Archive | January, 2012

Christmas fruitcake

29 Jan

My Dad makes this cake every year for Christmas.  My Dad, a builder by trade does a wonderful job of this cake and we all wait patiently until Christmas eve when we are allowed to cut into it.


1 Kg mixed dried fruit

½ cup booze (rum, brandy, sherry or what ever you fancy)

Soak fruit over night or up to 48 hours till fruit has soaked up all liquid

200g butter

2 cups flour

1 tsp soda

¼ cup golden syrup

½ cup milk

3 eggs

Oven: Preheat oven to 140.C


Put dried fruit into a large bowl.

Pour over brandy leave in a warm place for 24-48 hours till the fruit has soaked up all the liquid.

Cut or rub cold butter into flour, sugar soda using pastry cutter or food processor.

Measure golden syrup stir with the beaten eggs

Mix liquid and fruit and dry ingredients together.

Line 23cm tin

Bake at 140.c or 120.c for 2-3 hours

Cover top with brown paper when the top gets brown to stop it from getting too brown.


This is a great traditional Christmas cake with lots of flavour.  Dad usually covers the cake with white icing.  I am not a big fan of the thick icing so I just decorated mine with some dried fruit and toasted almonds.  I melted some apricot jam and brushed it over the fruit and nuts to give it a nice glaze and shine.

If you make your Christmas cake a good few weeks before Christmas you can really add to the flavour by giving the cake a bit of a drink every week or so.  By this I mean, to spoon over some booze onto the top of the cake and allow the cake to soak it up.  Dad does not do this, but I do!

Adapted from: My Dad, Denis.



28 Jan

I have not met a person that does not love these little cakes. They are so fun to make!


125g butter, softened

1 tsp vanilla

½ cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup flour

2 tsp baking powder

¼ cup milk

Oven: preheat to 190.C


Get out your electric hand beaters and cream butter, vanilla and sugar until pale in colour, light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.   Sift baking powder and flour together.  Fold into creamed mixture.  Stir in milk.

Place 12 patty cases into a muffin tin and evenly fill with the mixture.

Bake for 15 minutes or until cakes spring back when lightly touched.

Basic icing:

  • Knob of butter
  • 2 cups icing sugar (approx)
  • hot water
  • flavouring/ colouring

Mix together until it forms a smooth icing.  If you want a thick layer of icing you will need to add more icing sugar.  Do not be afraid to add more water if it is too thick or more icing sugar if too watery.

For Chocolate icing add a Tablespoon of cocoa and a few drops of vanilla essense.

For Citrus icing use the citrus juice instead of the water and grate in some rind to give more flvour and add flecks of colour.

For Raspberry icing add a drop of red food coloring and a drop of raspberry essence


These are so fun and easy to make.  I often whip up a batch to take to a friends place as adults love them just as much as the kids.  They are also a great little fundraising idea for cake stalls as they sell very well.

As this is a vanilla cupcake, I take the opportunity to use a variety of flavoured icings.  I mostly use lemon, raspberry and chocolate.  Then I decorate them with a variety of sprinkles.  I am starting to get a rather large collection of sprinkles.  Yesterday I bought a packet of red, white and pink mini hearts, which will be great for my valentines day cupcakes.

Adapted from: Edmonds Cookery Book

Train Birthday Cake

28 Jan


I had great fun making this cake for my son’s first birthday.  I cake I used was my Dads Banana cake recipe and also the Chocolate Guiness cake.  The design came from the 1970’s Womans Weekly Birthday book.  This train cake is on the front cover.  If you are a kiwi kid of the 80’s you will know what I am talking about.