Baked Bean Tin Christmas Cake – pt 1

Before I get chastised for writing a C*&^%$£~s post in October the organised amongst you will be beginning to prep for festive baking time. While Stir-up Sunday, when you traditionally make Christmas Pudding, isn’t until 20thNovember, now is the time to start on the cake to give it sufficient feeding time. A Christmas Cake that hasn’t been stuffed to the gills with alcohol is deemed as substandard in this house. This is the recipe I’ve used for years, and after many request to stop keeping the recipe close to my chest here it is. It’s from a 2005 edition of Prima magazine and produces a lovely moist fruit cake.

The first and possibly most important part of a Christmas Cake is the soaking of the fruit at the beginning. Personally I think it works best with alcohol like sherry, brandy or whisky. Given I’m banned from Hubs’ whisky collection after last year’s expensive whisky Christmas Pudding incident I decided to use sloe gin as we seem to have quite a few forgotten vintages hiding under the stairs.

As we struggle to eat a normal sized Christmas Cake betweeen the 2 of us, Pen reminded me that cakes can be cooked in small baked bean tins. As an avid fan of baked beans (look they are a good source of fibre and one of your 5-a-day) I knew it would be easy to amass the tins. To add a bit of variety I also picked up some tins whose contents I hadn’t eaten since I was about, ooh, 9 years old. Alphabetti Spaghetti, Spaghetti Hoops, BBQ beans and *whispers* beans with mini sausages. The things I do for my art. Many tins will do. I’ve been told pineapple rings tins also work well. Just don’t use tins that have contained fish. You may regret it.

Remember this is essentially lots of dried fruit and nuts bound together with a small amount of flour and egg and consequently takes a great deal longer to cook than conventional cakes. Times can also vary significantly from oven to oven. The only true way to know they are baked is to insert a skewer in to the middle of the cake. Only when it comes out clean is the cake cooked. This is why fruit cakes are often double wrapped to allow them to cook properly. It is important to do this if you want a decent cake. If you want to see how to properly line cake tins look here where I have written an information sheet. Just don’t underestimate how long it can take to line 12 mini tins. Put it this way, it took me an hour just to line and fill 6 tins.

There is an ulterior motive for me making the cakes now. I’m intending on decorating each of the cakes using a different method because I’m teaching an evening class in cake decorating in December. It also means they can be given away as gifts. During the following months I will post more blogs showing the different decorating techniques.

Part 2 – How to marzipan
Part 3 – How to decorate 

Christmas Cake
12 mini (small baked bean tin) cakes (also makes 8 inch (20 cm) round cake or a 7 in (18 cm) square one just bake for 3.5-4 hours instead)
From Prima Christmas 2005 supplement

200g glace cherries
500g mixed dried fruit (Aldi do a very nice one)
500g sultanas
zest of one orange
200ml sherry or other suitable alcohol like whisky, brandy or sloe gin (if you don’t want to use alcohol, use orange juice instead)
225g butter, softened
225g dark brown sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
225g plain flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp mixed spice
50g whole almonds

1) Put cherries and other dried fruits plus zest in bowl and soak in sherry overnight.

2) Line a tall cake tin: Lightly grease base and sides. Line sides with a double thickness of baking parchment that stands 5cm above tin. Make 1 cm cuts at base to help it lie flat. Line base with double layer of parchment. Look here for more detailed instructions.

3) Preheat oven to 150°c. Whisk butter and sugar for 5 min till light and fluffy. Whisk in eggs slowly. When almost added, whisk in some flour to stop it curdling. Fold in flour, spices, fruit and almonds. Spoon into lined tin and make a small dip in the middle of the mixture. Wrap tin in a double thickness of brown paper (or parchment) and tie with piece of string. Cook for 60-90 minutes. If you want the top of the cake to brown a bit more untie the string, so the top of paper is open, for the last quarter an hour.

4) Once cooked, poke lots of holes in the top of the cake with a skewer and drizzle a teaspoon of sherry over cake. Don’t overfeed it or the cake will go too soggy. Leave to cool in tin. Then remove from tin, remove paper and wrap well in a clean lot of a double layer of greaseproof paper and foil. If you want to you can feed it every week or so with sherry before decorating to keep the cake moist

Post Author: Jules

Freelance food geek who's passionate about food education.

