, beating well.

Stir in the grated lemon rind.

Weigh the flour and stir in the mixed spice.

Weigh the fruit and nuts and mix into the spiced flour.

Add the flour and fruit mix to the mixture, folding in carefuly until well mixed.  If mixutre is very stiff, add a little milk.  The mixture should be of a dropping consistency (not sloppy).

Put mixture into cake tin and level top.

Cook for about one hour (for small cakes up to 8 inches (20 cm) and one and a half hours for the larger cakes at 160 deg C, 325 deg F, Gas Mark 3 then reduce to 150 deg C, 300 deg F, Gas Mark 2 until a skewar comes out clean.

Reduce the cooking temperature if the cake starts to rise.

I bake my cakes in an electric fan oven and therefore have converted my temperatures to the equivalent Gas Mark.  One of the visitors to my site (Bernadette) has baked the 12″ and 10″ square cakes in a gas oven and contacted me to let me know her experience of cooking times.  She advises that the 12″ would take approximately 5 hours in total and the 10″, 4 hours.  She also lowered the temperature to Gas Mark 1.  Many thanks Bernadette for your advice.




  1. @Gerry. Thank you for your tip regarding a bamboo skewer. The metal skewers I use are meat skewers from the 1950’s and are spiral which means uncooked cake sticks to them well. However, when I am cooking with my granddaughter, I give her a ‘cake tester’ to use. This has a tip that changes to bright red when the cake is cooked. Great for testing sponges and for those starting out on baking.

  2. All the talk of using skewers to test if a cake is cooked, most people say use a metal skewer – or a knife.
    I have found from many years of professional fruit cake experience that anything metal (or plastic) will give you a false result – it being nearly certain that uncooked or part cooked mixture will not adhere to the smooth surface leaving you thinking the cake is cooked.
    I always use a wood or bamboo skewer – its surface has texture so uncooked mix will grab onto it, wheras properly cooked mix will not.

  3. @Liz. If you want a deeper cake, then using a larger size recipe would help, but I cannot say how much deeper that would make it as I haven’t tried that particular scenario. However, you would need to adjust your cooking times, to ensure the centre of the cake is cooked without the outside being overdone. I have had reports of people being served raw cake when deep ones have been used. When I want a deep cake I use two thinner ones sandwiched together with jam. Alternatively you could use marzipan as a feature which would give you more portions as you would not be serving such deep slices.
    As for the wedding being only four week away, this should be enough time if you feed weekly. However, you could soak the fruit overnight and then just feed once or twice.
    I hope all goes well and you have a lovely wedding cake.

  4. Hi Shiela
    I am making a 12 inch fruit cake using your recipe for bottom tier of wedding cake. However I would like it to be nearer 4inches in depth so would I be right in thinking i need to use the 13 inch round recipe amounts? Also as its only 4 weeks to the wedding I shouldn’t soak fruit before hand but add my brandy once cooked?
    Many thanks Liz

  5. @Joanne. I am afraid that it is not as simple as adding a 10″ and 6″ quantity together. If you think of the volumes involved, a 10 x 10 x 3 inch tin would be 300 cubic inches and a 6 x 6 x 3 would be 108 cubic inches = 408 total cubic inches. However a 16 x 16 x 3 = 768 cubic inches. It is possible to work out the individual ingredients for a 16″ but it might be simpler to use 2.5 times the 10 inch recipe or if you want a deeper cake 2.5 times the 11″ recipe. I have not made a cake using a 16″ tin as my oven will not take that size, therefore I cannot guarantee the quantities involved.

  6. Hi I’m planning on making a 16” square fruit cake with you recipe above, isnit simoly that I can add th 10” and 6” recipe together or is that the wrong thing to do ??
    Please advise, thank you xx

  7. @ Rosemary. Do not panic, the situation can be sorted. I wonder if the cake was still a little warm when you removed it. I always leave mine in the tin for at least 12 hours, sonetimes 24 before removing. The cake is then very firm and quite robust.
    The cake is quite useable and if you now feed it and wrap it carefully pressing the two pieces together gently, the cake will mature as normal. When you come to marzipan it, Boil a little jam in water to make a soft sticky solution and gently paint one of the cracked edges with the jam. Gently press the two pieces back together and marzipan and decorate. No ine will ever know unless you tell them.

  8. I have just made a 12″ cake for my daughter’s wedding, but horrors, it creacked in half when I removed it from the tim

    a) can I fix it back together

    b) if I start again, how can I prevent its cracking again?

  9. @ Mary. If your cake appears cooked and the skewer comes out clean then I would say it is cooked. The weather is warm and that can cut the cooking time as the mixture is warmer to start. If the caje has not sunk since you took it out of the oven, then all is well.

  10. Hi
    I am making the 12″ fruit as we speak. I have come down to check after 1hr 20 and it appears cooked. I’ve skewered all over and no gooey bits….help??!!?

  11. Hi Sheila, just found your site in time. I am making my daughters wedding cake a 13 inch a 11 inch and a 9 inch. Your help with quantities has save my sanity. Will be cooking the larger one this weekend so will update on the result although having read all the comments I really feel confident with how it’s going to go.

  12. @ Pat. There is no right or wrong way as to when to add the brandy. I usually add it after it is baked and cooled down. I do this for a couple of reasons. The brandy tends to evaporate during the cooking unless you soak the fruit in it first. Soaking the fruit gives a very moist but crumbly cake, a bit like a pudding, this is fantastic for some cakes such as the creole cake but not so good if you want to cut lots of pieces, as you would for a wedding cake. I find that by adding the alcohol after it is cooked, the cake is moist on the outside and inside and provided it is kept for at least four weeks, the flavour mellows beautifully and the cake cuts like a dream.

  13. Hi Sheila – thank you for sharing your fruit cake recipe. Can you tell me when you add the brandy please, is it soaked into the fruit beforehand or added into the finished batter mix?
    Kind Regards

  14. @Christine. This recipe does not make a good 3 inches deep cake, so if you want a deeper one, I would make the next size up. Just wrap it well to ensure it is cooked in the centre without drying out the edges.

  15. @Christine. Hi. It depends how long you want to keep it as the alcohol stops the cake going mouldy. When my children were little, I used to make a sugar syrup and then mix this 50/50 with sherry. It was not obviously alcoholic and the children never had any problem as really on an 8″ cake you are only talking about one tablespoon of sherry accross the whole cake. However, if alcohol is to be omitted and you just want to make the cake a little less dry, just use the sugar solution. It shoulod still keep three to four weeks without problems.

  16. As some children will be eating this cake i thought it wise not to do the brandy and sherry can you advise me what else to use .

  17. @christine. This recipe would be very suitable for a Christening cake. I have used it for Christening and wedding cakes. Making the smaller one first is a very good idea as you could adjust the spices in the main cake if you wish. I would make the large cake as soon as possible as it will benefit from at least four weeks maturing time.

  18. Hi there my first time here I am going to make the 6inch fruit cake as a tester for my Grandsons Christening will this recipe be ok for a christening cake then I will make a ten and eight inch one how long in advance do I need to make these l need the cake for the 6th of November hope this makes sense.

  19. @Lynda. So sorry to hear things have not entirely gone to plan. You say you have big holes, but they cannot be that big if it is just burnt fruit you have removed. If the cake itself is not burnt. Feed it with a mixture of brandy and sherry (not sherry alone as it will make any overdone areas taste bitter), then wrap it up and store upside down. The surface will even out with the moisture and weight of the cake. Then use a thick layer of marzipan. No one will know, but if you try to put the fruit back in, it will just fall back out when you serve the cake and be obvious.

  20. Unfortunately I have just found your site , as I have already picked out the burnt currants on top of my cake, leaving big holes!!
    Would it be possible to fill the holes with currants/sultanas/raisins perhaps boiled up in apricot jam,as I need to keep the depth of the cake ?Help please.

  21. @ Janet. My pleasure. I wonder if you like to share your nut free christmas cake recipe. I would post it on the website and give you full credit for it. If you are interested, let me know and I will email you so you can send it that way.

  22. Thank you very much for getting back to me and sending the formula and thank for all your help it is very much appreciated.

  23. @Janet. Here is a formula to allow you to upsize your usual Christmas cake recipe. I am assuming that you make an 8″ round in a 3″ deep tin for this purpose. Therefore if you are using your usual recipe for a 12″ round by 5″ deep cake tin, you will need to increase your recipe by 275%. For example if an 8″ cake has 100g of flour, a 12″ will require 375g. (Using a calculator type in 100 + 275%). I must stress that I have not tested this recipe, only done the maths for you and therefore cannot guarantee any results. Please feel free to check the maths yourself as I am a cook and not a mathematician.

  24. @Janet. If you have a tried and tested recipe then it is always best to go with that. However, if you wish to try it in the future, semolina does not add a flavour. I have a formula for increasing cake recipes to larger tins and will post this tomorrow. You mention metal pins for the centre of the cake. There are such items called ‘Cake Heating Cores’, and whilst I have never used them, they are apparently beneficial. They go in the bottom of the tin and the mixture is added on top. I always line my tins with two layers of greaseproof paper and put three sheets of newpaper folded into three on the outside tied with string so I suggest you use at least this much. You may also need to cover the cake with a piece of greaseproof near the end of cooking to stop it browning too much.

  25. Thank you for your reply much appreciated. It is an actual 5in deep tin, the cake decorator has asked for that size of tin, the only reason I’m doing the bottom tier is that she buy’s the cakes in,
    (4tiers all together) so hence that is why i am making the bottom tier only (phew), because if she got the fruit cake there would be nuts in. Also my daughter always enjoyed my Christmas cakes so i am making the Wedding cake with the same ingredients.
    Thank you for the suggestion for the semolina but wouldn’t that give a different taste to the cake?
    It took me about 6 weeks to trawl through the internet to find someone who did that depth of tin!!
    I have seen where you can put a metal skewer into the middle of the cake, and as it heats up it helps to cook the centre! do you think that could work? Also wrap brown paper
    folded three times and put it around the outside of the tin,tied with string and stand the tin on brown paper when sat on the shelf of the oven.
    Thank you in advance

    Kind regards

  26. @Janet. First of all how lovely to be making your daughter’s wedding cake. I will deal with the alergy item first as this may pose your bigest probem. You can substitute the flaked almonds and mixed peal with the same quantities of any other dried fruit. However the ground almonds provide moisture to the cake during the maturing process and without these the cake can be rather dry. Having a new member of my family who is also alergic to nuts, prompted me to try different fruit cake recipes last Christmas. The best seemed to be when I subsititued the ground almonds with fine semolina. The semolina provided the same moisture as would be expected from ground almonds.
    As for the size of the cake. Is the finished decorated cake to be 5″ or the actual fruit cake itself? Most recipies produce a cake 2.5″ to 3″ deep. When these are marzipaned and iced they come out around 4″ deep.
    Making large fruit cakes that are very deep can be tricky. When you consider the huge amount of mixture to be cooked, the outside can easily burn while the centre is still raw. I had a friend who attended a wedding and when the very deep cake was cut, it was still raw in the centre. The best and simplest way is to cook two cakes and either make a feature by sandwiching together with marzipan or just simply some boiled apricot jam to hold them together. You can also insert a couple of dowels to ensure there is no movement (these would be essential if you are adding another tier anyway).

