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Easy,quick and simple fruitcake

By: Deb

This could be the easiest fruitcake it’s possible to make. It’s that simple you almost feel your cheating. At its most basic it has only 3 ingredients but is versatile (and heavy) enough to take a few more things you may wish to throw at or in it.

I confess I stuck to the original recipe ingredients to see if I could speed up the time it takes to prepare. Not that its a difficult or a time consuming cake to make it’s just that the first step is soaking the fruit overnight in the fridge and this is hurry up cakes.com after all :o)

There are numerous versions of this cake around and all seem to be popular so I used the one I thought most versatile.

At its simplest this cake could be prepared if you got unexpected visitors with the bare minimal time spent away from them. It needs virtually no preparation or nannying .

So on with the ingredient list:

600ml of chocolate flavoured milk (or coffee  or banana or caramel etc.)

2 (Australian) cups of self-raising flour

the 3 fruit cake ingredients

only 3 simple fruit cake ingredients

1kg of mixed dried fruit


Seeing as that didn’t take up much room I’ll convert:

20 fl. oz.of chocolate flavoured milk (or coffee  or banana or caramel etc.)

2  cups of self-rising flour + a rounded tablespoon to round up to an Aussie cup size

2.3 lb of mixed dried fruit


On to the method.

The original recipe tells you to mix the milk and fruit together and leave in the refrigerator overnight. The next day you sift the flour into the soaking fruit and mix well. Then you put the mixture into the tin and bake. The emphasis is on the soaking over night. The most important step.

Heh. I wanted to see if it could be made quicker than that and it can.

In a lot of the traditional fruit cake recipes I use soaking the fruit, in say tea or juice, is quite common. Again using the soak over-night method but what I’ve found is adding the fruit to the liquid and gently warming it until its just hot, then letting it sit and cool for a short while does the job just about the same.

So I thought I’d try this with the flavoured milk.

Now if you are following my instructions to replicate exactly what I did you will need to add the milk and fruit to a pan and warm gently.

Then you forget to turn down the heat and walk away for a minute while you wait for it to heat up.  You check twitter and get distracted until you hear the sound of boiling milk setting itself firmly to your stove-top ;o)

Spilt chocolate milk

Spilt chocolate milk

Did you know that bringing flavoured milk to a rapid boil encourages it to split into watery liquid and gloopy clusters of lumps? Well you do now.

So this was turning into a boiled-fruitcake kind of recipe and that isn’t what we wanted, so I guesstimated how much liquid I’d lost and added an equal quantity of normal moo juice.

An after thought was to only warm the fruit in half the milk and keep the second half chilled. Then after warming you could add the chilled milk to make the whole thing cool down quicker.

If anyone tries this please let me know how it goes.

I decided to not wait until the liquid was cold, or in fact cool and added the flour when it had lost most of its “hotness”. I think this made for more difficult mixing but I really need to build my upper body strength back up and stop sounding like a wuss :p

This does make a large volume of mixture so it does take some mixing. I greased and lined (in my own imprecise manner) a spring-form tin 22cm in diam. and 6cm deep that’s roughly 9in by 2½  in in old money.

I had previously preheated the oven to 180°C aka 350°F and popped it in there. I initially decided to bake for 45mins (didn’t go with the original recipe here as most seemed to bake in a loaf tin so the timing would be off, incidentally the reason I didn’t go loaf shaped is I felt that it has too much fruit to make slicing it awkward) and our lousy oven dictates turning round the food halfway through baking so 25 minutes in I went to turn it round and found it had over-colored, in fact almost burnt on top already so I covered with foil and turned the oven down slightly. After 45 mins it probably could of come out but I left it for an hour total because I’d reduced the heat earlier. The skewer came out clean and I took it out of the oven and let it cool in the tin.

Here she is:

quick and easy fruit cake

The finished quick and easy fruit cake

Its a very dense, fruit-rich cake. It is delicious in itself but I like spice with my fruit so I would probably

add some mixed spice next time I make it. I would also recommend using mixed fruit which has the candied peel included as this certainly added something to the cake in my opinion.

If you wanted to make this cake more special, or to have at Christmas if your usual cake runs out I’d add a bit of booze (whiskey,rum, brandy etc) Just a couple of spoonfulls and some chopped nuts, say substitute a few teaspoons of fruit with the chopped nuts. You could also mess around with the types of fruit in there.

You could make up your own flavoured milk from a powder or cocoa as long as its sweet or sweetened.

I don’t think the cake could handle full on Christmas style icing but could certainly handle something simple. I’m not sure how long the cake will keep as I only made it a couple of days ago. Because it lacks a lot of the traditional ingredients that help it’s storage life I would recommend eating it as soon as possible. It is a large cake and I will be making a half-mixture next time.

One suggestion is to cook the cake in a square tin and cut in to 4 after it has cooled, drizzle with a glaze or light icing and give away to hosts of your holiday gatherings. They will think you’ve spent hours (and a fortune) making it.

So there she is, what I consider the easiest, quickest and simplest(and possibly the most versatile) fruitcake to make

So easy it's almost a cheats fruitcake

So easy it's almost a cheats fruitcake

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Easy Strawberry Cake

By: Pfoinkle

Strawberry cake with white frosting.

Strawberry cake with white frosting.

With rustic good looks, the strawberry cake batter, a fresh strawberry layer, and creamy sweet icing this homespun sweetheart is a sure winner for cake fans and strawberry lovers.

Note: Because the frosting for this cake uses fresh whipped cream, the cake must be refrigerated.