144 thoughts on “Baked Bean Tin Christmas Cake – pt 1


    (October 28, 2011 - 9:17 am)

    What a great idea! Hardly anyone eats Christmas cake in my family…except my Dad who is constantly on a diet and really shouldn’t (!), so this looks perfect. Love the idea of different decorations for each one too.

    ps just noticed that I’m on your blogroll – thank you! :-)

    Nip it in the bud

    (October 28, 2011 - 10:23 am)

    what a fabulous idea. I made a Christmas pudding a couple of years ago but never cake. When mum made cake each Christmas growing up it was my younger brother who munched his way through 80% of it. It would be lovely to make little cake presents this year so thanks for sharing such a fab recipe (and I’ll look forward to seeing how you decorate them too :o)


    (October 28, 2011 - 11:09 am)

    I actually prefer the idea of cooking these mini cakes than I do of making just one large cake. I wish I could come to one of your classes to get some ideas as I am doing my PETLLS course at the moment and need to get some inspiration for my micro teach. Do you do adult classes and how far are you from Surrey???! x


    (October 28, 2011 - 6:26 pm)

    I love these cute little cakes!


    (October 29, 2011 - 3:02 pm)

    I love the idea of having mini christmas cakes rather than one big one. My Nan used to make a cake for each of the couples at Christmas and it was just far too much! Thank you for the recipe, I can see it will come in very handy


    (October 30, 2011 - 9:25 am)

    I’ve been searching for a recipe for mini Christmas cakes as I was hoping to bake and decorate some as Christmas presents! Thank you for the inspiration!

    Helen T

    (October 30, 2011 - 10:54 pm)

    This is such a great idea, had never thought of making baby cakes for Christmas. But I’m thinking of doing it now! Looking forward to seeing your decorating ideas.

    Sarah, Maison Cupcake

    (November 1, 2011 - 9:03 pm)

    They look so cute in their bean tins! Definitely not too early to start preparing for Christmas, I’m embracing it early this year!

    (November 2, 2011 - 1:58 pm)

    These look SO cute. I wasn’t going to make Christmas Cakes as I am not find of them but these are pretty tempting. They would make lovely presents too.


      (November 2, 2011 - 2:20 pm)

      Am I going to convert you to Christmas Cakes too?

    The Curious Cat

    (November 9, 2011 - 7:46 pm)

    This is such a cute idea! I love it!!!

    (November 11, 2011 - 4:16 pm)

    What an ingenious idea. Love it!

    It’s Stir Up Sunday « Nip it in the bud

    (November 20, 2011 - 2:13 pm)

    […] been inspired by Jules’ post about making mini Christmas cakes in small baked bean tins.  Of course there’s planning and then there’s doing when you have a big belly to […]

    Nip it in the bud

    (November 20, 2011 - 2:15 pm)

    Hi Jules, I’ve just posted details of your mini Christmas cakes on my Stir up Sunday post. I’ve put appropriate links so hope it was ok to you use your mouthwatering cake picture (since I won’t be making mine for a few more weeks). Thanks for the inspiration.


      (November 20, 2011 - 2:28 pm)

      Yes that’s fine. I hope your cakes that you make go well.

    M North

    (November 21, 2011 - 10:35 am)

    We have been using this method at the school I work for 8 years or so to enable 60 + Year 6 children to make an individual Christmas cake to take home as a gift at the end of term. It always works out well and, once decorated, the children love the result. I agree wholeheartedly with the time taken to prepare the amount of tins as they are rather fiddly – but the result is well worth the effort!


      (November 21, 2011 - 10:48 am)

      I think bigger cake tins are easier to line than smaller, but still they are fabulous cakes for children to make. So far I’ve marzipaned 4 of the cakes ready to use in a demo next week.


    (November 21, 2011 - 2:15 pm)

    Fab!! I’ve got neighbours who want me to bake for them, and wondered how to adjust quantities for small cakes – this is brilliant! I would never have thought of baked bean tins – I’d probably have spent unnecessary money on little tins. However, George & I can eat our way through a big Chrissy cake all on our own – Blush!