  27. Hi I am making a round fruit cake for the bottom tier of my daughter’s Wedding cake. It is 12in wide and 5in deep, i am struggling for the quantities for that size, I’ve looked at that many recipes, to give me an idea of the quatities for that size that i am boggle eyed!!!! They give sizes for the 12in wide but NOT the depth, the last thing i want is to have not enough mixture for that size!! and never done this size before.
    She is allergic to nuts and doesn’t like mixed peel so i understand that i will have to make those up with either extra fruit, or cherries (which she loves)
    I would be very grateful if you could help.

    Thank you in advance

  28. @Jess. Yes that is correct. I know it sounds wrong but you do not want raising agent. The eggs will give it all the rise it requires.

  29. Hi I just wanted to check before proceeding to make my cake… plain flour and no rasing agent? Or self raising flour? Thanks

  30. @Sara. Would you mind if I emailed you directly. It is sometimes easier to give a personal reply and I can send you some pictures for reference.

  31. Thank you Sheila I trust you so I will do as you say 🙂 more information please Sheila how much White Marzipan will I need for a 14″ round cake?
    Also would I need a 16″ or 18″ cake board because I need to buy the board and a container or tin big enough to house the cake while it matures 😀
    Thank you again!!!!
    P.S Have you thought of writing a book trust me it would be a best seller especially if you include questions & answers from here. X

  32. @Sara. How wonderful to be making your daughter’s wedding cake. I have not heard of wrapping cakes in cling film whilst they are still hot and can think of a couple of reasons why this would not be a good idea. 1) The cake would condensate in the cling film, and whilst the idea may be that it would moisten it, the moisture would make the hot cake very dense and would also increase the risk of it going mouldy while being kept. 2) Fruit cakes, especially large fruit cakes are still soft while they are hot and the chances of it breaking or crumbling would be very great.
    I recommend leaving the cake, uncovered, in the newspaper wrapped tin for an hour. Then remove the paper and let the cake become completely cold, overnight is good (I use a cake cover made of net while it cools). Leaving the paper on for an hour reduces the risk of a sudden change of temperature which may make the cake sink.
    Once it is cold, bursh it with your choice of alcohol and then cover with greaseproof paper and place in a sealed container to mature. The alcohol preserves the cake as well as moistening it.

  33. Hi, Fabulous site!
    I will be baking a 14″ fruit for my daughter’s wedding and was told to wrap the cake in cling film whilst it was still hot straight from the oven is this correct also do you remove the cake from the tin immediately or leave it wrapped in tin & newspapers?
    Thank you so much Sara. 🙂

  34. @ Tracy. I think that the 14 inch recipe would work well. I would not lower the temperature for the first hour or so as the cake needs the heat to rise. Once risen and golden, drop the temperature and cook untill skewar comes out clean. Wrap the outside of the tin in at least six layers of paper. I use three double spread pages of newspaper and the fold these lengthwise into three before wrapping around cake tin.

  35. Hi Ive just found this site and really want to make this cake. I am doing a 3 tier wedding cake for June so looking to make the bottom tier soon as this is to be fruit. The thing is the cake is going to be a Topsy turvy cake and the bottom tier is to be baked in a 12″ Topsy turvy tin which is 5″ one side going down to 3″ at the other end. Do you think I should follow the 14″ recipe and lower the temp to allow the deep part of the cake to cook. Any ideas to get the cake to cook ok would be very much appreciated.

  36. @Sarah. If your cake was cooked, then it most possibly was the cold skewer causing the cake to sink. Try to keep things as warm as possible and not shock the cake at all.

  37. That’s a really useful tip regarding warming the skewer up first & leaving the cake in the oven for a short while after cooked, as my simnel cake has slightly sunk in the middle & not sure why. Could be because I inserted a cold skewer straight into the middle & took it out straight away, well hopefully that’s the reason!) as appears cooked! Though I did open the oven door once whilst cooking.

    Sarah ?

  38. @ Christine. Any time now would be a good time to bake the cakes as the longer they can mature, the nicer they will be. I feed them with a mixture of brandy, sherry and liquer as soon as they are cold and then once more half way through the maturing period. Adding the extra flavours gives a more mellow flavour. However if you are reducing sugar, you could leave out the liquer. I marzipan the cakes one to two weeks before they are required, depending on the level of decoration required and ice four days later which gives me time to decorate.
    With regards to reducing the sugar quantity, this would affect the outcome. Less sugar means a smaller cake. Sugar also helps keep in moisture, stops the cake being crumbly and also helps in the rising process. Silver Spoon do a half sugar, which allows you to use half as much, but still get the same sweetness, but the same problems arise when using it in fruit cakes. I have tried using different sweeteners, but find that the results are unpredictable which is not desireable for a wedding cake. The slices that are served, are so small that the sugar content is not generally a problem.

  39. Hi, thank you for this really helpful site. I plan to use your above recipe for a 3 tier round wedding cake for my son’s wedding in June. When would be the best time to bake the cakes, add brandy, marzipan and then royal icing? Also, would it be ok to only use half the amount of sugar?

    Thank you for sharing your tips.

  40. @ Jacqueline. I do not tend to make deep fruit cakes due to the problems with even cooking. However the sizes you are making do not pose so much of
    a problem. Ensure you have lined the tin well and wrapped the outside in several thicknesses of newspaper. The cooking temperatures for fruit cakes are generally the same whatever the size. For a fan oven I always start at 160 deg C and then drop to 150 deg C. As for the actual cooking times, this is far more difficult to calculate for deep cakes. As a rule of thumb, you will need to cook it at the higher temperature for at least the first hour (a good guide as to when to lower the temperature is when the cake is starting to look golden and not wet, but before it starts to rise and crack in the middle. This will require monitoring through the glass door). Once you have turned the temperature down, it is a case of cooking it until it is firm to the touch and nicely golden and when a skewar comes out clean. Make sure you put the skewar down the side of the tin between tin and cake to warm it first as plunging a cold skewar into the middle of the cake can cause it to sink. Also when you have tested it the last time, leave it in the oven for a couple more minutes (turn oven off) so that cold air does not enter the hole you have just made.

  41. @ Lesley. My cake recipes give a 2 – 2 inch depth cake before marzipan and icing. The current trend does seem to be for very deep cakes and it is possible
    to double up the mixture to get a deep cake. However, unless you are very experienced in baking deep fruit cakes, I would not recommend it. The potential
    for a burnt edge or even an uncooked middle is very great and the ingredients are not cheap. When I need a deep cake, I follow the example of the bakers of huge
    Royal celebration cakes and double them up when cooked. You can either just jam them together or cover the top of the bottom one with icing and place the other on
    the top (with a greaseproof ring to protect the icing) and ice over both. This way, when you cut the cake you can give smaller portions as cutting thin slices of a 5″
    cake is not easy.

  42. I have to make a 2 tier rich fruit wedding cake and I need to know the required cooking temperatures and times (I have a fan oven), the sizes of the cakes are deeper than most – one cake is 6″x6″square and 5″deep the second cake is 8″x8″ square and also 5″deep. I would appreciate any advice.

  43. Hi, I’m making my son’s wedding cakes, 1st 1 tomorrow, a 14 inch fruit cake!! Pics my daughter in law to be have sent me show round deep cakes! Was going to follow your recipe but am worried now, it will be quite shallow!! Please help, going to buy ingredients tomorrow!! Lesley x

  44. @ Becky. My cakes come out betwee 2 to 2.5 inches high. This is the usual height for a cake as once it has icing and marzipan it will be higher and extremely heavy. If you want a deeper cake, you could increase the mixture. I have done this by adding half again, but no more. There is always a danger with high cakes of having a dried out outside and an uncooked middle. If you do increase the mixture, line the tin with two layers of baking parchment and use at least six layers of newspaper. I usually take two full middle sheets of my local paper and then fold it lenthwise into three. I then wrap it round the tin and secure with string. Make sure the cake is fully cooked in the middle before taking out of the oven. Lakeland do a very good and simple to use cake tester. You gently push it into the middle of the cake and if the tip turns red, the cake is cooked.

  45. Hi there, I’m looking for a recipe for a 4″ deep, 10″ wide fruit cake, how deep a cake do your recipe’s make?
    Thanks 🙂

  46. @Sally. I have only recently been involved in nut free cooking, due to an addition to the family being alergic to nuts, and have made a few different nut free cakes. Replacing the flaked almonds with any other dry fruit will not make a difference as long as it is the same quantity. For example substitute 75 grams flaked almonds with 75 grams dried apricots. The issue of replacing ground almonds is not quite as simple. If the fruit cake is not being kept very long, then simply replacing the ground almonds with flour will be fine. However when a cake is stored, the ground almonds add moisture. I made a trial Christmas cake and replaced the ground almonds with semolina and this worked very well and the cake matured nicely. I will be posting a couple of nut free cake recipes in the next few weeks. One of these is a rich moist chocolate/orange cake which I made six weeks before Christmas and it worked very well. The other problem with nut free celebration cakes is that you cannot use marzipan. I have tried two differenct methods successfully. One is to use fondant as the marzipan and then decorated the cake with white chocolate and the second is to actually cover the cake in white chocolate and then decorate as normal with fondant.

  47. Hi, stumbled accross this site and got some interesting advice. Itackling my daughter’s wedding cake and doing a “practice” this weekend. Any suggestions about replacing the nuts please? I thought of increasing the fruit (proportionately ) or using dried apricots? Any hints would be much appreciated, thank you

  48. I made this rich fruit cake size 12″. I was asked to make two, because of the size I followed this recipe, it was for my daughters wedding cake. I made the cake my daughters mother in law decorated it. Well it looked amazing . The fruit cake was utter amazing everybody committed on the lovely taste. Have made some lovely cakes in my time but this was to die for. I cooked this cake for 1 hour 140 electric fan oven then turned it down to 130 for half an hour, thats all it needed, then soaked in brandy for 2 times afterwards .It was amazing , Try this recipe top marks.

