Christmas is almost upon us while Santa sets his elves to work finalising last-minute requests as children’s letters reach the North Pole. Where has the year gone? It seems to be a common question asked by many.
And given everyone is celebrating freedom time (particularly in the southern states), catching up with friends and family, and attending pre-Christmas functions, we have all become rather manic. Affected by lockdowns, quarantines, and other pandemic restrictions we suddenly find there is little time for Christmas baking.
Still, many of us like to cook something Christmassy in December. Last year She Society published my mother’s White Christmas slice. It prompted me to search our mother’s old-fashioned cookbook once again and I found one of her recipes I made years ago for Christmas. Time poor, I also remember it didn’t take long to bake.
Mum called it A Small Fruit Cake. Its appeal is a simple recipe that tastes delicious and is not too rich. There is no need to soak the fruit overnight nor all the other prep time needed for the traditional Christmas cake.
It’s the ultimate alternative for those with limited time to bake yet who wish to produce a symbolic cake for the festivities. It is not a heavy Christmas fruit cake recipe, rather a small, light fruit cake that honestly can be cooked any time of the year.
I tested it out this week and decided to share another successful yet quick recipe with She Society readers. It is a handy one to keep up your sleeve for last minute guests.
As expected mum’s recipe was written in ounces but I have converted and tested in cup measurements, rather than grams and it worked out well.
I added sliced almonds for decoration as I happened to have some in the fridge, but white icing with some colourful edible Christmas decorations would fit in well for the festive season.
Another hint for those living on their own is to slice and freeze individual pieces to have on standby for unexpected visitors or purely to satisfy a craving when you feel like a slice of cake with a cuppa.
A Small Fruit Cake A quick & light alternative to a Christmas cake
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2/3 cup plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon mixed spice
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup mixed dried fruit
- Preheat oven to 180 C
- Cream butter and sugar then add eggs and beat together
- Add flour, baking powder followed by spices and mixed fruit
- Mix and blend well
- Pour into a small greased and floured cake tin
- Cook for ½ hour
- Remove from tin when cooled down
Note: option of placing sliced almonds on top before baking or icing cake after cooked
On the birth of her two grandsons, Ruth Greening experienced an awakening in her life and entering Gen GP (Generation Grandparent) she was given the moniker Nanny Babe as her ‘grandmother’ title. She found things had changed since her child rearing days, and an adjustment to new parenting concepts was required. Hence the birth of the Nanny Babe blog from a baby boomers perspective.
Ruth holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology & Philosophy, completing this degree while working as a hairdresser and supporting her two children as a single mother. Ruth has worked in the corporate world for approximately thirty years and has recently retired to address her artistic passions.
She is experienced in senior management positions, marketing, modelling, commercials, film, community radio and writing.
Nanny Babe is active with her hobbies—fitness, writing, blogging, jewellery, crafts, singing, dancing, memoirs, mentoring and now faces diversity and self-discovery on her recent ‘retirement’ path. Connect with Nanny Babe on her blog – hit the link above!