      (November 26, 2011 - 9:22 am)

      My cake of choice in the Christmas season in Stollen. I could also quite happily eat my way through a Christmas pudding in one sitting!

    […] found this great recipe from Butcher, Baker, for mini Chrismas cakes baked in baked bean tins – which also includes […]

    […] baked bean tin cakes should be nicely fed now so it’s time to get covering them in marzipan. You need to leave at […]


    (December 6, 2011 - 10:38 am)

    These look great! When you say you used small baked bean tins, what approximate size are they? I live in New Zealand and don’t have a clue if they are similar sizes to our tins. I’m not an experienced baker (yet – I’m working on it) and like to follow exact recipes/instructions. Thanks Anna


      (December 6, 2011 - 11:38 am)

      Hi Anna, the tins measure approximately 75mm in diameter 55mm in height.


    (December 6, 2011 - 10:13 pm)

    Hello! I made these last month and have just blogged them – no tasting has been done yet but they’re looking good! Thank you for the inspiration and the genius bean tin lining info sheet – I’ve linked to it from my post so other people can use it too, hope that’s ok!


      (December 6, 2011 - 10:16 pm)

      Hi, glad you liked them. Hopefully by the end of the week I will have posted pictures of the finished cakes.

    […] equipment needed apart from maybe the odd length of ribbon and a piping bag. The cakes were made using one of my favourite recipes, steeped in Sloe Gin, then covered in marzipan over a week […]

    […] baked bean tin cakes should be nicely fed now so it’s time to get covering them in marzipan. You need to leave at […]

    Mini Simnel Cake » Butcher, Baker

    (April 2, 2012 - 8:40 am)

    […] really traditional apart from the inclusion of dried fruit and marzipan. This year after making baked bean tin Christmas Cake I decided to use the same method to make two mini Simnel […]


    (August 21, 2012 - 1:28 am)

    I was wondering what temp C. you baked the small cakes on, they look scrumptious


      (August 21, 2012 - 5:18 am)

      Hi Angela, cook them at 150oc for 60-90 minutes.


        (September 20, 2015 - 2:02 pm)

        Would that be a fan oven?


          (September 20, 2015 - 2:09 pm)

          Yes it’s for a fan oven

    […] equipment needed apart from maybe the odd length of ribbon and a piping bag. The cakes were made using one of my favourite recipes, steeped in Sloe Gin, then covered in marzipan over a week […]


    (September 23, 2012 - 1:41 am)

    Hi Jules, these look wonderful. I’m planning on baking my first Christmas cake tomorrow and after having found your blog, I’m going like to make mini ones. Just wondering though, how many weeks should I keep feeding the cakes before covering with marzipan and icing? Thank you!


      (September 23, 2012 - 6:48 am)

      Hi Nicola,
      Because these are small cakes they do not need feeding as much as big cakes (because they’ll go soggy). Once baked feed every couple of weeks. Make sure they are wrapped in greaseproof paper & foil and stored in a tin. You can feed/mature it until beginning of December. Marzipan, leave for a few days then ice. Once iced keep in a breathable container. Let me know how you get on.


    (October 4, 2012 - 11:49 am)

    Hi Jules,
    What a fabulous idea!! I have a couple if questions though:
    1) Do I need to dry off the fruit that has been soaking overnight before I add it to the cake mixture?
    2) Can I reuse the brandy I used for soaking the first batch if fruit in for a second batch?
    Many thanks,


      (October 4, 2012 - 3:20 pm)

      Hi Hattie,

      You’ll find that the fruit soaks up all of the alcohol, but if it doesn’t pour all of the fruit and remaining alcohol into the cake mix.

      I hope this helps


    (October 4, 2012 - 3:33 pm)

    Thank you!! Is a Tupperware box ok for storing the cakes in once they’re iced? Sorry for all the questions but this is my first time making them :0))


      (October 4, 2012 - 4:01 pm)

      I don’t recommend storing them in a sealed container. When the cake has been iced it is essentially a sealed cake. It’s best to keep them in a breathable container like the cardboard cake boxes you can buy. Once the cake has been cut then keep on a sealed box like tupperware.