  49. @ Mary. I have often have orders for christmas cakes glazed with fruit and nuts as the traditional sweet icing seems to be less popular these days. I place the undecorated cake on a thin cake board (the same size of the display box) and then decorate the top of the cake with the nuts and apricot glaze, which seals the top. I then wrap the outside of the cake with baking parchment which is folded to give a triple thickness and tied with thin coloured ribbon. This keeps the moisture in, then I use the wide decorative ribbon all around the outside of the cake as a final decoration. This cake will keep fresh several weeks if kept in a cool place. The other way I present them is in a small tin. This is more expensive, but seals the cake in completely. I decorate as above, but cover the cop of the tin with celophane to display, with the lid underneath and then when sold or wrapped, the lid can be put on.

  50. @Angela. The recipes given produce a cake approximately 2.5 – 3 inches high. When this is marzipaned, iced and decorated it comes out about 4 inches. You can increase the amounts to make a deeper cake, but then the cooking times would be different and getting the bottom tier’s to cook evenly when they are that deep is quite tricky. Also I find that the bottom tier is extremely heavy when completed. You will find that the middle tier is deeper with the top tier being the deepest of them all and this creates a very nice effect when displayed. Sponge wedding cakes can be quite high as they are layered, lighter and not made in one piece as fruit cakes are.

  51. Hello, I’m looking for advice on the best way to seal an un iced fruit cake in a presentation wrap/box. I make Christmas fruit cakes to sell for charity and like to get them on sale soon. The iced ones are sold in the Christmassy cake boxes with cellophane windows but this year I’d like to top some with glazed fruit and nuts for those who don’t care for icing. But, how do I keep an un iced cake fresh for a few weeks while presenting it attractively? Thank you

  52. Thank you for the quantities chart. I am going to make my daughter’s 3 tiered wedding cake soon. Will the quantities given to produce a cake of 4 inch height? If not how would I adjust it so that I can bake a 4 inch high fruit cake.

  53. @Zhoeeclark. Hi I will answer the last question first in that yes, you most definitely can swop he mixed peel for candied fruit. Provided the overall quantities of dried fruit remain the same, you can swap around as much as you like.
    With regard to baking the cakes now, I would fully recommend this as they will be lovely and mature by the time you come to decorate them. As for adding alchohol, do this as soon as the cakes are cold, before you wrap them up, and again in about three weeks, that is all that should be required. I would recommend that you mix the rum with equal parts of a sweet sherry as one alcohol on its own can be harsh, whereas blending them takes a way the bitterness and creates a really mellow flavour. Have a lovely time making your daughter’s cake.

  54. Hello, I am making my daughters christening cake and are having a 11inch then a 9inch on top both being fruit cakes. I was wondering if I would be best of baking them now as it 6weeks away and keep them moiste by adding a little Rum now and then? And also would the recipe still work if I swopped the mixed peel for candied fruit?
    Thank you:)

  55. @Cathy. Thank you so much for your compliments. The idea of the three wedding cakes all the same size, but different types sounds lovely. I have tried larger Simnel cakes in the past but without much success. The marzipan layer does not stay in the centre and tends to disintegrate throughout the middle of the cake due to the longer cooking time. One idea would be to make four 6″ cakes and then glue them together with some Apricot jam to make the 12″ cake. Once decorated, no would will know and it will make cutting easier as well.

  56. Hi,
    What a fab website! I’ve learned so much in the last 30 mins, just browsing the responses to this recipe!
    So now I have a question:
    I am creating 3 cakes for a wedding reception in 6 weeks. The bride & groom have asked me to do chocolate fudge, marble and a Simnel cake, complete with central marzipan layer. They will not be stacked, but will sit side by side, and will all be 12 inch square cakes. The question is: Will the fruit cake recipe above work as a Simnel cake (allowing for the relevant Simnel spices?) I have only ever made small Simnels before, not sure how it will translate to such a big cake!
    Thanks so much in advance: You are incredibly knowledgeable:-)

  57. @Diana. The depth of the cake seems to range from 2 – 3″ depending various factors. One of the main ones, is the size of the eggs, as the bigger the eggs the bigger the cake. If it looks right (smooth top and spongy to the touch on the bottom) then I am sure it will be lovely. As for the one that sank, you will be able to eat some if not all of it. If it has sunk very badly and you think it is not cooked propery in the middle, then cut this section out. However, if it is cooked in the middle, then just feed the whole thing and enjoy it yourself in a few weeks time. The following link is to a cake that I made having suffered the same disaster

  58. I’ve just baked the 12″ cake according to your recipe. I cooked it at Gas 3 for an hour and a half and another hour and three quarters at Gas mark 1. Seems a bit fast, but as far as I can tell its cooked. I’m surprised, though, at the height of the cake .. Just 2″. Is this right and if not what did I get wrong? I had already made one cake using a different recipe, but it sank. Will it be ok to eat?

  59. @trina. I am guessing they are fruit cakes. If so, I would marzipan the cakes before your holiday and even cover them with icing. This leaves you plenty of time to decorate them when you get back. Also if you are making any kind of decoration, such as sugar flowers, that needs to be put on at the end, these could also be made before the holiday. The actual assembly and decoration of each cake can easily be done in a week.

  60. Thank you sheila.
    Sorry another question,I’ve got to ice the cakes about a week and half before the wedding because of me being away on holiday, will this be ok ?
    Thank you

  61. @Trina. Usually a portion of wedding cake is 1″ x 2″ which is really easy for a square cake but not so for a round one. The following are the number of slices for your size cakes:
    6″ = 10
    8″ = 28
    10″ = 42

  62. Hi sheila
    i’m going to make a 3 tier wedding cake for my nephews wedding, 10, 8 and 6inch round fruit.using your recipe. could you tell me roughly how many slices this would give please .
    Regards trina

  63. @Liz I am glad the 6″ came out well. Do not worry about the top cracking, just feed it and wrap it in greaseproof paper and store upside down. The cake will naturally flatten under the weight. As for the 12″, your times seem good although I always use visual checks as well. I would suggest you start the cake off at a higher temperature say 160 deg as it is a very large cake and will take much longer for the mixture to heat through. If you cook it at 140 dec you run the risk of it not rising sufficiently. Start at 160 for about an hour and check it, it should not rise to the point of cracking, then turn it down for the remainder of the time. See the recent comment from Sally on the 14″ fruit cake recipes who has just had this very problem. I note you have the Lakeland Cake tester, I would recommend this to all cooks, experienced or not as it is a wonderfully simple but effective piece of equipment.

  64. Thanks Sheila. I have made the 6″ cake, it has come out fine though the top has ‘cracked’ slightly. Hopefully the 12″ will be ok, thats my project for tomorrow!

    The 9″ recipe advises to cook for 4 hours. With the help of the Lakeland cake tester, the 6″ was ready in 2.5 hours. Should I aim for 5 hours for the 12″ before testing? I have a fan oven, and cooked at 140, wrapping the tin with a couple of layers of paper and covering the top with brown paper after about an hour.

    Thanks for your advice.

  65. @Liz. You say you have used the Mary Berry Christmas cake recipe before, so you will know how it comes out. Recipes that require the fruit to be soaked usually have less liquid in the recipe to counteract that. Using a recipe that does not require the fruit to be soaked and then soaking it can have problems. The main issues with soaking the fruit first, is that the fruit becomes very soft and swells. This in turn makes a more open texture to the baked cake and more prone to cumbling on cutting. Wedding cakes are usually cut very thinly, whereas with Christmas cakes and other family cakes, you usually have a good thick slice. However these cakes with unsoaked fruit do require a longer maturing time and ‘feeding’ once or twice to make them moist, but not crumbly. I would suggest that as you have already soaked your fruit, you just pop it into a sieve the night before you make the cake and allow the excess liquid to drain off.
    As for lining the tin, you grease the tin and the layers of greaseproof paper. You can either use cake release spray or melt some lard. Either way, use a pastry brush to spread the fat evenly and thinly. The greasing allows the paper to stick to the tin and subsequently the second layer of greaseproof paper to stick to the first so you are not fighting with loose paper when you are filling the tin with cake mixture. I wish you well with your cake making and also your forthcoming wedding.

  66. Hi I am making my wedding cake and would appreciate some help.

    I am making a three tier cake (12, 9 & 6). I have had the fruit soaking in sherry for a couple of days but after reading comments on this site I am worried that I should not have done this, as the wedding is not til May. Will that be ok?

    Also, when I line the tins with greaseproof paper, should I grease the tin or the paper or neither?

    Thanks for any help

  67. Hi I am just about to make my wedding cakes using the Mary Berry Christmas cake recipe which I have used before and it has come out ok! I am a bit worried after reading comments on here as I have had the fruit soaking in sherry for three days, and my wedding is in May. Will this make the cake too crumbly?

    Thanks for any help

  68. @Audry. As soon as the cake is completely cold feed it. Then again at the end of February. The cake will then have a further two to three weeks before you start to decorate it and will be lovely and mature.

  69. Hi I have just baked a 10 inch cake using your recipe and all looks well. I have it cooling now. The wedding is 28th March. When do I need to feed the cake?

  70. iv been reading some of the comments and questions, and one reminded me of somthing i was told by a friend who was a baker, when i once asked about how do i sort quanterties for larger cakes he told me to put a plastic bag into a cake tin i knew the amounts of mixture for (eg 12in)and put one in to the tin i want to know the amouts for, then fill the known tin with water to the point where the mix would go to and pore this in to the tin you need to work out the quantity for then take the bag and put it in to a smaller tin (eg 6in or 8in tin’s) and repeat the prosses keeping a note of which tins fill the larger tin and you get the amounts needed

  71. @ Emma. Thank you for visiting my site and posting questions. My replies are as follows:
    1. Eggs – Medium is a good size, but large also work well. The eggs help the cake to rise but they also add liquid. If you use large eggs, you may not need to add the milk (liquid) at the end of the recipe. The mixture should be a stiff dropping consistency.
    2. Butter – I use unsalted nowadays as I like the flavour, but used salted for many years and it is just a matter of preference.
    3. Feeding the cake alcohol. Please see items 9 and 10 on the following link.
    4. Almonds. Flaked and ground are two different items in the recipe. If you do not want nuts you can substitute the flaked almonds with any other dry fruit and the ground almonds with extra flour.
    Good luck with the wedding cake and hope you enjoy making it.

