Traditional English Rich Fruit Cake


This traditional English Rich Fruit Cake recipe makes a rich fruit cake that is perfect for Weddings, Christenings and other Celebrations as well as for the traditional English Christmas Cake. With the rising popularity of traditional styled and Royal Iced cakes fruit cakes are again getting fashionable!

This fruit cake recipe gives a dark moist cake, sweet and fruity. We used this recipe at Party Animal for over 20 years and it never failed to get a good response whether used for Christmas, weddings or any other special occasion.

It is best to bake the cake at least one month and preferably about 3 months before use so that it matures and the flavours develop.

This recipe makes an 8″ square / 9″ round cake approximately 3″ deep.


The fruit Mix

Fruit and Nut mix for Rich Fruit Cake

  • 295g raisins
  • 295g sultanas
  • 280g currants
  • 145g dried apricots
  • 175g glace cherries
  • 100g mixed peel (some people leave this out but as long as it is well soaked
    it adds an extra ‘bite’ to the mix)
  • 100g chopped nuts (I personally use a mix of almond nibs, almond flakes and chopped walnuts)
  • 12ml finely grated lemon rind
  • 35ml fresh lemon juice
  • 60ml brandy or we use what we know as ‘soaking mix’ – 2 parts sherry: 1 part rum: 1 part brandy – a perfect mix for flavour and the alcohol content is unimportant as that will burn off during cooking – that’s why you can use this even for teetotallers!

The Cake Batter Mix

Ingredients for the fruit cake batter

  • 325g dark brown sugar
  • 325g butter
  • 30ml a mix of treacle and golden syrup – I use a 50:50 mix but if you prefer a darker less sweet cake just use treacle
  • 5 medium eggs
  • 20ml (4tspn) mixed spice
  • 70g ground almonds
  • 370g plain flour


Soak the fruit

Chop the apricots and cherries to taste – You can chop finely for a more even dispersion but I like to have some larger pieces of cherry in the mix as I find this give a moister taste to the cake.
Adding Lemon Juice to the Fruit Mix
Add all the dried fruit, cherries and apricots to a bowl along with the lemon juice and rind, chopped nuts, and soaking mix. Mix well and cover or place into a sealed food box.

Leave for at least overnight but preferably for 3-4 days and up to about 1 week is fine. This will allow the fruit to soak up the liquid. Shake or stir occasionally to make sure all the fruit gets soaked thoroughly. This helps with plumping up the fruit for a moist cake finish.The fruit ready to soak

Bake the Cakes

Line a greased tin with a double layer of greaseproof paper or baking parchment and grease well.

Preheat oven to approx 140°C
cake batter for rich fruit cake
Cream together the sugar and butter then add the eggs. Mix in the remaining ingredients including treacle, spice, almonds and flour. Mix until smooth and then stir in the soaked fruit and any juice that is left. I find this is a good time to get clean hands involved! It is much easier to mix evenly using your hands when the fruit is added.
The finished rich fruit cake mix ready to bake
Fill the prepared tins with the rich fruit cake mixture and smooth with a damp spoon. (A good trick to make sure the mix is even is to bang the tins down a few times which should remove any air pockets.) The damp spoon should leave the top damp. This will help the top surface to cook without drying out.

Bake in a preheated oven at approx 140°C. for about 3 - 3½ hours.

Ovens vary greatly so if you find that the cake is beginning to peak or crack turn down the oven and cook for a little longer.

To test - press surface of cake lightly - it should feel firm to the touch. Take out cake and listen to it! If it sings (whistles) it is not quite ready so pop back in for a minute or two.
Leave to cool in the tin until you can pick up the tin easily without gloves. This gives the cake time to settle and set up a bit. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To Store

Brush the cake surface with some brandy or other spirit. You will need about 60ml. We usually use what we term our 'feeding mix'. This is 2 parts brandy: 1 part rum: 1 part sherry and gives a good flavour to the cakes. Unlike when you are soaking the fruit, you will need to use fruit juice or sugar syrup to feed your cakes for teetotallers as the alcohol remains in the cakes. If you pierce the cake surface with a fine skewer before feeding you will get the feeding mix deeply into the cake.