    (October 14, 2012 - 10:39 am)

    Hello! I love this blog…. I make hampers every year and don’t usually add Christmas cakes as I’m not a great cake maker. This year I’d like to attempt it but here you don’t say about “feeding” the cake….. how do I do this? Just put all the fruit in a bowl and feed it with brandy every now and again?
    How many times should I do this (don’t want it TOO boozy) and how much brandy each time?
    Thanks tons!!


      (October 14, 2012 - 11:59 am)

      Hi Nicola. You feed the cake once it is cooked and before you marzipan it. Every couple of weeks prick the top of the cake with a thin skewer or cocktail stick and drizzle a teaspoon or brandy/sherry. Just be careful you don’t over feed it or you’ll end up with a soggy cake.


        (October 14, 2012 - 2:05 pm)

        Fantastic… thanks you…So really I need to be making my individual cakes in the next couple of weeks so I can feed each of them… a teaspoon between all 12??


          (October 14, 2012 - 3:13 pm)

          I usually make my Christmas cakes mid to late October, feed until early December, marzipan then ice mid December. You will need a teaspoon of alcohol per cake. If the cakes begin to get too moist stop feeding.


    (October 30, 2012 - 3:37 pm)

    Great blog – Thanks :-)
    I’ve already got one of these
    do you think this would do the trick? I’m guessing they’d still need to be lined…


      (October 30, 2012 - 6:25 pm)

      Yes you always need to line for cakes like this. What’s the diameter of the individual parts of the tin? Baked bean tins are about 3inches. I’m not sure how well the mix would cook as a smallest cake.

    Want to make mini xmas cakes?

    (November 8, 2012 - 12:24 am)

    […] […]

    L Waller

    (November 20, 2012 - 9:34 pm)

    Am I too late to make these now for this Christmas? How long do we have to leave it before icing them?


      (November 20, 2012 - 9:36 pm)

      No you’re not too late. In theory you can marzipan the cake as soon as it has cooled. You feed the cake just to improve the flavour.


    (November 21, 2012 - 7:30 pm)

    Hi Jules,
    I’m going to marzipan some of my cakes tomorrow. Do i need to store them in an air tight container while they dry prior to icing? Also, with the cakes i’m doing the Florentine topping on, do they need to be stored in an air tight container until they’re eaten – they won’t have the marzipan and icing to seal them won’t they?
    Many Thanks,


      (November 21, 2012 - 10:40 pm)

      Once you have marzipanned the cakes you need to let them dry. Either store in cardboard box or in the usual tin but leave lid off and cover with a tea towel. For the florentine covered one you can store airtight tin.

    Confusion Cook

    (November 23, 2012 - 6:55 am)

    Hi Jules,
    Love your idea of mini xmas cakes. Since I dont have small tins handy I wanted to bake the cake in small loaf pan (20 cm X 6 cm) What do you suggest should be the baking time & temp – Would baking at 160 C for 45 mins then another 30 mins at 150 C is going to be okay or too much? please suggest.


      (November 23, 2012 - 7:15 am)

      Hi, I think this will be about the right timings. Keep checking with a skewer, and if it’s not cooked on the inside, but cooked on top cover with foil.

        Confusion Cook

        (November 23, 2012 - 10:42 am)

        Thank you so much Jules. Will definitely keep you posted on the result. :)

    Nat Lucas

    (December 2, 2012 - 2:26 pm)

    Hi Jules – my minis are in the oven as I type, have been looking forward to trying this. I’m attempting a chocolate christmas cake recipe (with port, one for the mixture one for me!) that was in my mums November issue of Woman and Home mag – recipe only made ten tho. Am looking forward to tasting it.


      (December 2, 2012 - 4:29 pm)

      Nat, I love the idea of port and chocolate. I hope the cakes work well for you.


    (December 4, 2012 - 4:02 pm)

    Hi, I’m hoping to use this recipe with a group of parents but we will be using orange juice rather than alcohol, will we need to soak the fruit in the juice the night before? Thanks


      (December 4, 2012 - 5:16 pm)

      Hi Lianna, yes you will still need to soak the fruit in the orange juice. This helps plump up the fruit and keeps the cake moist.