  72. @ annahrautenbach. I am sorry that you are disappointed with your cake. There could be a number of reasons why the cake did not rise very much. Overbeating the mixture when adding the flour and fruit can create this as can eggs that are too small. Even now I occasionally get a cake that does not ‘work’ for me. Assuming the cake tin is a standard size and not one of the extra deep ones, the cake should rise to about two thirds to three quarters up the tin. My cakes usually come out about 3″ deep.

  73. Hi thank you for this information I believe its going to help me greatly when I make this 10 inch wedding cake in october.
    I just have a few questions I would grately appreciate answering.
    1. Eggs do i use medium size?
    2. Butter is it with salt or no salt?
    3. Once cake is made how often do I feed it with brandy and how do i do this?
    4. The flaked and ground almonds could I just use one type or do you need both types?
    Sorry for all questions i havent made many fruit cakes only sponge.
    Looking forward to hearing from you. Many thanks Emma.

  74. Hi I just baked the round 20cm rich fruit cake.I followed all the instructions the cake came out well but am s bit disappointed because it didn’t raise much.Ithought it would raise at least to half of the pan.

  75. @Ian. I would recommend 6 tablespoons. The best mixture is 2 tablespoons of Sweet Sherry, 2 tablespoons, Brandy and 2 tablespoons of Liqueur (not a cream one). However if you wish you can use 3 tablespoons each of just Brandy and Sweet Sherry. I tend to use whatever liqueur I find in the cupboard as the flavour does not really come through, but the sweetness gives a really mellow flavour. My favourite is Amaretto, but Contreau is also very good. The little miniatures are enough for one cake.

  76. @Amy. I will try to answer each of your questions. Firstly as the wedding is in September, I would not soak the fruit as you have enough time for it to mature gently, with a ‘feed’ once it is cooked and cold and another one at the end of July. Secondly, most of my cakes come out about 3 – 3.5 inches high, but once marzipaned and iced are the normal depth for a tiered wedding cake. Lastly a 16″ cake is not really advisable for the following reasons: Most ovens will not take a 16″ tin, or if they do, there is not enough space around it to cook the cake evenly; Cooking a cake evenly over 14″ is very difficult as you are more likely to have a dry edge and uncooked centre. I would advise you do what most professionals do (including those who made Kate and William’s cake) and that is to make more than one cake and sandwich them together with apricot jam. For a 16″ cake, you would make 4 x 8″ cakes. Once covered, in marzipan and icing, it is impossible to see how they are made.

  77. @Ian I would feed it now and then again at the end of July. I have struggled myself to find suitable boxes and the last one I purchased was from Poundstretcher, although it was a while ago. If you are unable to find one, wrap the cake in greaseproof paper, then tin foil and finally in a carrier bag and tape down.

  78. Hi Sheila,

    I’m going to be baking the bottom layer of my wedding cake next week. Firstly, ideally I need a 16″ square cake so I’ve enough for my guests, what would you suggest as per increasing the ingredients? Secondly, my wedding is in September, shall I pre-season the fruit or feed the cake after baking? Lastly, if I make a 16″ square cake, how deep will it be, only it’s going to have 3 further sponge layers on top then the final layer (5th tier) a small fruit cake which is going to be kept.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  79. Hi Sheila,
    Great info and forum you provide here.
    I’ve just made a 12 inch round using your recipe, and it’s came out great. 🙂
    It’s for a wedding in September. I would like to know how often should I feed it?
    Also do you know where I might get hold of a suitable sized airtight container?

  80. @cj. Not silly at all. I remember cooking a three tier cake, taking out two of the tiers and then going for a walk and forgetting the third one. It was very dark and dry when I took it out. I fed it regularly and kept it for 12 months. It was absolutely delicious. In other words it will probably be fine, but it all depends when the wedding is. If it is soon, I would perhaps make another one. But do feed and keep the first one.

  81. Help please! I have just made a 12inch rich fruitcake which I cooked in a fan oven at 120 for 7 hours, ACCIDENTLY!) . I tested it after 4hrs & 5 hrs and then forgot about it, how stupid was that? Can you advise me as to whether it will be ok (it’s for a wedding!). It doesn’t look or feel burnt, is quite springy to touch ( I lined the tin, & covered the top with foil backed grease proof paper, & wrapped the outside in double brown paper) Should I start again or do you think it will be ok if I feed it when cool with brandy?

  82. @Rebekah. Because a 4″ cake is really too small to mix separately, I get round this by making a larger cake for one of the other tiers and using the extra mixture for the 4″. For example when making my 8″ tier I mix up a 10″ mixture.

  83. I am intending to create my wedding cake and would love a 4 inch round top tier.. any ideas on how to do this using your fantastic scale chart above?

  84. I soak the fruit overnight when I do (usually when making a last minute cake). However if you are baking the cake two to three months in advance you do not need to soak it at all. In fact the texture is better if you do not. When soaking the fruit, I soak it all and in two to three tablespoons of alcohol.

  85. how long should fruit be soaked in brandy/sherry before you start actually making the cake?

    how much of the fruit do i soak and in how much brandy/sherry?

  86. @Mercy I am afraid that the recipes given for the various sized cakes are for rich fruit cakes and reducing the fruit will result in a failure. You need to make a light fruit cake such as the Dundee recipe This recipe can be made now and will keep for a few weeks after the wedding, but no longer. The recipe is for an eight inch cake and is not terribly deep so you may need to increase the recipe as if you were making a 10″ round to get a deeper cake. As for the almond intolerance that is easy to overcome. Where the recipe states ground almonds, simply replace the almonds with flour.

    The formula for increasing ingredients for cakes is below. When calculating ingredients for square and round tins, remember that the quantities for an 8″ round tin will only be enough for a 7″ square tin.

    My recipes assumed that the depth of the cake tin is 2? and square to calculate the volume of the tins.

    8? tin (8 x 8 x 2 = 128 cubic inches) for a 2? deep tin

    8? tin (8 x 8 x 7 = 448 cubic inches) for a 7? deep tin

    To find percentage difference (128/448 x 100 = 28%.57). Round up to 29%.

    You can now use this percentage to calculate your ingredients. For example 100g Raisins would become 129g (100 + 29% = 129g).
    You may find that you have some odd quantities so may have to round down or up accordingly. You will need to do this with each tin.

  87. Hi shelia, am to make a wedding cake of 6’8’10 round and 12’square for nov 22 and 23. I will be starting my baking on 22 of oct should I soak my fruits in brandy ahead. The bride instructed not to have much fruit. Will reducing the grams of fruit affect the cake outcome? Also she’s allergic to almond. Advice please. Mercy

  88. Hi Shelia was asked to do a large cake (16″ by 12″) and didn’t have a great deal of time. Did a lot of searching on the Net and found your site. Used your Rich Fruit cake recipe and made the cake on Wednesday and it took just over four hours to cook. Covered with marzipan and fondant iced it on the Saturday ready for the “Do” on the Monday. Just wanted to say thank you as the chart for larger cakes was brilliant and the result was totally fab. I just do this as a hobby but now have got 3 more commissions as a result. Will definitely use this recipe again.x

  89. @ Julian. I am so pleased your cakes turned out well. You can now marzipan them as soon as you like as once covered the cakes will be ‘sealed’ in the marzipan. Once covered the cakes no longer need to be in a sealed container. The marzipan needs at least three days to dry and give a firm surface to put the fondant icing on. As soon as I put the marzipan on, I use white cake boxes which you should be able to get locally when you buy the boards (use the ones with the separate lid as they are deeper). The cakes can then be stored safely and also can travel in them. Once the marzipan is firm, you can cover the cakes in fondant and leave again for a couple of days to firm up before decorating. Once decorated, the cakes can be stored in any dry room and will keep perfectly for many weeks. If you do not have a local supplier for cake boxes, you can order them from I purchase a lot of my supplies in bulk from here, but they will also send out small orders. I would love to see the finished cake and also feature it in the ‘Visitors Gallery’. If you would be happy for this, please forward a picture and any comments you want included to [email protected].

  90. Hi Sheila, me again from 30 May!!. The cakes turned out brilliantly so I cannot thank you enough. I now have 12″, 10″, and 8″ lovely deep fruit cakes that have been fed twice and are tightly wrapped in greaseproof paper and foil in our cool (temperature not style) spare room. The wedding is 7 Sep so I am travelling with them on the 6 Sep once daughter finishes school. Would you say it would be ok to marzipan the cakes round about Monday 26 Aug? If so, when would be ok to decorate without the icing going strange etc. I’m using fondant that I will roll about quarter inch thick. I also do not have airtight containers, so will only have a cool room (or fridge if this is ok) to store them until I travel. Sorry Sheila it’s all questions questions questions!

  91. @ Frances The recipes on the site are for traditional sized cakes which are two to three inches deep. The following link discusses these very deep cakes and the problems involved in trying to bake such deep fruit cakes: If you really want a deep cake, I would simply bake a second cake and put it on top of the first, that way you will be assured it is cooked.

  92. I’ve just made your fruit cake for a wedding 10in but. When it came out it was 4in deep but the tin was 8in deep how did that happen thanks x

  93. hi i have just found this page and am over the moon because i am making my sisters wedding cake will post my results after making my 12 inch bottom tier thank you for making cakes easier

  94. Just made the 12″ cake for a Platinum Wedding Anniversary, subsituting extra cherries for nuts and used golden syrup rather than treacle. It was absolutely fantastic. Thank you so much.

  95. I personally don’t like rich fruit cake nor do children but husband has been bugging me to make one, I used your recipe and made an 8″ cake which I must add everybody in my household plus neighbors absolutely loved it, I found it only took and hr on gas mark 3 and 20mins on gas mark 2 and it turned out perfect! At this moment in time I have a 12″ baking for my friends wedding I will post and let you know how it goes..

  96. @ stuart. Yes do go ahead and make the larger recipe for the smaller tin. You will need to allow extra cooking time for the deeper mixture. As for whether to use dark or light brown sugar is a matter of taste. Traditional wedding/fruit cakes use dark brown sugar to give the intense depth of flavour. However many people do not like this rich flavour and using light brown sugar will make it more mellow. You could always make one of the tiers with the different sugar to vary the flavours.

