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It’s that time already. The Food Lover’s Market South African favourite festive cake mix affectionately known as the “Red Bucket” is at our stores nationwide.

Now before any Christmas grinches comment, “I can’t believe the stores have cake mix out already, it’s waaay to early”, remember that the best fruitcake is made 6-12 weeks before serving!

That’s our first tip, here are 5 more to make the best fruitcake this festive season.

  1. Soak your fruit mix in fruit juice or the alcohol of your choice for 12 hours before you make the cake, to keep it extra moist. Brandy or whiskey are the most popular choices.
  2. Wrap your baking tin in parchment paper, and then place a layer of paper on top of the mixture before baking. This helps the cake to bake evenly, and prevent it from overcooking.
  3. It is best to cook your fruitcake in the afternoon, and then allow it for cool in the oven overnight. This will give the cake time to finish baking slowly and acclimatize to room temperature.
  4. While “maturing” you have to “feed” the cake every few weeks to keep it moist. Brush the top of the cake every 2 weeks with juice or alcohol.
  5. When storing your fruitcake, place an apple in the tin along with your cake. The cake can draw water from the apple, keep it moist. Make sure the tin is air-tight.

Do you have an age-old family recipe or a new celebrity-trusted recipe like Mary Berry’s classic? What is your secret ingredient?

Try out our Amaretto infused fruitcake recipe, for a fragrant twist. Remember the baking starts now!