    […] wasn’t spam & I didn’t know why she would do that). Except one – Jules from Butcher, Baker, she responded promptly and since she teaches baking and decorating, I was quite relieved to have […]

    […] wasn’t spam & I didn’t know why she would do that). Except one – Jules from Butcher, Baker, she responded promptly and since she teaches baking and decorating, I was quite relieved to have […]


    (August 29, 2013 - 11:37 am)

    Hi Jules,
    am looking forward to doing these small Christmas cakes soon and have saved my baked beans cans – but they are the large ones, will they still be ok to use?
    kindest regards Lin


      (August 29, 2013 - 11:46 am)

      The normal sized baked bean tins should be ok, but only fill them by 1/3.


        (August 29, 2013 - 11:55 am)

        Ok , thanks for replying so quickly, I will let you know how I get on with them!


          (August 29, 2013 - 3:02 pm)

          Please do. I’d love to see photos of them.


    (September 20, 2013 - 4:03 pm)

    Hi Jules,

    These look great, but I don’t quite understand what you mean in step 3 above by “Wrap tin in a double thickness of brown paper (or parchment) and tie with piece of string… If you want the top of the cake to brown a bit more untie the string, so the top of paper is open”? Does this mean that the brown paper is tied over the top of the cake so the cake is essentially covered?



      (September 20, 2013 - 4:18 pm)

      Get a square of paper and gather all four corners above the cake and tie the corners together with string – a bit like how the purple present is wrapped here:

      The other way is to wrap it like you do with full sized Christmas cakes. then place a couple of rounds of paper just unside to act as a lid.


        (September 20, 2013 - 4:29 pm)

        Thanks for the speedy reply, Jules. I do usually wrap the sides of fruit cake tins with tall double-thickness of brown paper (as in the Lakeland picture) but I don’t normally cover the top as well. I can see that it would make sense to do it for small cakes like this, though.


    (October 4, 2013 - 10:18 am)

    Hi, I was just wondering how easily the cakes come out of the beans tins – I notice that there’s a lip left if you use the ring pull to take the top off? Should I be opening the tins upside down with a can opener to make it easier for them to come out?


      (October 4, 2013 - 10:22 am)

      The cakes come out of the tin quite easily with a little guidance. All the tins I use still have the little lip at the top due to the ring pull. The cake shrinks a small amount while baking which helps.


        (October 4, 2013 - 10:33 am)

        WOW – that was a speedy response! Many thanks, I am definitely going to give this a go for the school PTA Christmas Fayre – I think they’ll sell really well. Thanks so much x


          (October 4, 2013 - 10:35 am)

          Good luck Lynne. Quite a few school I know of have made them for fundraising events and they’ve been very popular.


    (October 7, 2013 - 10:51 am)

    I would like to know the recipe for ONE Christmas cake made in a baked bean tin, I just a bit concerned if I divide the ingredients for you 12 cakes it will not be correct.

    Many thanks


      (October 7, 2013 - 10:59 am)

      Hi Pauline, I’ve scaled down the ingredients for you below for one cake, but I wouldn’t recommend making just one cake as the ingredients are less likely to work together properly at such small quantities. I would make a minimum of 3 cakes.

      It would be:
      17g glace cherries
      42g mixed dried fruit
      42g sultanas
      zest of 1/12 orange
      17ml sherry or other suitable alcohol like whisky, brandy or sloe gin (if you don’t want to use alcohol, use orange juice instead)
      19g butter, softened
      19g dark brown sugar
      1/3 large eggs, lightly beaten
      19g plain flour
      pinch ground cinnamon
      pinch mixed spice
      4g whole almonds

    christmas carol

    (October 16, 2013 - 9:20 pm)

    Hi do you leave the base in the tin or take it off


      (October 16, 2013 - 9:23 pm)

      Keep the base on the tin.


    (October 18, 2013 - 6:22 am)

    @AdventuresWCake got the idea from this blog


    (October 20, 2013 - 1:38 pm)

    Hi Jules

    Love your blog. I did these small cakes for my daughter’s wedding cake in 2006 and used baked bean tins. (96, it looked amazing and everyone had one to take home) I am in a bit of a hurry this year and did not have enough tins, so tried to make moulds out of doubled up cooking foil, (using the one tin I had to hand) and guess what, it has worked.