  97. Hi Sheila,i am making a 6 9 12 inch round wedding cake for my own wedding,i know you have been asked similar questions to this but i have done a few trials with this recipe which is brilliant i have to cakes were 2inches or just over,could i use a 7inch mix in a 6inch tin 10 in 9 ect to get a little more hieght? Also what sugar is best dark or light brown?
    Thanks Stuart

  98. Hi Sheila thanks for the prompt response, and again your advice is fantastic! I am feeling a lot more confident having read your tips and responses to other peoples enquiries.

    I will let you know how it goes!

  99. @ Julian You can start baking these cakes as soon as you want. The longer they have to mature the more mellow they become. I ‘feed’ the cake with a brandy/sherry mix once it is cooked and cold and then once again halfway between the baking and decorating of the cake. It should not require any further ‘feeding’ as there would be a danger of the cake being too moist and more like a pudding. The following is a link to a page on my website which gives you the quantities of marzipan and icing for the different sizes of cakes (

  100. @ Debbie Usually cake boards are 2″ larger than the cake which means you would require a 14″ board for a 12″ cake. The box will also need to be 14″ and be a white cake box with a separate lid. These boxes are deeper than the all in one boxes with a window used for Christmas Cakes. Most cake decorating suppliers stock these boxes in all sizes but they are available online from

  101. oh sorry I forgot to add: any idea how much marzipan and icing I will require to cover each cake? Not sure if there is a maths equation to work this out!

  102. Your advice on this site is invaluable! I am making my friend’s wedding cake which will be a multi layered fruit cake 12″ 10″ 8″ with a 6″ polystyrene “cake” on the top all decorated in a beach theme. The wedding is 7 Sep. I want to start baking at an appropriate time so the cakes have time to mature, leaving me between the august bank holiday weekend and the wedding weekend to decorate. When would be a good time to start production and how often should I add brandy to the finished article?

  103. Hello Sheila,made 2 cakes using your recipe back in April and want to marzipan and ice using roll out icing this week. What size board will I need for the 12inch square one and what kind of box is required to store them in? Many thanks, Debbie

  104. @ Deirdre It is always best to position the cake tin as central in the oven as possible to enable an even flow of air around the cake. When making a large cake this may actually mean the bottom shelf.

  105. Hello.
    I am baking a 10″ cake for my daughter’s wedding and have chosen your recipe. I would be grateful if you could advise me on which shelf I need to put the cake mixture. I have a Cannon gas oven.

  106. @Christine. I am sorry but I cannot guarantee that the cake will be 3″ high as it depends on many things. How accurate the ingredients are measured, the size of the eggs and even the ambient temperature of the ingredients/kitchen. I would say though that the maximum height of this cake would be 3″ and if you require a deep cake, I would make the next size up but cook it in the 10″ tin.

  107. Hi
    I am making a 10″ cake for my son in laws 40th birthday. The cake needs to be 3″ high because the lady who is icing it will be cutting the cake in half and making it into a camper van for him. Am I guaranteed if I use your 10 ” recipe that the cake depth will be 3″. Also what gas mark will I need to cook this cake?

  108. @ Cheryl. It does not matter that you did not put any tea or alcohol in the cake. However I would not suggest covering it just yet. The cake really needs to mature for a couple of weeks before putting on the marzipan and icing especially if you do not intend to ‘feed it’ with alcohol. I personally would not keep a cake that was fully covered in marzipan and icing more than two weeks. The finished cake must not be kept in an airtight container as the icing will soften and spoil.

  109. i have just made this fruit cake but i didnt put any tea or alchol in it. will it keep till june covered in mazipan.and sugarpaste?

  110. Hi i ve made the 8″ 10″ 12″ and 14″ inch round cakes from this recipe. I followed the cooking times stated for a gas oven 11/2 hours gas mark 3 then turn down to gas mark 1, this is for the larger cakes. They took around about 4 and 5 hours. the smaller took 2 1/2 and 31/2 hours to cook. the result was excellent. I have made these for my sons wedding.

  111. @ Jane The cooking times are very similar for gas and electricity, but may take a little longer in a gas oven. Cook at the higher temperature for about an hour or until the cake is risen and starting to look light golden brown (but before it cracks in the middle) then reduce the temperature and cook for the remainder of the time until the cake is very golden brown, then check every half hour or so until the skewer comes out clean.

  112. Hi,I have a 14 in fruit cake to do for the bottom tier of a wedding cake and I am going to try your fruit cake recipie. How long will I need to cook this for in a gas oven? Thanks Jane

  113. @ Debbie. I always leave the cakes in for a few extra minutes (especially if I have just tested them) as I feel the rush of cold air into the holes could cause sinking and heaviness. Wrapping in tin foil will be fine, you could also seal in a clean carrier bag. I did this all the time in my earlier days of baking before I obtained all the equipment.

  114. Hi Sheila, I am so impressed-my 12ins square fruit cake has baked perfectly in 2.5hrs exactly (fan assisted oven),have turned the oven off and I shall leave it inside for an extra 15mins as I did with the 7ins. Thank you so much for your help. Your recipe and timings are spot on. Could I wrap a few sheets of foil over the greaseproof paper for the large one as I dont have a tin or does it need to breath? (so to speak)
    Thanks again, Debbie

  115. @ Debbie. So glad the cake turned out well. When the cake is cold, feed and wrap in greaseproof paper and store in an airtight tin in a cool place. A second feed can be given around the end of May. Re-wrap the cake and seal back in the tin until you need to decorate it.

  116. Hi Sheila the 7inch round cake turned out perfectly in 90mins. I will be baking the 12inch today. What should I wrap and store the cakes in? and how often should I feed them? the wedding is july 20th?

  117. What size eggs do you use in your rich fruit cakes-am wanting to make a start today? thanks, Debbie

  118. @ Rachael There is a formula for increasing ingredients for cakes which is below. However, I have not made such a deep cake, in fact I have never found a 7″ deep cake tin, so am unable to help with cooking times other than to say that you will have to wrap the outside of the cake tins with newspaper to ensure the cake does not burn before it is cooked in the middle. Also check very carefully that it is cooked as I know of one very deep wedding cake that looked beautiful but when it was cut, was uncooked in the middle and could not be used.

    My recipes assumed that the depth of the cake tin is 2″ and square to calculate the volume of the tins.

    8″ tin (8 x 8 x 2 = 128 cubic inches) for a 2″ deep tin

    8″ tin (8 x 8 x 7 = 448 cubic inches) for a 7″ deep tin

    To find percentage difference (128/448 x 100 = 28%.57). Round up to 29%.

    You can now use this percentage to calculate your ingredients. For example 100g Raisins would become 129g (100 + 29% = 129g).
    You may find that you have some odd quantities so may have to round down or up accordingly. You will need to do this with each tin.

  119. Hi

    I am making a wedding cake for my parents 30th Wedding Anniversary – Although I have decorated wedding cakes previously I have never actually made the fruit cake before. I wanted to make a 12″, 10″ and 8″ that are 7″ deep to get the tall cake effect as I am not using separators. How do I adjust the cooking times and ingredients for such deep cakes?

    Many thanks,


  120. @ Mercy The cakes made from these recipes are approximately 3″ high. However, the current trend seems to be for deeper cakes in which case I would make the next size up.

  121. @ Mercy. I am not sure if you are making the cakes in one week or if they are required in one week. I am therefore assuming they are required quickly in which case I would definitely advise soaking the fruit. Soak in a mixture of fruit juice (orange is good) and brandy overnight and drain thoroughly before using. As soon as the cake is cold, I would brush with a mixture of brandy and sweet sherry and wrap in greaseproof paper and leave overnight before covering in marzipan which needs three days to ‘dry’ to provide a firm base to ice. If the cakes are not required this quickly then I usually marzipan the cake a week before it is required, which then gives me four days to decorate after the marzipan has ‘dried’.

  122. Also how many inch high cake is your receipe after baking before covering with rolled fondant.

  123. Hi, am so impressed with your quick response to all. I have 4 tier fruit cake to make in 1 wk 6,8,10,12 pls do I soak the fruits in brandy over night and how long do I leave the cake before decorating it. Do I brush the cake with brandy after baking if I soak the fruits. Please put me through as this is my first wedding cake duo have done several birthday cakes but this is different. Anticipating your reply . Thanks

  124. @ Caroline. The last feed should not be less then a week before covering with marzipan as you need to allow it to be fully absorbed into the cake, otherwise the outside of the cake would be too delicate and crumbly. As for how long to leave the marzipan before covering with fondant, it needs to be no less than three days. I personally like to give it 5/7 days. When you gently press your finger into the marzipan, it should feel dry and hard. This is necessary to give a firm base for the fondant.

  125. Hi There, was wondering when i should last feed a friut cake brandy before covering with it one week..not really sure?? and once covered how long should i leave the marzipan to dry before covering with fondant icing.
    Would appreciate your help with this.


  126. Hi Sheila

    Many thanks for your reply, sorry I did mean fondant I too have tried the ready rolled without success. Think I shall have a busy weekend baking but so looking forward to it.
    Love your site lots of helpful tips will be visiting it often.
    Once again many thanks

  127. @ Donna. How lovely to make your nephew’s wedding cake and to have such advance notice. It is certainly not too soon to make it as the longer it can mature, the more mellow it becomes. Wrapping it up as you suggest is absolutely fine and it will only need feeding twice. Once, just after you have baked it and before storing and again in July/August. The time-scales you have given for marzipan and icing are perfect. You say you are using roll out icing and I assume you mean the fondant you buy in a block to roll out. I have not had a lot of success with the ready rolled icing as it is thinner than I roll it (and tears too easily) has a strange plastic sheen and looks a bit grey.

  128. @ Claire. I would not be without my cake tester now. You say your 6″ cake is a bit dry. As long as it is not burnt black’ ‘Feed’ it and wrap it up and it will be lovely by Easter.

  129. No worries about times-i might have worked it out?!

    My 6″ cake attempt (I think) is just a bit too overdone and dry yesterday.i have a fan oven which usually runs hot so I think 160&140 was too hot.

    I have baked the 12″ this evening on 140 for 1.5 hours and then 130 for just a few mins under 1.5 hours (so total time of 3 hours) which i thought wasn’t long enough as my Xmas cakes used to take 4 hours but it seems ok and cooked…..however still to be checked when its out of the tin properly!

    I did take your advise from a comment earlier in this thread and purchased a cake tester which reassured me that cake is ok.i will be redoing 6″ cake tomorrow using my revised temps and cooking for 2 hours in total but will also be feeding my first attempt and seeing what that’s like at Easter!

