Welcome to the Cake Decorators Q&A

asked November 9th 2019

Baking Calculation


I’m going to follow a 9inch fruit cake recipe for Christmas cakes, but instead plan to divide the mix into two round 5inch tins and 2 round 4inch tins quantity permitting. However the recipe for the 9inch mix states ‘bake in slow oven for 5 and a half – 6 and a half hours @ gas mark 2, ( for one and a half hours) then reduce the oven temperature to gas mark 1 for remaining time. I am unsure how to adapt these cooking instructions for the three to four smaller cakes I plan to make.

I’d be grateful for any help please.

Many thanks xx


HI madeitwithlove

Glad to hear you are keeping as ok as you can and that you managed to go C.I. I have only been once and that was in 2014 and loved it but it was like visiting an Aladdin’s sweetie cave I didn’t know where to start first! Opps I can’t get insert off at the moment and everything is getting overwritten!

Anyhow the cakes all turned out very well, so far as I can see and they look good and smell amazing. I had the fruit soaking in brandy from the second week in June hence the lovely smell as they were baking. The 9inch fruit cake batter yielded 5 cakes, 2x4inch cakes, 2x5inch deep cakes and 1 shallow 5inch cake. They took about 2hrs 45 mins in total apart from the shallow 5inch cake which took about 1 and 45mins approx.

Have a good night and thanks very much again.

Thanks again for your help


Hi bellscakes

I’ll try the best I can to give you approximate timings. I don’t cook with gas so not very familiar with how the temperatures behave. I’ve converted the gas temps to electric and then back again to gas for comparison.

For the 4″ cakes , bake for 30 minutes on gas mark 2 then reduce to gas mark 1 for 20 minutes. Total time = 50 min

For the 5″ cakes, bake for 30 minutes on gas mark 2 then reduce to gas mark 1 for 40 – 45 minutes.
Total time approximately 70 -75 minutes.

This is an approximation so please do keep an eye and nose on the baking and check, if you think by the aroma that they may be done earlier. Fruit cakes continue baking after removal from the oven. To prevent a dry cake, check for doneness with a wooden skewer. Remove cake from the oven when there is still a tiny bit of sticky crumb on the skewer. Allow cake to cool completely in the baking tin. I usually invert the tin to retain the steam or cover the cake with a tea towel. The steam keeps the cake moist.

Hope this helps, but don’t forget, this is approximate 🙂 Let me know how you get on XX.


HI madeitwithlove

As ever thanks so very much for all your help. It is very much appreciated!

Yes I will certainly let you know how it goes.

Hope you are keeping well. xx


Let’s hope my timings are somewhere close.

I’m not keeping too bad but ageing brings all it’s little friends. We managed CI this year despite my mobility problems . Hope you’re keeping well xx🙂


Well done for getting them baked. They took a lot longer than I had estimated. Just goes to show everyone’s ovens are different so results are not the same. Thank you so much for posting your timing as it will no doubt help someone else. When I do small fruit cakes, I usually use a 12″ square cake and cut out with my round patisserie rings. I used to make loads at one time and decorate them up as presents.

I know what you mean about CI, it is like an Aladdin’s cave. I didn’t buy any cake decorating stuff this year as I have so much already and I’m no longer making cakes as I used to. However, I did buy some very useful pots and pans. A stockpot, teppanyaki, skillet and a couple of omelette pans. I expect these will see me out!

Take care of yourself. It’s been lovely to catch up. XX


Hi again madeitwithlove
Yes ovens differ quite a bit I think, although I did have 5 cakes baking at the one time so I imagine that would have lengthened the baking time.

It’s a good idea to do a large cake and then cut it up into smaller sized cakes. I have often though of doing that but wondered how easy it would be to cut them out accurately. I have given small fruit cake as gifts in the past too and they have always been very well received. It’s amazing though how long it takes just to actually put the raw ingredients together before it gets anywhere near the oven! Anyhow glad you managed to buy some useful items at C.I. I’m sure you’ll enjoy using them too. Take care, keep calm and carry on! xx

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