    Your comments are so inspiring and thanks for all your ideas.

    Kind regards



      (October 20, 2013 - 3:00 pm)

      I’m impressed how many you made for your daughter’s wedding. Thank you for letting me know about the foil trick.

    christmas carol

    (October 21, 2013 - 12:40 am)

    Hi Jules

    Im using baked bean tins but how far do i fill them up, do i go to the top of the tin?


      (October 21, 2013 - 6:48 am)

      Go to 1-2cm below the top of the tin. The cakes will rise a small amount.


    (October 22, 2013 - 3:41 am)

    Hi your blog & just attempting these mini cake now….just wanted to check…is the 150c fan forced or non fan forced? Thanks


      (October 22, 2013 - 4:58 am)

      The temperature is fan forced.

    Lucie (@Luciebaking)

    (October 27, 2013 - 2:57 pm)

    @sallysue1810 I’m going to ice them and give them as gifts. Got the idea from @DomesticJules

    Lucie (@Luciebaking)

    (October 27, 2013 - 2:59 pm)

    Mini Christmas cakes cont. Idea from @DomesticJules


    (November 1, 2013 - 11:54 pm)

    Hi, this might be a stupid question but I’d seen this idea before and we don’t use a lot of tins so started storing them a about a month ago but have stored standard size (400g) rather than mini size. Can I still use but fill as if mini size? Thanks


      (November 2, 2013 - 12:46 am)

      You can use the 400g tins but you may have to cut the tins to release the cakes.


    (November 2, 2013 - 11:27 am)


    Carole Dalton

    (November 11, 2013 - 1:10 pm)

    Hi Just taken my 12 mini cakes out of the oven, they look great, a little pale but I did use light brown sugar, is it essential to feed them with more alcohol?


      (November 11, 2013 - 8:01 pm)

      Hi, if you’ve used a lighter sugar it will alter the colour a bit. It’s not essential to feed the cakes. It’s personal preference.

    Sheena Dunn

    (November 26, 2013 - 7:39 am)

    We have made 2 batches of these with Brownies last night, sent them home to be cooked and will ice and marzipan next week.


      (November 26, 2013 - 8:32 am)

      I’d love to see the photographs when they’re done.

        Sheena Dunn

        (November 29, 2013 - 4:37 pm)

        I’ll try to get you some this year

    Jules: Butcher Baker (@DomesticJules)

    (November 28, 2013 - 7:34 am)

    Last night during my WI guest speaking slot I mentioned baking Xmas cakes in baked bean tins. I’ve converted them.

    Daisies and Pie (@DaisiesandPieUK)

    (November 28, 2013 - 7:35 am)

    RT @DomesticJules: Last night during my WI guest speaking slot I mentioned baking Xmas cakes in baked bean tins. I’ve converted them. http:…


    (November 28, 2013 - 7:40 am)

    RT @DomesticJules: Last night during my WI guest speaking slot I mentioned baking Xmas cakes in baked bean tins. I’ve converted them. http:…


    (November 28, 2013 - 7:42 am)

    RT @DomesticJules: Last night during my WI guest speaking slot I mentioned baking Xmas cakes in baked bean tins. I’ve converted them. http:…


    (November 28, 2013 - 7:44 am)

    RT @DomesticJules: Last night during my WI guest speaking slot I mentioned baking Xmas cakes in baked bean tins. I’ve converted them. http:…


    (November 28, 2013 - 7:45 am)

    RT @DomesticJules: Last night during my WI guest speaking slot I mentioned baking Xmas cakes in baked bean tins. I’ve converted them. http:…


    (November 28, 2013 - 7:56 am)

    RT @DomesticJules: Last night during my WI guest speaking slot I mentioned baking Xmas cakes in baked bean tins. I’ve converted them. http:…

    Liana Stevens (@starbakery)

    (November 28, 2013 - 8:02 am)

    RT @DomesticJules: Last night during my WI guest speaking slot I mentioned baking Xmas cakes in baked bean tins. I’ve converted them. http:…


    (December 2, 2013 - 3:08 am)

    Hi – Could you not use Muffin cases doubled instead of going to the trouble of cutting all the paper?