Cut some greaseproof paper for the top of the cake and then wrap in foil. Finally wrap in Cling Film and store in a cool dry place.

Rich fruit cakes can be stored for up to 6 months before using. From time to time open up and feed with more feeding mixture to add more flavour and keep moist. Do not overdo it or your cakes will be soggy and difficult to decorate.

Custard Cream Cheesecake

Custard Cream Cheesecake

No bake Custard Cream Cheesecake by She Who Bakes.

Custard Cream Cheesecake

“Everyone loves a Custard Cream! As a British classic biscuit, I wanted to combine it with a classic dessert – cheesecake!

With Custard Creams in the base, custard and cream in the filling and a spattering of Custard Creams on top, this is a perfect dessert will be a sure winner at picnics and BBQ’s this summer.” – Britt

Well that sounds great to us Britt! Cheesecake & Custard Creams! This definitely has to be a favourite for me!!

Here’s the Recipe

Custard Cream Cheesecake

For the base;

  • 300g Custard Creams
  • 150g melted butter

For the custard;

  • 284ml double cream
  • 350ml whole milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla bean paste

For the rest of the filling;

  • 600g cream cheese
  • 100g icing sugar

Time: 20 minutes plus overnight chilling

Use an 8 inch tin with removable base and use cake release for easy release once set. If you don’t have any cake release brush with butter which will help release the biscuit base once set.

Custard Cream Cheesecake

Step 1: Crush 300g Custard Creams in a bowl with a rolling pin, or using a food processor.

Custard Cream Cheesecake

Step 2: Add in your melted butter and mix thoroughly.

Custard Cream Cheesecake

Step 3: Push this Custard Cream and butter mixture into the bottom of the tin. Pop this in the fridge for at least an hour.

Step 4: Meanwhile, heat your milk, cream and vanilla until it starts to bubble.

Step 5: Make your custard by splitting your eggs and putting four yolks in a bowl.

Custard Cream Cheesecake

Step 6: Whisk the egg yolks together with the caster sugar and cornflour.

Custard Cream Cheesecake

Step 7: Add your egg yolks, caster sugar and cornflour mix to your heated milk, cream and vanilla and mix well. Put back on a low heat until it has become a thick, tasty custard.

Custard Cream Cheesecake

Step 8: Once your custard has thickened, take it off the heat, put it in a separate bowl and leave to cool slightly.

Custard Cream Cheesecake

Step 9: While your custard is cooling, beat your cream cheese until it is soft.

Custard Cream Cheesecake

Step 10: Add your icing sugar to the cream cheese and whisk well.

Custard Cream Cheesecake

Step 11: Then add in your custard.

Custard Cream Cheesecake

Step 12: Mix it all together until you have a bowl of custardy, cream cheesy, sweet goodness.

Step 13: Pour this mixture over your chilled Custard Cream base.

Custard Cream Cheesecake

Step 14: Top with broken Custard Creams and chill overnight.

Once your cheesecake has set, take it out of the fridge about 10 minutes before you wish to cut it and serve.

Custard Cream Cheesecake
Custard Cream Cheesecake

Another lovely recipe by our guest blogger Britt from She Who Bakes.

If you liked this one…check these other blogs out!

Oreo Cupcake Recipe

Chocolate Orange Fudge Cake

Bourbon Biscuit Bakes

Chocolate Giant Cupcake Recipe

Chocolate Giant Cupcake Recipe with Examples


This has been the most popular recipe for flavour, texture and simplicity. It has been said by our fans, that it is a complete ‘Fail Safe Recipe’. The only remark that we have heard is:

“the recipe is a little on the large side not by much I may add, but enough to get yourself some yummy cut-off’s!”

That’s a bonus though, right?!

OK, so a big thanks to ‘The Pink Whisk’ for taking the time to create this recipe.


  • 225g butter, softened
  • 410g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs, large
  • 90g self-raising flour
  • 280g plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 90g cocoa powder
  • 300ml milk
  • 45ml (3 tbsps) vinegar (malt or white wine vinegar is fine)

For the full method pop over to The Pink Whisks Blog (This opens in a separate window)

So now you know what you need and exactly how to execute your plan!