Easy Strawberry Cake Ingredients

  • 1 Betty Crocker White Cake Mix (SuperMoist)
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1-1/4 cup milk
  • 1 box White Chocolate Pudding Mix (1 oz size)
  • 1/3 cup strawberry puree
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • Food coloring (optional)

Artificial color vs. natural strawberry coloring.

Artificial color vs. natural strawberry coloring.


Before you start baking your cake, you have to decide if you want to add artificial coloring. As red as strawberries are, they will not turn your cake red (or even pink). The pictures above show one layer of strawberry cake with food coloring (Wilton’s Gel Coloring, Rose) and one without any added food coloring. There’s absolutely no difference in taste between the two layers, just appearance. Coloring may be added at any time while making the batter.

And no, I don’t usually bake the layers in two different colors… that was all for you. :D

Easy Strawberry Cake Recipe Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl.
  2. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds.
  3. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl to ensure all dry mix is incorporated.
  4. Mix at medium speed for an additional two minutes.
  5. Use baking time and temperature listed on box (varies dependent on size and type of pans you use)

While the cake is baking, prepare the strawberries for the middle layer.

Fresh Strawberry Layer Preparation

  • 4 – 5 fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Soak strawberries in sweetened water.

Soak strawberries in sweetened water.

Slice strawberries as thinly as possible. The sliced strawberries are placed between the two layers of cake and the thinner the slices, the better the overall texture in each bite of cake.

In a medium bowl, combine sugar and water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Place thinly sliced strawberries in the sweetened water. Cover and refrigerate until needed (or a minimum of 30 minutes).

Creamy Confectioner’s Frosting Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 oz unsalted butter (2 “sticks”) at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk

Creamy Confectioner’s Frosting Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine whipping cream and granulated sugar.
  2. Using a wire whisk (either mixing by hand or with an electric mixer), whisk the cream and sugar until it forms thick soft peaks.
  3. Refrigerate whipped cream while you prepare the next portion of the frosting.
  4. In large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the vanilla (for electric mixers, use the paddle or “beater” attachment)
  5. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar, cream thoroughly. Repeat until all of the powdered sugar has been added.
  6. Add the milk, beat at medium speed for 4 minutes.
  7. By hand (no electric mixing), gently fold the whipped cream into the powdered sugar mixture. Do not overmix — this is not a smooth textured frosting.

Add layer of sweetened strawberries to cake.

Add layer of sweetened strawberries to cake.

Once the cake has cooled and the frosting is ready, drain and discard the liquid from the thinly sliced strawberries. Use a paper towel to gently pat the strawberries dry.

Frost the bottom layer of the cake and place the sliced strawberries on top of the frosting. Place the second layer of cake and frost entire cake. Don’t bother with trying to smooth this frosting — just add some homey swirls and blips with the frosting knife.


Strawberry cake with white frosting.

Strawberry cake with white frosting.

Refrigerate for a minimum of one hour and serve. Keep leftovers (if there are any!) refrigerated.

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Strawberry Purée

By: Pfoinkle

Strawberry puree.

Strawberry puree.

If you’re thinking strawberry purée is just about throwing a bunch of strawberries in a blender and letting it run until there are no strawberry solids left… well, you’re pretty much right. But don’t let the simplicity fool you — a strawberry purée makes a great topping for pancakes or ice cream, the base for a summer sweet cake filling, or add it to cake batter and you have a fabulous strawberry cake.

Strawberry Purée can be made with fresh or frozen strawberries and once made, it last for 3-4 weeks in the freezer.

Strawberry Purée Supplies

  • 16 ounces of strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Sugar (optional)
  • Cheesecloth (optional)

Wash strawberries.

Wash strawberries.

If you’re using fresh strawberries, wash them thoroughly. If using frozen strawberries, thaw thoroughly (keep the liquid that gathers in the bowl).


Removing leaves and stems from strawberries.

Removing leaves and stems from strawberries.

If using fresh strawberries, a quick pinch removes the leaves, but not the stem. Use a small sharp knife to remove the stem (this called “hulling” the strawberry).


Strawberries in blender.

Strawberries in blender.

Strawberry purée can be made in a food processor or a blender. If using fresh strawberries, add one tablespoon of water. If using frozen strawberries, use the liquid collected when thawing.

If you’re using purée as a sauce or topping, add 2-4 tablespoons of sugar. If you’re using purée as an ingredient in a mixture that is already sweet (such as cake batter), no added sugar is needed.

If making purée in a blender, you’ll inevitably run into a point like the one pictured — where part of the strawberries are puréed, but the blender blade is just spinning in the liquid. If this happens, turn off the blender, lift the carafe and give it a good shake. Replace the carafe on the blender base and re-start. Repeat as needed.

At this stage, you have a perfectly usable strawberry purée. But I like to make the purée a bit smoother by removing some of the seeds.

Pouring processed strawberries into strainer.

Pouring processed strawberries into strainer.

If you don’t happen to own a chinoise (a very expensive strainer), you can still remove a lot of the seeds from your purée by lining a standard metal strainer with several layers of cheesecloth and pouring the purée onto the cheesecloth.


Straining strawberry mash.

Straining strawberry mash.

Gather the corners of the cheesecloth in one hand and use the other hand to gently squeeze the purée through the cheesecloth. This will leave the majority of the seeds in the cheesecloth and the metal strainer will catch more.


Strawberry puree.

Strawberry puree.

This recipe yields approximately one cup of Strawberry Purée.

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