      (December 2, 2013 - 5:46 am)

      You could try it but I’m not sure the cases will be big enough.


    (December 19, 2013 - 5:16 pm)

    I make mini cakes to sell at markets, lining tins was a hassle. I have now made permanent liners out of silicone sheets , just wash them afterwards and reuse time and time again


      (December 19, 2013 - 5:18 pm)

      Jenny, that’s a great idea. I’m surprised no one has started selling small cake tin liners.

    […] give to friends and family as gifts for Christmas.  I made twenty mini Christmas cakes using the Baked Bean Tin Christmas Cake idea from ‘Butcher, Baker’.  I wanted each one to be different which was a challenge […]


    (February 6, 2014 - 6:15 pm)

    Brilliant idea and I copied the idea of silicon liners which will make a big difference next year.


    (September 21, 2014 - 7:45 pm)

    How far in advance can you cook these cakes


      (September 21, 2014 - 7:54 pm)

      I usually bake my cakes in October. As long as they are wrapped and stored correctly they’ll be fine.


    (October 4, 2014 - 12:50 pm)

    Any chance you could add a pic of what you mean by wrapping the cakes in paper to bake? I’m confused!!!! :)


      (October 4, 2014 - 12:56 pm)

      Don’t have a pic to hand but I get a large square of parchment, place tin in the middle then gather the corners together above the cake. I then tie the corners with string. It doesn’t matter too much if there’s gaps.

      Alternatively you wrap paper around the outside of the tin and make a separate lid.


        (October 4, 2014 - 12:58 pm)

        Wow, thank you so much… Stupidly I read through the comments AFTER I sent message and saw you’d replied to someone else too!!
        Thankyou… Looking forward to making these :) xx

    lorraine provost

    (October 31, 2014 - 12:47 pm)

    Hello I have all the ingredients for this cake but doesnt seem to have self raing flour of baking powder in it do they rise at all . Lucy


      (October 31, 2014 - 1:22 pm)

      Christmas cakes don’t rise like traditional sponge cakes so don’t require these ingredients.


    (November 11, 2014 - 12:53 pm)

    Help and Hello, I have to bake 16 4″Christmas cakes for members of our church family. How can I calculate the correct cooking time?


      (November 11, 2014 - 1:02 pm)

      They will take 75-105 minutes, however cooking times for fruit cakes can vary significantly from oven to oven. I recommend checking the cakes are cooked with a cocktail stick (It’ll come out clean if cooked) from 60 min onwards.


      (September 22, 2015 - 11:36 am)



    (November 28, 2014 - 6:42 am)

    Seasons Greetings from Downunder. Used your recipe to make mini Christmas cake gifts and they look and smell absolutely lovely, confirmed by a small taste.Thank you so much!


    (April 4, 2015 - 7:22 am)

    I know that you used the empty tins to bake a fruit cake in, but do you think that this method could be used to cook a vanilla sponge in? As i think this would be a nice size to use to make a third tier for a castle birthday cake i’m planning on making for my daughters upcoming birthday. Please can you advise me as to how i can adapt this method to suit a sponge recipe.


      (April 4, 2015 - 7:27 am)

      Hi Elizabeth,

      These should work with sponge cake. Line the inside of the cake tin to help get the sponge out, but you won’t need to cover the tin again before cooking.

      Hope this helps


    (July 7, 2015 - 4:56 pm)

    I made christmas cake last year as part of my christmas pressie for everyone, but lost the recipe, will deff be trying out this one, thank you so much.


    (September 22, 2015 - 11:16 am)


    Erica Allen

    (October 15, 2015 - 10:38 pm)

    Hello do you have to use whole nuts or can you use ground. Erica Allen


      (October 16, 2015 - 6:12 am)

      You have to use whole or slightly chopped nuts. Using ground will change the texture of the cake.


    (November 10, 2015 - 10:12 pm)

    Hi our brownies have just enjoyed making these. Where do you find boards to fit them.


      (November 11, 2015 - 4:50 am)

      I got mine from Cake Craft Shop though their p&p can be high also try eBay. I’ve started to buy quite a bit of cake stuff from there.