Next up is how to decorate it. There’s loads of fabulous ways to decorate your cake. Some of our customers have been sharing their Giant Cupcakes using our cake supplies. I hope they inspire you as much as they inspired me!


  1. First up is Lisa Warrant’s, pretty pink giant cupcake. I love how delicate it is. Lisa has used a ‘Candy Melt Shell’ base on this one and FMM Block Alphabet Cutters for a neat inscription to finish the cake off perfectly.


2. Elena at Heart and Home Cupcakes shared this cute Giant Cupcake with us! Thanks so much for using our Katy Sue lettering to create the fun bubble writing! Elena used our Sugarflair Red Extra to colour the buttercream in red. Achieving red buttercream is a tough task so this is definitely a top tip for any cake decorators out there.


3. Now doesn’t this one make your mouth water!? Why not trying a yummy chocolate finish to your Chocolate Giant Cupcake Recipe. Thanks to Lyndsey’s Cakes for sharing this one with us.


4. Who needs a better reason to bake than a great cause like Pudsey! The lovely Jackie ‘The Baking Nana’ has made this fantastic Giant Cupcake with normal sized cupcakes to accompany it. Brilliant!


5. Make it floral and fancy like Daisychain’s Cakes has here. I love this Giant Cupcake, the sugar flowers give it a very elegant finish.


6. Beautiful butterflies by our lovely customer Debbie Windsor. Try using sugarpaste instead of buttercream for the top to create a different effect altogether. You can create this effect by using Groovy Windsor Clikstix for the lettering and PME Butterfly Plungers to create your butterflies! Beautiful!


7. Last but not least is this little guy! You can’t not have a Minion Giant Cupcake Cake in the examples.. This awesome cake was made by Paula Barnaby who loved using our Sugarflair Food Colours to create it! Paula made it for her son and we are so pleased she shared it with us on the Facebook Page.

To see all our Giant Cupcake Shares from our share day please check out >This Post< on Facebook.

Thanks everyone for taking the time to read and admire these wonderful cakes!

8 Fun Halloween Treat Idea's

8 Fun Halloween Treats

So Halloween is nearly here… or as my given hashtag for this awesome occasion is #SpookFest2015, I just love Halloween, I find it so much fun to get creative with so many cool, creative idea’s and it’s one of the best times to get the kids involved (even the big kids!)

I have been looking around for fun but relatively easy idea’s that we can have a go at and here’s my favourite 8 fun Halloween treats I stumbled across.

Bring on #SpookFest2015

  1. Choc Devil Cupcakes – These easy Chocolate Devil Cupcakes would be great and so easy to do! Simply use your fave chocolate cupcake recipe and then use our Rainbow Dust Red Pro-Gel to colour your buttercream which would create a lovely vibrant red (not like the rubbish supermarket stuff), lastly model some easy horns out of sugarpaste or modelling paste by making a cone shape and then bending it slightly…pre-coloured sugarpaste is usually easier if you’re getting the kids involved!

Easy Devil Cupcakes

2. Mummy Cake Pops – These are super cute right!? Not too scary and totally easy… follow our ‘Cake Pop Guide’ for the basics… then dip the cake pops in PME White Candy Melts and we found using the White Chocolate Choco Writer great for adding on the bandages!

Mummy Cake Pops

3. Edible Worms – I know they look like it but they are NOT real worms!! They will have all your guests squirming at you Halloween Party though! There’s a US recipe I found on Instructables but here I have converted it to UK measurements as we quite often get asked 🙂 Here’s how to make them!

2 packs (85g) Raspberry jelly
1 pkg unflavored gelatin (for extra firmness)
180ml cup whipping cream
700ml boiling water
Rainbow Dust Green ProGel Food Colour
100 flexible straws (or enough to fill your container)
Tall container (1 litre carton of milk)

1) Combine jelly & gelatin in bowl and add boiling water.
2) Let it cool to lukewarm and then add the whipping cream and 15 drops green food colouring.
3) Gather your straws (don’t forget to flex them out) and put them in the container. It’s important that the straws have a tight fit so the jelly stays in the straws. For this reason, a 1 litre carton may be better; you will probably get longer worms since there is a tighter fit. If you have a bigger container, a rubber band around the straws is helpful. Or you could just add more straws to fill the container.
4) Add the gelatin mixture to the straw-filled container and let it set until firm.
5) There are multiple ways you can remove the worms from the straws. You can roll a rolling pin over the straws and squeeze them out or you can hold the straws over warm water. The worms will slip right out.


