The size of a wedding fruit cake is determined by the amount of butter that is used in the recipe.
A 250g (1/2 lb) mixture will make a round wedding cake that is 23 cm (9 inches) or a 20 cm (8 inch) square wedding cake.
Before making a wedding fruit cake prepare your cake tins and check that the oven shelf is in the correct position.
As a general guide the top of the cooked cake should be in the center of the oven.
If you are baking more than one fruit cake at a time, check with the cake tins to be used by arranging them in the oven to get the correct placement.
It is very important that the heat is allowed to circulate evenly around the cake tins. The cake tins should not be touching each other or the sides and back of the oven or the door when it is closed.
Most ovens are not large enough to cook more than one cake at a time. But if you are lucky to have a large enough oven to take more that one cake, and there is room for the heat to circulate as described above, you should still get good results.
Just remember to reposition the cakes about half-way during the cooking time, that is you move the cakes from the top shelf to the bottom shelf and vice versa.
If you are cooking more than one cake on the same shelf change their positions about half-way through the cooking time to get the best result. Open the oven door for a short time only.
When you are cooking more than one cake at a time, the cooking time will be a little longer. It is much better to cook longer on a lower temperature, than cooking a cake too quickly at a higher temperature.
You should make sure that your oven shelves are level, especially if you are decorating the cake, an uneven cake will need a lot of trimming to get it level. You can check the level of your oven shelfs with a spirit level, or use a shallow tray filled with water.
You can prepare your fruit cake mixture ahead of time. Place it in the prepared tins then cover the surface of the cake mixture with plastic food wrap or greaseproof paper and store in the refrigerator of up to one week before baking.
The cake can then be baked straight from the refrigerator or you can allow it to return to room temperature before baking.
A cold cake will take roughly 30 minutes longer to cook than one that has been allowed to come to room temperature.
Allow about 6 hours for the cake to come to room temperature, you can leave it out over night.
Cooking times are only a guide as oven temperatures vary quite a lot, if you are not sure about your oven temperature by using an oven thermometer, leave this in the oven during the cooking time.
It is not necessary to start the cooking process at a higher temperature and then reduce the heat. You are better of cooking at a slow temperature from start to finish.
In the case of the larger fruit cakes if they have not been cooked after 5 hours, turn down the temperature by 10C (25F). This will help prevent the cake from getting a thick crust. If the cake does fell like it is forming a crust after 5 hours, loosely cover the top of the cake with aluminum foil or brown paper.
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