  130. Hi
    Can you help, I have been asked to make my nephews wedding cake, a 3 tier fruit cake, I wonder when I can make it, the wedding is in November is it to early to make and store it now, I would have to wrap in grease proof and thick plastic as would not have tins big enough, and how often should I feed it.
    I would marzipan 2 weeks before the wedding and use roll out icing on the cake 1 week before would this be ok.
    Many thanks Donna

  131. @ Claire. I am sorry but I do not time my cakes as they seem to vary each time I make them, depending on the time of year and the temperature of the ingredients. I do however, time the first part at 160 Deg as one hour for the smaller cakes and one and a half hours for the larger cakes, but even then I keep an eye on them through the glass door and turn down earlier if there is any indication of them ‘cracking’ on the top. Once I have turned them down, I leave well alone for an hour and then start checking the smaller ones, while the larger ones will need another one or two hours depending on size. I am sorry I cannot be specific, but will time any future cakes I make to be able to give an approximate time.

  132. Do you have approx cooking times for each size of your cakes in the table above? (based on 160 and then reducing to 140?)

  133. Good Luck, it sounds to be going okay. Yes you can leave the fruit for another day or two. Strain it before using to prevent the cake mixture being too ‘loose’. Save any juice and you can add it at the end if feel the mixture needs it.

  134. Thank you! Well 6″ cake is currently in the oven-went in at 730pm so fingers crossed I am still smiling at 930pm 🙂 Im gonna turn it from 160 to 140 after an hour and then check every 30 mins thereafter. So I have had the 12″ cake fruit in the fridge since yesteday evening in a bowl of 3 or 4 tablespoons of brandy and orange will be ok for another day or so yes? Cheers

  135. @ Claire. The temperatures and cooking times on this site have been based on my electric fan oven. As for feeding and storing you already have the right idea in that you only need to soak the fruits for the 12″ cake due to the short time-scale. As you say the top tier will mature naturally with the after cooking feeding. In fact it would be better not to soak the fruit for this cake as it is more likely to go mouldy if it is too moist to begin with. Storing the cakes after cooking is easy. Just wrap them up in greaseproof paper and store upside down (this smooths the top). Any airtight container is good. If you do not have a tin or plastic container, especially for the 12″ cake, then you can wrap in clean polythene or carrier bags. In my early baking days, I used to use carrier bags. I would put the wrapped cake inside one and cello tape it shut (making sure you cello tape over the little air holes in the bottom of the bags. I would then put this package inside a second bag and repeat. The cake can then be placed in a cupboard or in a spare room, preferably somewhere cool.

  136. HELP! I am making my friends wedding cake and she is getting married in just over 1 month

    She is having 4 tiers (middle 2 are sponge so that’s fine)however the top 6″ and bottom 12″ are fruit

    I have a electric fan oven so not sure what temps to cook the cakes at

    The bride is keeping the top tier so do I soak both fruits before I make the cakes and then brush and wrap up for 2 weeks (as per other comments on this feed) or soak fruit for the bigger cake and feed the smaller one as that will continue to mature?

    I am also concerned about where I am going to store the cakes and also how?

    PLEASE HELP!! Thank you 🙂

  137. Hi,
    Love the look of your recipe – I have a nine inch round recipe of my grandmothers which I want to make as a 12 inch for my friend’s wedding – my question is that I’ve noticed that as you’ve scaled up the ingredients between your 9 and 12 inch cakes, some of the ingredients like the dried fruit have been doubled, but some others like the butter and flour, have been multiplied by 1.75. Just wondering what the reason for that is and should I use the same approach when scaling up my grandmother’s cake too? A reply would be REALLY appreciated as I’m making the cake this weekend!!! Thanks so much,

  138. @Mary. The two cakes require the same temperatures. But the smaller cake will need the temperature reducing sooner, usually after about an hour. How long it will take in total will depend on your oven, whether it is gas or electric, fan or not. However, I would plan on about 3 hours for the small one and 4 hours for the 10″. I never time my cakes, but purely go on look alone until near the end when I test it with a skewer. To do this, I bake at the high temperature for approximately an hour and when the cake looks nicely risen (but before it cracks) and starting to brown on the top, I reduce the temperature and continue to cook, checking it is not browning too much, until you can see that the cake is firm all over, I then give it another 30 minutes and start testing.

  139. Hi i am making a two tier birthday cake 10inch and 8 inch round how long should i cook the small cake and does it need the same temperature thanks

  140. @lola. Regarding your two wedding cakes. It is not too late to soak the fruits, but make sure you drain them thoroughly before using, as this is the usual reason fruits go to the bottom. Also do add too much liquid as this will also make the fruit sink. The mixture should be heavy and only just fall off the spoon when the spoon is gently flicked. There is no problem at all in using mixed fruits, just add up the weights of the separate fruits and use this amount of mixed fruit. You can use orange zest instead of lemon, or even leave it out altogether it will not noticeably effect the cake. I would think carefully about substituting flaked almonds with mixed nuts as I have found they impart quite a strong flavour which is overpowering. You could leave out nuts altogether and substitute more mixed fruit.

  141. i am intending to bake a 13″ round and an 11″ round fruit cake for my sisters wedding in two weeks. is it too late to soak the fruits? plus i have dried mixed fruits instead, i do not have separate fruits as your recipe calls for, how do i work around this for the sizes i want to bake? Also, can you please advise what i can use to substitute the lemon zest? can i substitute the flaked almonds with mixed nuts? Lastly, the last fruit cake i made, all the fruits were at the bottom, how do i prevent this happening again? Thanks

  142. @Paula. I am sorry your first attempt was not as successful as you had hoped, but this is why I always suggest a trial run when using a new recipe. Firstly I would advise baking the cake a minimum of 6 weeks before you marzipan the cake and allow two weeks to marzipan and decorate it. There is no need to soak the fruit when cooking this length of time in advance, but ‘feed’ the cake once it is cold and before you wrap it up for storage and then again about three to four weeks later. Two weeks before the big day, marzipan the cake and then leave it for four days for the marzipan to dry. You can then decorate it.
    As for the cake burning, you will have a better result with three sheets of newspaper folded into three, but checking is the only sure way to prevent burning. Once you have turned the oven down to 140 check it again after 30 minutes and reduce the temperature again if it looks to be browning too much. Fan ovens run hotter and the cooking time is about 15 minutes shorter than in a regular oven as the temperature is move even. so checking is important. If you do this the edges should not burn and the bottom will not either.

  143. Hi,

    How far in advance do you recommend baking the 12 inch fruit cake for a wedding? is there any need to soak the fruit if making far enough in advance? How many days before the big day should I leave to marzipan, ice and decorate the cake? How often should I feed the cake? I made my first attempt on Christmas eve for Christmas so soaked the fruit and had very good reviews but when cooking I had to use a friends oven as mine was too small lol I cooked for 45mins on 160 then covered and turned down to 140 as it was looking golden then checked it after a further 1hr 15mins and it was done! more than done, it had burnt around the edges and the bottom. I had put 3 layers of grease-proof but only 1 layer of paper folded into 3 around the outside I didn’t realise until I had finished. so next time I will put an extra layer of paper around outside but how do I stop bottom burning? it was cooked on the bottom shelf of a fan oven. Thank you in advance.

  144. It would seem that the fruit may have been too wet resulting in the cake not cooking in the middle. Unless you are making the boiled fruit cake, the fruits do not need to be soaking in lots of liquid just 2/3 tablespoons. Stir into the fruit and leave a few hours. Always drain off any excess liquid before using the fruit. The first hour of cooking needs to be higher at 160 to make the cake rise (and thus cook in the middle) and then reduce it to 150/140 (before it starts to crack on the top) to finish. Check regularly to ensure the cake is not burning and if it looks a little too brown, cover with greaseproof paper. Always double line the cake tins with greaseproof paper and also wrap the outside with newspaper. I use two sheets folded into three and use as many of these as necessary to cover the outside of the tin, securing with string.

  145. Hi, im having problems with my cake made a 14″ and the edges got burnt before the middle was cooked. Baked it at 140 for about 4hrs! Want to rebake it need advice on avoiding this again, have soaked the fruits in way too much brandy which i have realised just now and the cake is needed in 2 days 🙁 your advice would be greatlyappreciated. Thanks

  146. After feeding the cakes, wrap them in greaseproof paper and store in an airtight container. I have a couple of large plastic boxes I keep for wedding cakes. However, if you do not have large enough containers, you can double wrap in greaseproof paper and then wrap again in two strong plastic bags. Tape all the edges to make sure no air can get in and store in a cool place where they will not get knocked and damaged.

  147. hi it’s my daughters weddin in February I’ve been buzzing as I just finished the two bottom layers but how do Istore the one is12″ the other 10

  148. Two Weeks is short notice to make a wedding cake which improves with keeping (maturing). However, I suggest that you soak your dry fruit overnight in 2 tablespoons of brandy and 1 tablespoon of orange juice. Drain and use the fruit as in the recipe. Once the cake has been baked and cooled in the tin, take it out and brush over a mixture of 2 parts brandy and one part sweet sherry. I use a pastry brush to do this. Do not soak the cake but just brush the liquid on as if you are painting a wall. Wrap the cake up in greaseproof paper and store in an airtight container until you are ready to decorate it. It should not be necessary to refrigerate it, even in a hot country, as the alcohol will preserve it.

  149. thank you so much for this rich fruit recipe,i av not tried it but i am certain i would use because it seems so detailed.i have a wedding cake to be delivered on the 22nd of this month and it is my first,pls can i bake it tomorrow,thats 2 weeks before the wedding?how do i include the brandy in the recipe,it is 14 inches and 12 inches.i live in nigeria and the temperature is kind of hot now will i need to keep the cake refridgerated after feeding it and wrapping in a greaseproof paper?

  150. @Paula. Soaking the fruit in tea or brandy before cooking does not make any difference to the keeping qualities of the cake. Instructions on ‘Feeding’ the can be seen in items 9 and 10 on the following link
    Once ‘fed’ the cake should be wrapped in greaseproof papaer and stored in an airtight container in a cool dry place (not the fridge).

  151. Thank you 🙂 could you please explain the process of “feeding the cake” I have a sort of idea but have never done it before, also what would I use? How long will the cake last if soaking fruit in tea or brandy before use, will it need to go in fridge? Airtight container? Thank you 🙂

  152. @Paula. You can substitute the almond flakes with cherries or any other fruit as long as you keep the overall quantity of fruit the same as the recipe. As for the ground almonds, they add moisture to the cake so leaving them out can make the fruit cake drier. However, I have in the past substituted the ground almonds with extra flour and have not really noticed a difference, especially if you ‘feed’ the caked after cooking. When cooking the cake in your oven, I would leave it uncovered for the first hour until it has risen and has a nice golden colour. Once this stage is achieved then place a circle of double thickness greaseproof paper over the cake for the remainder of the cooking time.