4. Dexter Cupcakes – I love this design…although I don’t think letting the kids eat these are a good idea.. maybe stick to the adults on this one! To create the glass simply melt down Foxes Glacier Mints in the over on a tray at a low temp… once all melted take them out and let it cool creating a clear sheet, then the fun part…smash it up and make your edible glass shards be careful these are sharp so keep away from the kids and use larger bits for decoration rather than eating. Looks good though! The person who made these designed them originally for the release of one of the ‘Dexter’ series!


5. Chocolate Pumpkin Bowl – I like this idea… great as edible Halloween Snack Bowls, again you can use PME Candy Melts to create these which are really tasty and much cheaper than buying chocolate and food colouring, they come in Orange too!


6. Chocolate Spider Webs – You can create a chocolate spider web finish easily… simply cover the cake in chocolate and then use the White Chocolate Choco Writer to pipe a spiral on to the top of the cake while it’s still wet…. then use a cocktail stick to score the chocolate starting from the centre of the cake to the edge, this will drag the white chocolate with it creating this cool spiderweb effect! A plastic spider would finish it off nicely… or if you fancy making one that would be even better!



7. Halloween Surprise Cake – This is a fun idea, you can make the outside of your cake nice and easy with a basic spider web design like the previous design but then make the inside something super fun! Use the ProGel Tangerine, Lime and Purple Food Colours in your cake mix when making your Halloween Cake a great surprise for your Halloween Party this year and so much fun to make!!

Simply split your cake mix 3 ways then add each colour to each part of cake mix, then swirl gently together before baking and voila!


8. Easy Witch Hat Toppers – These are a great idea for cupcake toppers and it finishes off our favourite 8 Fun Halloween Treats off nicely! If you get to make any of these for this Halloween we would love to see them, you can post to our Facebook Page or Tweet us with hashtag #SpookFest2015


Fancy trying your hand at something a bit more technical? Follow our full free guide on how to make a Halloween Cake here.

Happy Baking & Happy #SpookFest2015

Covering Cake Dummies

Covering Cake DummiesCovering Cake Dummies

We get asked regularly how to cover cake dummies and what to use to stick the sugarpaste to the dummy. Quite honestly you can use marmalade, jam or even vodka but it works just as well with a little water and it saves you the extra cost! Be careful not to add too much otherwise you’ll end up with sticky icing! So here’s how…


Step 1: You will need to stick your Cake Dummy in place. You can use a number of things for this, such as: melted chocolate, edible glue, a blob of buttercream or royal icing…. personally I find a liquid that dries nice and firm the best, that way you can stop your dummy moving around the board and ensure it stays central. In the picture above we were using chocolate at the time so opted for that.


Step 2: Get that dummy placed centrally on your board and leave to set. On this cake we were making a wrapped parcel effect so decided to use the chamfered effect on the bottom so we could tuck our sugarpaste under. You can buy dummies in straight edge or chamfered (a smooth curved edge).


Step 3: Roll your sugarpaste. We used chocolate flavoured Renshaws for ours as it was for demonstrating our Chocolate Bow Tutorial. It helps to roll it in to a square shape when you are covering square cakes and rounds when covering rounds, this makes use of all the sugarpaste and means less is wasted.


Step 4: Use a tiny bit of water to brush lightly over your dummy, this will keep your sugarpaste in place. You can also use jam, marmalade or even white spirits. We find water great as it leaves no mess for when you want to strip your cake and re-use your cake dummy!


Step 5: Place the sugarpaste over the cake and smooth the edges, we used a smoother to smooth the flat side of the cake dummy. The palm of your hand works well for edges, especially if you see any small cracks appear… the heat from your hand helps warm the sugarpaste slightly for it to mould back together!


