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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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18th birthday cake or dessert-quick,easy cheat

By: Deb

I’d asked my Son what kind of cake he wanted for his 18th birthday dinner with close friends and family at a  local restaurant.

He ask me to make him a mousse cake which is a family favourite. Unfortunately come his birthday I was a little unwell and taking medication which really didn’t bode well for creating a cake suitable for a public get-together ;)

So what to do?

We headed out to the local Sara Lee Factory outlet as I’d used their catering sized cakes before, they are of good quality and some do have a very nice flavour.

While there I had an idea.

My son loves Bavarian dessert.

We used Sara Lee Entertainer Bavarians

We used Sara Lee Entertainer Bavarians

It’s a kind of biscuit base with chocolate, vanilla or other flavoured pudding kind of mousse filling. Quite often more than one flavour and sometimes has piped fresh cream on the top.

So I grabbed 3 of them (2 to make the main cake ’8′ one as extra serves) and a couple of  classic chocolate Pound cakes to make the ’1′:

We used simple Poundcake

We used simple Poundcake

I’m showing the pictures so that you can see what kind of cakes they are, knowing full well how we all have different names for similar cakes worldwide :-)

The beauty of this idea was it only needed to be assembled just before we left so it made for easier storage in the fridge and witht he sweltering and humid weather we’ve had here in Australia this Summer that was quite important!

So when I was ready to assemble the cake I covered a platter with foil. I then sliced about an inch/inch and a half off the bottom of two Bavarian dessert cakes. This allowed them to sit snugly like a figure 8. It’s quite easy to see just by looking how much needs to be removed but the amount will change depending on the size of the cakes.

I then placed them together and covered the join with some melted milk chocolate

I then squared up one end of each of the poundcakes so they sat at a similar height to the number 8.

I coated them in a chocolate ganache style icing made from around 300 grams of dark chocolate (I used a lindt with bitter orange and almond pieces left over from Christmas) and a few buttons of dark cooking chocolate. I broke it into pieces and covered it with pre-boiling cream and let it sit for 5 mins to melt. I then beat it together until smooth and sifted a couple of tablespoons of icing sugar in to help thicken it. I then coated the ’1′ shaped cakes and placed them next to the Bavarian desserts.

I initially was intending to cut the centre of the “8″  circles out but realised quickly with a biscuit/cookie base the cake would lose some integrity so I  made a small amount of melted white chocolate and did my best to form the inside of the 8. I then sprinkled it with coconut to help disguise the lack of precision  ;)

I stuck some ‘Happy birthday” candles in the one so there was no need to pipe or write on the cake at all !

All in all we had an 18th birthday cake that may not of looked professional at all but one that cost less than $25au and served more than 30 people. Also it was guaranteed my son would like the cake as it was made from one of his favourite desserts and I didn’t have to stress over each part of the cake baking and the full decorating.

Served with fresh (and squirty) cream it went down very well.

Very quick 18th birthday cake or dessert

Very quick 18th birthday cake or dessert

I think with a little thought any circular cake or dessert could be used e.g. Black forest gateaux or Cheesecake and also most numbers could be created. Have a look and see what your local supermarket, grocer or bakery keep in stock I’m sure they will have a few appropriate cakes which can be used last minute to make a number cake.

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Easy Easter log cake (in 30 minutes)

By: Deb

This is a super fast cake. I decorated it in 30 minutes. Most people decorate log cakes for Yule cakes during the Christmas season and while it’s wonderful to celebrate Winter with this cake I thought it would also be great to celebrate new life,spring time and Easter with it. Why not make one every equinox?

Log with branch

Take store bought log cake (could use a jellyroll or chocolate like I have here) roll over and slice off about 1/6th of the bottom.

Cut bottom of cake

Cut bottom of cake

Cut this piece in half vertically and place on top of each other to form another branch.

Place slice to make branch

Place slice to make branch

Cut a slight diagonal off one end of the branch so it fits snug against the branch and juts out like a branch

Cut a slight diagonal off one end of the log

Chocolate buttercream icing recipe

60 grams of butter at room temperature
1 tbls of milk
1 ¼ cups of chocolate icing sugar (powdered sugar)-sifted

Here in Australia this comes already mixed. If you need to make it up yourself try using 1 cup icing sugar (powdered sugar) and ¼ cup of cocoa –sifted together

Either place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until combined and fluffy, or beat with a wooden spoon to combine then finish with electric whisk.

A more luxury version of buttercream frosting can be found here but use perhaps only half the recipe

Cover with chocolate buttercream icing.

Add chocolate buttercream

Add chocolate buttercream

Use a nice thick coating

Use a fork to mark out bark like lines on the cake.

Use fork to make bark marks

Use fork to make bark marks

Birds nest

Melt chocolate in a bowl and break into it “Shredded wheat” type cereal and mix together well.

Shredded wheat cereal

Shredded wheat cereal

You can use cocoa pops , rice crispies/bubbles etc or other cereal.  I just use shredded wheat because it looks more like twigs.

Grease the inside of a ramekin, bowl or mug and form a nest shape in the base. Make sure the base is nice and thick.

Form nest in dish or ramekin

Form nest in dish or ramekin

Then put it in the freezer for 10 minutes to speedily set.

Remove nest from container (you may need to stand the container in warm water for 20-30 seconds to help loosen it and perhaps run a knife along the top)

Place the nest in between both branches. I raised mine a little by using the thin wedge I had sliced of in the beginning underneath.

Place nest in between branches

Place nest in between branches

Add candy and/or chocolate eggs to the nest.

Place eggs in nest

Place eggs in nest




I added a “Happy Easter” message from pre-prepared icing letters and a new growth “twig” made from Curly Wurly and a couple of new leaves made from jellies. For those in the US you could pick up a curly wurly up from a British goods shop or use a flake.

The finished Easter cake-log with nest

The finished Easter cake-log with nest

Of course this cake was put together with speed in mind and it’s totally up to you how much time you would like to put into the decorations.

As suggestions you could add alcohol or flavouring to the cake and/or the icing. Sprinkle some coconut coloured with green food colouring around the base of the cake. Add flowers.

There we have the easy, very fast Easter cake (or spring cake )in around half an hour.

The birds nests we made make fantastic Easter gifts. Make in muffin or fairycake (cupcake) cases. Add a chick and break open one of the eggs.  Great fun for kid’s and incredibly easy.

The nest makes a great cake on it's own

The nest makes a great cake on it's own


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