  153. Hello, I am making my own wedding cake, I am planning on doing a 12inch square fruit cake for the bottom tier. The recipe above looks fab but I have guests allergic to nuts I am planning on substituting the almond flakes with cherries but not sure what to do about the ground almonds, can I substitute with flour or coconut or shall I use another fruit? Our oven is also a pain and usually burns cakes quite quickly should I cover with something before cooking or open after a certain time and cover? Thank you in advance 🙂 x

  154. @Les Unless you have 4 x 4″ tins and desperately want to use them, the easiest method is to make an 8″ square cake and cut it into quarters. You can do the same if you have a 7″ tin and have slightly smaller cakes.
    If you wish to make individual ones you can use the 8″ cake mixture and divide equally (it is best to weigh it out). The cooking temperatures are the same, but you reduce the temperature after only half an hour. the cakes usually take just over an hour to cook in a fan assisted oven.
    I usually make one at the same time as a large cake using the ingredients for the next size up. For example when making an 8″ cake I use the recipe for a 10″ and take as much as I need for the small tin and put the rest in the large tin.

  155. As a tradition I make a Christmas cake in an 8 inch cake tin, however this year I thought I would make 4 separate cakes in 4 inch tins, as I like to send a portion of cake as a gift.
    Would I use the same amount of ingredient for a 8 inch cake, then divide evenly in 4 inch tins?
    Also what would be the cooking time for the 4 inch tins?, in a fan forced oven.
    Your tips would be much appreciated.

  156. @ Vikki. I am afraid you will have to get cake boxes. Storing the iced cakes in plastic (sealed) boxes will make the fondant go soft and sticky. Once you have covered them in fondant, the cake will be sealed and the fondant should be allowed to dry and proper cake boxes are the best thing as they are the right size and food grade. Buy cake boards and boxes that are 2″ bigger than each cake. The larger board allows room for any icing on the sides. Busying the same size boxes as boards means they will not move in the boxes and the 2″ gap makes sure that there is no damage in transit. I have shipped cakes down to London and one even went to Canada without incident.

  157. Hi again, You have been so helpful and I hope you don’t mind me asking another question. When I have made the next two tiers of the wedding cake (both madeiras) and then iced with roll out icing. How do I store them? I am giving them to the bride on Saturday who will then drive them up to Scotland on Sunday for the wedding on tuesday!!!! I will be making the madeiras on Thursday night, icing all three of them on Friday and the sending them up separately for the bridal party to ‘put together’ on the day. I know this is rather unconventional but its the only way we can do it. So after making the cakes I am keeping them in clean tupperware tubs but when they have been iced (using roll out icing) will I still be able to store them in the tupperware or will I need to get cake boxes?

  158. @Vikki So glad your cake has turned out well. Do not trim it yet. ‘Feed it’ and wrap it in greaseproof paper and store upside-down in an airtight container. You will find that the hard top will disappear. Storing it upside-down also levels out the cake a little. However if you still need to trim it, use a sharp, smooth bladed, knife and cut small slices, until level. I always decorate the bottom of the cake as this is the most level part. You also do not have to cut the cake down too much as any slight gap between the cake and the board can be filled in with a sausage of marzipan. This also helps to seal the cake to the board and keep the air out.

  159. Thank you so much for your help. My second cake turned out well. It is a little too hard on the top but the sides seem nice and soft. I will need to trim the top off as it is not completely level. WHat is the best way to do this?

  160. @andrea. Do not worry, if the skewer was clean it was cooked and the times you quote are consistent with the cooking times I experience. I am not at all sure about the 5 hours as the temperature would have to be very low which would create a risk of 1) the cake not rising and 2) it would dry out.

  161. I have just made the 12′ square cake.. it went into my fan assisted oven 160 and i turned down to 150 after 90 minutes. I checked on it a few times, but the skewer was clean after 2 hours and 20 minutes… Reading that someone suggested it can take 5 hours im stressing what i have done wrong! I followed the recipe exactly. The cake looks lovely, it is heavy but its a big cake. This is my sons Christening cake!! Ahh!

  162. [email protected] Soaking the fruit will make the cake moister as you do not have ‘maturing time’. Tea can be used if you do not have brandy and any brand will do. Just cover the fruit in hot tea and leave until it is cool. Drain off the cold tea and use the fruit in your recipe.
    Once the cake is cooked and cooled (the next day is best), you can then feed thg cake. A mixture of brandy and sweet sherry will give a less bitter flavour. I would then feed it once more a week later.

  163. HELP! I am making a wedding cake for a friend for a wedding in two weeks!!! Fruit cake bottom 10″ then two madeiras 8″ and 6″. I have never made af ruit cake before. I would like to make the fruit cake today but don’t have brandy, can I soak the fruit just for a few hours in tea? and can I use tetley tea??? (I’ve definitely bitten off more than i can chew here!!) Also if I soak in fruit then feed with brandy after is that ok? How often do I need to feed with brandy plus how much tea shall I soak it in. I can’t make the fruit cake any later than today really as I work full time so won’t have time. Can I soak in tea for a few hours then bake this afternoon then feed? So confused, your help would be very much appreciated

  164. @Charmaine. 90 minutes is certainly very quick. I have a fan oven and mine tend to be cooked in about two hours although I have reports that they can take up to three hours or more. The important thing is that if the cake is completely cooked in the middle then the shorter cooking time was a bonus.

  165. @ Nicola. Traditionally the smaller the diameter of the cake the shallower it is. However, the trend at the moment is for deeper cakes. This can be achieved by using the ingredients for the next size up. Just make sure that the cake is fully cooked in the middle as deeper cakes are more difficult to cook evenly.

  166. Hi
    My 10″ cake appears to hae baked in 90 minutes at 150c, thats unusual, has anyone else found this to be the case?

  167. I love this recipe but have just baked a 6″ round and it was so so shallow at around 1.5 inches and I’m really disappointed …Any Tips.
    My Oven was pre heated, all ingredients at room temperature !

  168. @Donna. Adjusting recipes to fit other tins is never straightforward, but in this case, I would calculate the area of your tin (12″ x 10″ = 120 Using this information I would then use the recipe for an 11″ square tin.

  169. Hi, how would you suggest I adapt the quantities for a 12″x10″ cake tin and can you recommend how long this would take/Gas mark?

  170. @Dawn. Making the cakes in October and storing them until December and then decorating them about a week before the Fayre would be ideal timing. Small cakes mature much faster and should be lovely and moist by then. Wrap the cakes in greaseproof paper and store in airtight tins (plastic biscuit boxes are ideal).

  171. Hi,
    I’m Making a large batch for small 4-5″ cakes for an Xmas fayre, I want to ask about storage? How early would u advise making them? My fairs am
    Beginning of december, can I make October time and store? Tips please! Thanks

  172. @Sarah. No you do not need to cover the top of the cakes when baking, only the sides. The only time you would cover the top is if the oven was too hot and the cake was very brown but still not cooked in the middle. In this instance you would cover the cop of the cake to stop it burning while the middle cooked.

  173. Was just wondering if you had to cover the top of these cakes when covering too or if they are ok with just the newspaper round the outside.

  174. @Tara 9 days is a little short notice, but as you have soaked the fruit first you should be fine as I recently made a cake and decorated it in 7 days and it was lovely.

    Wrapping the outside of the caketin with brown paper will help prevent
    burning but I usually take three sheets of newspaper and then fold them
    lengthwise three times and wrap the cake thin in this holding in place
    with string.

    When your cake is quite cold (tomorrow) remove from the tin and feed with
    a mixture of sherry and brandy and wrap in greaseproof paper and seal up
    in a cake tin for a few days. You will need to Marzipan the cake the day
    before you ice it to allow the marzipan to dry and give a good decorating
    base. Depending on how you intend to decorate the cake this can be as
    little and three days before you need to use the cake i.e. marzipan on the
    Tuesday, Ice and Decorate on the Wednesday and present on Friday. However
    if you are using Royal Icing you will need to allow an extra day before
    you can decorate on top of this.

    Hope this helps and your cake is successful.

  175. Hello, I’m baking a 10″ round cake for my daughters christening. I have left it very late, but am hoping it will turn out okay! I have only 9 days until the christening…. I am baking, as I type! I did soak the fruit in tea for a few hours first before baking. My question is, when should I put the marzipan on and the the royal icing? Also, I have wrapped the tin in brown paper to make sure no burning… Is that okay?

    Many thanks,
    Tara x

  176. I have just made the 10″ cake for my Dad’s 3rd Wedding! Chopped and changed the fruit ratio to suit – added whole almonds on the top before baking a la ‘Dundee’ style…It looks amazing and I want to eat it now!!
    I gave it the recommended 90mins @ 160c then reduced to 140c for remaining 150mins )but removed it 10 mins before time up (fan with top & bottom oven – very temperamental!!)

    Thank you Sheila for making it all so simple…I shall try to remember to post a follow up re taste ;0)
    Caroline x

  177. @Caroline The baked cake can vary from 2 – 3 inches in height dependent on a variety of things. Egg sizes, consistency of mixture, temperature of the oven (the cake rises in the first hour so the oven must be preheated before the cake goes in) and even environmental temperatures. As long as the cake feels right, i.e. not hard and solid – turn it over and press gently on the bottom, it should be firm but springy – then it will be fine. I have baked hundreds of cakes and every so often one comes out much shallower than the rest. However, if you are going to marzipan and ice it, you will be surprised at how much deeper it will be when finished and no one will notice at all. I would refrain from putting another cake on top as you will have difficulty joining them up. If you are really unhappy about the height, you could make a much smaller one and make a feature of this smaller layer on top or even create a decoration that gives the cake more height.
    At Easter, I declared my Simnel cake to be a complete disaster (shallow and an unusual texture) and made a second one. However, I ‘fed’ the original one as I would normally and served it up as an un-iced every day cake. My family declared it the most delicious cake and want me to make another one!!!

  178. Hi Sheila,

    I,ve just made the 12inch fruit cake. It dosen’t look as if it’s risen very well, just about 2inches if that, should it have been at least 3inches deep? Any ideas as to what went wrong? I think I will need to made another one to top up the height and layer them together would that be ok to do that? I don’t want to do this all the time as that just cost more money. I will have to too this very soon, Could you help me with this.