Step 6: Neaten your edges up with a knife cutting of any excess sugarpaste. You can knead any left over sugarpaste and store in a sealed bag and Tupperware box for future use. Did you know you can freeze sugarpaste for a further 6 months?! Just be sure to wrap your sugarpaste extremely well if you decide to do this as any air reaching the sugarpaste can effect the quality of it.


We finished our Cake Dummy off with a chocolate bow! Find out How To Create A Chocolate Bow.

You might also like:


Top 10 Tools for Cake Decorating

Top 10 Tools for Cake Decorating

I have aimed this towards beginners but it may be that you know your cake decorating well and you are ready to create your business but feel you are not getting the full professional finish you desire. Well in this Top 10 tools for cake decorating we’ll let you know just why each product helps with those straight edges, sharp finishing and professional looking cakes.

Remember if you are wanting to get involved long term, the quality of the product matters greatly. This is the difference of a professional finish and ease of achieving it. Quality brands will offer lifetime guarantees, keep a great resale value and offer the best results. We recommend always going with trusted brands and you don’t have to pay a fortune to do that!

1. PME Tilting Turntable

Tilting Turntable PME

The tilting top can be adjusted to angle the cake for ease when working on the cake sides by using the easy tilt action. With such a variable range of adjustment, and a non-slip top and bottom, you can always be assured of achieving your exact requirements.

2. PME Modelling Caddy

PME Tool Caddy

It contains a good basic set of 14 tools for all your sugarcraft modelling and sugar flower making needs. Allowing you to get started with creating toppers and designs for your cake!
This set also comes in a handy caddy for easy storage. PME goods also offer a 10 year guarantee!

3. A Non Stick Rolling Pin

PME Non-Stick Rolling Pin Large

Using a non-stick rolling pin enables you to minimise the use of dusting materials e.g. icing Sugar, cornflour and flour helping to create a professional finish. Covering cakes is hard enough when you’re starting out!
Learn how to avoid cracking and tearing on our ‘Sugarpaste Kneading Technique’ Blog.

4. FMM Cake Smoother

FMM Cake Smoother

 Cake smoothers will help smooth out your sugarpaste once applied giving the professional finish to your cake and smoothing out any lumps or bumps!
FMM offer a lifetime guarantee on their products so certainly worth the investment!

5. Piping Tubes

Beginners Set of Piping Tube Nozzles

I’d recommend getting Tubes 1, 2, 3, 7 and 42 to start with. These are the most used tubes for cake decorating.
This beginners set consists of 5 PME stainless steel piping nozzles. There are 3 writing nozzles, a rope nozzle which will also make fine shells and rosettes, and a star nozzle.

6. Marzipan Spacers

These are fantastic for getting an even depth of Sugarpaste or Marzipan, depending on which way you rest the spacers you can roll to a thickness. 10mm – perfect for marzipan or thicker sugarpaste coverings, or 6mm – excellent for most sugarpaste coverings giving your cake an even covering!

7. Alphabet Cutters

FMM Alphabet Cutters

Getting good cutters for inscriptions a must. These finish off your cakes with a beautiful neat ‘Happy Birthday’ or whatever your cake may be celebrating. Our favourites are the FMM Block Alphabet Set, they are our best sellers!
Learn great tips on using the FMM Tappits over on our ‘Using FMM Tappits Blog’

8. Non-Stick Board

CelCakes Non Stick Modelling Boards

Great for cutting out shapes & lettering on and a must have for cake modelling and figures. This board by CelCakes is a must have, use either the veined side for flowers & leaves or plain side for general use. It includes a non-slip mat with it which stops it sliding about!

9. Reusable Savoy Piping Bag

FMM Reusable Piping Bags

This FMM reusable piping bag is made from nylon and has a closed end, so you can cut to the size of your nozzle. Your tube can either be dropped straight into the bag or a piping tube attachment can be used to screw in place. They can be easily washed saving you loads of money!

