Fruit cake steps
1. Lining a round cake pan
Cut lengths of brown and baking paper to line the side of the cake pan, overlapping ends slightly. Make a 2cm fold; snip paper up to the fold (Step 1A, below). Trace the base of pan onto paper; cut out paper slightly inside the marked circle. Position in pan. Lightly grease the pan to hold the paper in place. Position the paper around side of the pan, with the snipped fold at the bottom (Step 1B). The multiple layers of paper will insulate the cake and prevent it from burning during the long cooking time.
2. Preparing the cake mixture
Place basic fruit mix in a large bowl. Stir in the melted butter and lightly beaten eggs. Sift the flour and baking soda over the fruit mixture in bowl (Step 2) and fold in dry ingredients to combine. Make sure the mixture is well incorporated.
3. Filling the cake pan
Drop spoonfuls of fruit cake mixture around the edge of the cake pan (or in the corners if using a square pan) to hold the baking paper in position (Step 3A), then add the rest of the mixture. Fruit cakes often end up with air pockets because the mixture is heavy and doesn’t flow. So push the mixture into the pan to eliminate any air pockets, then level top with the back of a spoon or a spatula (Step 3B).
4. Settling the cake mixture
Hold the pan with both hands and bang it down hard on the bench or drop the pan from about 20cm (Step 4). Do this a couple of times to settle the mixture and get rid of large air bubbles.