        Sue Collinson

        (November 13, 2015 - 9:41 am)

        My cakes are in the oven now! I got 20 4″ round cake boards for £4.99 from eBay, seller cake-decs. My sister is lined up to decorate them for me. I can bake but am useless at being creative!


          (November 18, 2015 - 9:56 pm)

          That’s a really good price. I’m buying more and more cake stuff off ebay these days.

    Hattie Pask

    (November 17, 2015 - 8:10 am)

    Hi There! If making the 20cm cake does the cake tin have to be a deep 1? Many thanks ?


      (November 18, 2015 - 9:56 pm)

      yes it still needs to be a decent depth. Although the cakes don’t rise too much the tin helps to protect the cake. You can achieve this by using foil up the sides of the tin.

    amanda thackray

    (November 17, 2015 - 12:00 pm)

    perfect for after school club we’ve collected the tins already which is great because we have recycled too which ticks the eco schools box !


      (November 18, 2015 - 9:57 pm)

      I’m all for ticking boxes!


    (December 18, 2015 - 8:23 am)

    i made them in muffin tins and cupcake pattty pans straight ones tho, both worked well, as well as they large cake.. i wont know how that tastes till Christmas.. just need to decorate them now


      (December 19, 2015 - 8:10 am)

      Glad to hear they’ve worked well

    Judith McIntyre

    (December 19, 2015 - 7:50 am)

    As my husband has just been diagnosed with Diabetes he can no longer have his Xmas Cake…but I can especially now that I have found your recipe. I am a young 72 but love baking, I can’t do as much as I used to but a little nibble no and again won’t hurt me. Thanks Jules.


      (December 19, 2015 - 8:09 am)

      Judith, thank you for such a lovely comment. Merry Christmas!

    karen cleary

    (August 14, 2016 - 2:16 pm)

    I am teaching Food in a Special School as of next month and whilst looking at national curriculum I also want to go back to basics and this looks fab – I did these years ago when I first started teaching. Will incorporate shopping/costing/recycling/labelling/local foods into this project and hopefully fun!


      (August 17, 2016 - 12:48 pm)

      Karen, I’d love to see pics of the finished cakes. Good luck in your new role. Jules


        (August 28, 2016 - 2:14 pm)

        Hi Jules
        Just planning my lessons. I see the children every 2 weeks. This is my plan
        lesson 1 – Shop/weigh/soak fruit/line tins (leave fruit in bowls covered in cling film ok for 2 weeks?)
        lesson 2 – Make cake/bake (storage suggestion for 2 weeks?)
        lesson 3 – marzipan (storage suggestion for 2 weeks?)
        lesson 4 – ice and decorate.
        Will these cakes be ok with 2 weeks in between each lesson and can you advice on my queries at each stage..
        Many thanks


          (August 29, 2016 - 5:49 am)

          Hi Karen,

          This lesson plan looks great. I know people who soak fruit for a month so two weeks won’t be a problem.

    Lily Farmer

    (September 13, 2016 - 7:07 pm)

    Hi, these look amazing! I’d like to follow your recipe but split half the amount between 6 bean cans, and make half a standard size cake with the other half. That way I get to give 6 minis away as gifts, and husband (who adores Christmas cake!) gets a half sized cake all to himself (he’s the only one on our house who eats fruit cake). What size cake tin would you suggest for the half sized cake, and how would you cook it (time and temp)? Excited to start already! Have all the ingredients, 3 bean tins ready, 3 more ‘bean meals’ planned and ready to buy the final tin! Many thanks in advance!


      (September 14, 2016 - 6:41 pm)

      Hi Lily, I’ve done my maths and for a half sized cake you’d need a 13cm square or 14cm round tin. temperature the same. Time wise I’d predict 2.5-3hrs. However fruit cakes are fickle beasts and cooking time can greatly vary from oven to oven so I’d keen an eye on it from 2hrs onwards.

      I’d love to see the finished cakes.


        Lily Farmer

        (September 21, 2016 - 7:20 am)

        That’s brilliant, thank you so much! Will go and buy a cake tin and give it a go!

    […] are just cakes baked in half sized Baked Bean cans… For those of you interested, the link is here (I used the recipe listed too but obviously with organic ingredients). Cute cakes which make for […]

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