10. Palette Knife

Ateco Palette Knife

A must for coating your cake, mixing your buttercream, creating royal icing. A very handy tool that you just can’t do without. We would recommend the 6″ straight palette knife as a starter tool but there’s more sizes & shapes available when you want to build on your collection.
There’s loads more bits to keep you going along the way but these pieces of equipment will give you a good head start with your cake business!

Using FMM Tappits

Using FMM Tappits

Using FMM Tappits

There’s lots of different types of tappits available from FMM Sugarcraft and in this blog we are going to share their handy downloadable PDF with you as well as sharing some tips we have picked up when using FMM Tappits and some beautiful example cakes of using our favourite Block Alphabet Tappits.

We’ll start you off with using FMM Tappits by FMM Sugarcraft.

Tappits are a unique way of creating decorative designs and lettering to suit all levels of sugarcrafters from beginners to advanced. It is an easy way to decorate and complement cakes for all types of occasions. To achieve good definition it is advisable to use a good quality flower paste. Dust a non-stick board lightly with a little cornflour or cornstarch, then roll out a strip of the flower paste in the chosen colour, very thinly, as you would for flower petals. Place the strip running top to bottom on the board and lightly dust the surface with cornflour/cornstarch. Select the Tappit, placing the cutter across the strip:

(Illustration A)

Using Tappit Tutorial
Using FMM Tappit Tutorial, the font printed here is The Old English Alphabet Tappits.


Press the Tappit firmly onto the paste, move the cutter backwards and forwards to get a clean cut. Tilt the Tappit towards you and peel off the excess paste.

If you are using a design Tappit, before releasing the shape gently press down on the design using a finger dusted in cornflour/cornstarch or a piece of sponge foam: this will pick up the embossing fine detail from the cutter. To remove the design, hold one end of the cutter tapping the other end firmly on the edge of the board/table to release.

(Illustration B)



The shapes can be attached straight away to the cake and secured using edible glue. To achieve a two-dimensional effect the design/letter pieces can be dried and used as free-standing decorations. Use royal icing or softened sugar paste to secure in position. Additional colour may be painted onto the dried Tappit designs using a selection of paste or dust colours mixed with a little clear alcohol.

Our current Tappits are as follows:

We’ve linked all the Tappits to save you time finding more information. This quick link will give you further tips & advice as well as a great price for you to buy them. Those not linked are not currently available from PartyAnimalOnline.

Download FMM Sugarcraft PDF to print it up > HERE

Top tips for using Tappits… roll your flower paste thin!

Using FMM Tappits

Tips & Advice from PartyAnimalOnline & Fans

If you struggle getting your modelling paste out of FMM Tappits try these really great tips and never struggle again!

1.  ALWAYS use Flower / Modelling Paste or treated Sugarpaste with Tylo (Approx 1tsp to 250g & wait 6 hours)

2.  Roll your paste thin… you need to be able to see through it almost!

3.  Dust a light lustre of Cornflour on your cutters and paste before you cut. This stops the paste from sticking.

4.  Once you’ve rolled your paste thin, walk away and pop the kettle on if you leave it 3-5 minutes before cutting it releases so much easier!

5.  If all else fails then the TOP TIP is to put a layer of cling film over the paste before cutting, cut your letters and then remove the clingfilm, it acts as a barrier making it impossible for the paste to stick to the cutters!


Examples of FMM Block Tappits by PartyAnimalOnline Customers

Click on the pictures to see more of this wonderful artists work. In each picture the lettering used are the FMM Block Alphabet Tappits.

Cakes by She Who Bakes
Cakes by She Who Bakes


Cupcake by Victorious Cupcakes.
Cupcake by Victorious Cupcakes.


Mayo Cake by The CUP Cakery
Cake by The CUP Cakery using FMM Block Alphabet Tappits.


Cake by Cakes and Toppers by Charlotte using FMM Block Alphabet Tappits.
Cake by Cakes and Toppers by Charlotte using FMM Block Alphabet Tappits.


Cake by Judy Ryder shared on our Facebook Page using FMM Block Alphabet Tappits
Cake by Judy Ryder shared on our Facebook Page using FMM Block Alphabet Tappits


Thanks for those who shared your wonderful cakes with us! We hope this blog helps you make the most of your Tappits!