  179. @Katie I prefer tea when soaking my fruit. I make a pot of strong tea and then pour it over the fruit while it is hot and leave overnight. Adding orange juice say two tablespoons would be fine, but any more and you risk curdling your mixture. As for feeding it afterwards, you cannot use anything in place of alcohol as this acts as a preservative and keeps the bugs out. Soaking a cake with tea or orange juice would make it go mouldy. If you soak your fruit before baking, then wrap the cold cake in greaseproof paper and put in an airtight container for three weeks, you will have a deliciously moist cake and still have a week to decorate it. Most cakes are three inches high, but nearer four inches with a good layer of icing and marzipan (which you will need). If you really want it higher, use the recipe for the next size up, but don’t forget to adjust your baking times and lower you temperature after the first hour to prevent the cake overcooking on the outside before it is cooked on the inside. Adding another layer of newspaper round the tin will also help.

  180. Hi. I’m about to make a wedding fruit cake 10″ round – which is required in a months time. However the bride doesn’t drink alcohol due to her religion. I see you suggest soaking the fruit in cold tea. What is best cold tea or fruit juice, say orange juice? I thought I would be able to soak the fruit overnight in fruit juice and then top the cake up each week with that or cold tea? What is best? Does this matter if I’m making the cake a month in advance of the wedding?
    Also I’m hoping for a 4″ deep cake… ?

  181. @Ed The depth of the cake can vary from cake to cake depending on size of eggs, consistency of mixture, ambient temperature etc. However they are usually approximately 3″ deep.

  182. @amanda If your brother does not like the taste of alcohol you could always soak the fruit in tea (you can add a tablespoon of brandy if you wish). Make a pot of tea and pour into a bowl, add one tablespoon of brandy and mix in the dry fruit and leave it overnight. Pour the whole lot into a sieve the next day to drain before using the fruit. When the cake has been cooked and has gone cold, make a mixture of one part brandy to one part of sweet sherry. Brush this over the cake but do not soak it. How much you will need depends on the size of the cake. Two tablespoons of liquid will cover an 8 inch cake and I find that 3 tablespoons covers a 10 inch cake.
    You will not be able to taste the alcohol just the richness of the fruit and other ingredients and it should be lovely and mellow.

  183. thanks for that , my brother don’t want it to taste of too much alcohol , so with what your saying will that be ok and how much orange juice and brandy , and how much brandy and sweet sherry , thanks you been a great help xx

  184. @amanda It is a little short notice but not too late. I would suggest that you soak the fruit in a mixture of orange juice and brandy overnight before making your cake. Drain the fruit well and then use as recipe states. When the cake is cool, brush over a solution of brandy and sweet sherry before wrapping well in greaseproof paper and sealing in a tin for two weeks. This will give you a week to decorate it. I do not normally recommend this method as the cake will be more crumbly when cutting into small slices, but it will taste delicious and I doubt if anyone will notice once they have tasted it.

  185. i’m making my brothers wedding cake , this is my first time its going to be a 14″ fruit cake and 4″ deep , i only have 3 weeks til the wedding ,is it too late to make a fruit cake and do i put the brandy on the cake once made xx

  186. @Jane. This is a difficult one to calculate. A 5″ deep cake is very deep, and would require very careful monitoring of the oven temperature to ensure it did not burn before it was cooked. Wrap tin in lots of newspaper (three sheets folded into three should do it). My advice would be not to try and calculate the volume, but to use the recipe from the next size up. For example for the 12″ use the 14″ recipe. One other query is that tiered cakes are usually two inches different and not three. Also with the additional depth which will increase with the board, icing and marzipan, you are looking at a very high three tier cake.

  187. I am making a wedding cake for my niece at 12″ 9″ and 6″ but she wants the cake to be deep – approx 5inches. How do I calculate the ingredients and cooking time.

    Your assistance much appreciated

  188. @Geraldine It is quite acceptable to use treacle and the dark muscovado sugar and the flavour will not be too intense. However if you want a more subtle flavour and wish to use the dark sugar, then substituting golden syrup for the black treacle will solve the problem.

  189. As I too am about to make a large–12 inch square —fruit cake for my son’s wedding, I am grateful to you Sheila for putting up this very good recipe and very helpful tips and explanations.Thanks.

    I have an electric fan oven and find it very very fast, so I usually bake rich christmas cakes by starting at 150 and lowering to 100 ( this is celsius ).

    I am worried about the treacle in the recipe—I usually use the very dark muscovado sugar and I feel that treacle as well would be too intense a dark flavour. But I can’t think how best to substitute for treacle.Every recipe I find for a rich fruit cake seems to include treacle.
    Maybe I should just go with your basic recipe and get the lighter brown sugar, and use that with the treacle

    Si if anyone has any suggestions on this I’d be ratefyl.

  190. @Chris – I know it sounds wrong, but you do not need self raising flour or baking powder. The eggs alone make these fruit cakes rise. Any kind of baking powder would make the cake rise too fast and crack or ‘peak’. I have found this out from experience.

  191. Your recipe mentions plain flour but has no allowance for baking powder. Is this correct? I’d hate to ruin my fruit cake and have it come out completely flat!

  192. @Emma Cook your 10″ cake in your fan oven at 160 deg C for one and a half hours and then reduce to 150 deg C until it is cooked. There are no precise cooking times as these vary depending of the temperature of the ingredients the size of the eggs etc. I recommend that you check the cake after an hour and reduce the temperature sooner if it starts to rise in the middle. It will take about another hour and a half once you have reduced the temperature. Again check after an hour. The cake will be golden brown and firm in the centre to the touch. If you are unhappy using a skewer to test if it is cooked. There is a lovely little device called a ‘cake tester’ which has a black end. You push the tester into the middle of the cake and the end turns bright red once it is cooked. It is available from for £4.99. As regards adding alcohol, please see the comment above to Caroline.

  193. @Caroline If you do not like flaked almonds, then you can leave them out but you need to add something in its place to make up the total amount of dry fruit/nuts. Just replace the almonds with sultanas, raisins or currents.
    As for soaking the fruit in brandy, if you are making the cake two or three months in advance of the wedding, it is best not to soak the fruit. If the fruit is soaked and then the cake is ‘painted’ with brandy after cooking as well, it will become very soggy and ‘pudding’ like after maturing. Soaking the fruit is only necessary when you are making the cake last minute and want it to be as moist as possible without letting it mature.
    The other thing to remember is that if the cake is too moist it will not cut into the small pieces required at a wedding, but will just break up on cutting.

  194. I am going to be making the bottom tier 12in round for wedding cake. I am planning to use the friit cake recipe. I don’t want to use flaked almonds. Should it be ok just to leave them out. Also I would like to soak the friuts in brandy and add brandy to the cake once its cooked but it doesn’t mention this. Could you plesae help me adjust this. Thanks

  195. Hi there
    I am making a fruit cake for a wedding for friends of mine and will be using your 10″ receipe. how long do I bake it for and at which temperature as I am slightly confused as of how long to bake it for. I have a fan oven so how long do you state to bake it for at which temp and then after how long do I reduce the heat and how much longer do I continue to bake it for? I also want to add achocol?

  196. This looks the best recipe for a 12 inch cake. My son has asked me to do the bottom tier for his wedding next year. I have been baking Christmas cakes for years and get lovely comments on them,but they are only about 9 inch round. I am a bit nervous about baking such a large one, but looking at other recipes, this can be adapted to some extra ingredients that I will put in of my own. I will be baking my Christmas ones in the next week or so, and will try this one out when I buy the relevant cake tin.

  197. I have posted recipes for 14″ fruit cakes and will shortly along with the recipe and instructions for a 14″ chocolate sponge cake.

  198. Hi, I am making a 14 inch fruit cake as the bottom tier for an 18th birthday party, but I cannot find a recipe for a 14inch square fruit cake anywhere!!! Please please could you help me as your recipe looks great, thanks, Gemma.

  199. @sharon
    It will take approximately another one to one and a half hours at the reduced temperature. I usually allow three hours to bake a 12″ cake.

  200. @ bernadette
    The one and a half hours relates to the 160 C temperature. After this reduce the temperature to 150 C until it is cooked ie a skewer comes out clean. It will take another hour to hour and a half. I usually find a 12″ will take about three hours to cook without drying it out.

  201. Hi, I am going to try your recipe for my daughters wedding cake. It looks super simple but I am a little worried about the time to cook the 12″ square size. 1- 2 hours [email protected] seem very long as when I make my much smaller christmas cake it is in the oven for about 4 hours. Please can you give me some feed back as I don’t want to make a mess up of something so important. thanks a bundle in anticipation of some help.

  202. I am going to use this recipe to make a 12 inch wedding cake – my first time!! how long will the cake take when the oven temperature has been decreased ( a rough estimate will be helpfull) thankyou I will let you know the outcome

  203. Whilst it is possible to increase a recipe to make a larger cake it is not simply a matter of increasing each ingredient. Also there is a possibility that some recipes will not work in a larger format and not cook evenly or may even sink in the middle.
    I have successfully made the 12” recipe on this site on numerous occasions and it is a really easy recipe to make. However if you wish to use your own, I would suggest that you compare your 8” recipe to mine. I assume that basically your recipe will be very similar with just a different combination of dried fruits, and possibly a different type of sugar and spices. As long as the total weight of dried fruit is the same you can use any combination you wish. Therefore I suggest you use my recipe for the weights and substitute your own favourite fruits, colour sugar etc.
    When making such a large cake, be sure to wrap the outside of the tin with folded sheets of newspaper to prevent burning. Make sure the oven is not too hot and check the cake regularly, adjusting the temperature as necessary. You may also find it useful to buy a new washing up bowl to mix the cake in as I find it will not fit in any of my mixing bowls.

  204. I have to make a 12″ square tier for a rich fruit wedding cake. I have never made anything above an 8″ square before (Christmas / Christening) so am quite nervous of tackling something so important and want to get it perfect. Have found it difficult to get 12″ receipies and your one looks very nice – could I modify my own favourite 8″ receipe to suit a 12″ square tin? and how could I do this.

    At a quieter time, I will look forward to trying some of the other receipies in your portfolio as they look quite delicious.

  205. haven’t made the cake yet but this recipe looks pretty good, will let you know in two or three months.


Leave a Reply

All comments and names entered will be publicly visible to other site users, by entering a comment you agree to your comment and name being published.
Please see our privacy policy for more information.

Your email address will not be published.