Thursday, 1 December 2011

Whitworths’ Christmas Cake Baking Kits Review

Baking your own cake at Christmas can be a nerve-wracking experience,
particularly for inexperienced bakers, but not this year, thanks to the launch of
two easy to use cake kits by Whitworths, the home baking ingredients specialist.

I was sent the kits to try for myself, I am a dab hand at cakes but always shy away from making Christmas cakes, I think in the run up to Christmas I am always too busy I know that's pretty poor as I cook for the blog lots now too.
So these kits are great for people like me who can make a cake but are just too bone idle busy!!

The ingredients are all cleared marked in individually packets, I just had to buy unsalted butter, a lemon and 3 eggs.

Before I started I scanned the instructions and saw that the oven temperatures were for Gas 2 and Electric 150C, however I have a fan assisted oven, so needed to lower the temperature. Unsure as the cooker is still relatively new, I decided to call the Whitworths helpline.

My call was answered straight away, the really helpful advisor suggested I reduce the heat to 130C, also it might be an idea to start checking the cake after 1 and a half hours she added.

She explained that the high fruit content meant a cake can overcook or burn quickly especially in a fast modern oven.

She said a handy tip would be to rest an extra sheet of greaseproof  on top of the tin, not touching the cake. This added with a small hole cut to allow any steam to escape.  It would prevent over browning even more.

With this in mind I made the greaseproof paper higher than the tin.

The actually making the cake was an absolute doddle, I just followed the simple instructions.

First cream the brown sugar and butter. I did this the old fashioned way by beating for an age with a wooden spoon, I believe in a little exercise while making yummy cakes, they are not so bad for you then!!

Next I added the eggs one at a time. Beating well.

Then added the lemon zest, black treacle, fruit, almonds and juice of the lemon.

This is the part where I wish you could smell the aroma, the lemon and the rum soaked fruit was amazing. The fruit was incredibly plump and juicy. I had worried about this as when I make a fruit cake I always soak the fruit or boil.
I carefully folded in the scrumptious fruit mix.

Finally I added the sieved together flour and mixed spice, again folding in until thoroughly blended and forgot to show a picture but this is as easy

Lastly I spooned into the prepared tin. It was suggested for a 18cm width tin, 7 cm deep and it was a perfect fit.

Added the greaseproof top as advised by the lovely lady at Whitworths helpline and put into the oven to do its thing.

I checked after an hour and a half every 20 minutes, may be an idea to set a timer, as if like me a friend popped in, I spoke to somebody on the phone and wrote this post partly. Its easy to forget your cake if not reminded.
Mine cooked in 2 hours and 35 minutes so glad I rang the helpline regarding fan assisted ovens!

Ta da!!

The cake is perfect,  right near the top of the tin, even coloured and the spice, fruity rum scent made the house smell fab, sorry you don't get to see the icing yet as I am adding a little rum until the week before Christmas.

There is also a fab Stollen kit and I can honestly recommend if you want to impress everyone with a homemade Christmas cake but are a little nervous, buy one of these, the ingredients are so fresh and it smells divine!

Whitworths’ Christmas and Stollen cake kits help both experienced and first-time bakers to make delicious cakes to share with family and friends over the festive season. Using proven recipes and quality ingredients from Whitworths, the kits will give confidence to bakers looking to make the perfect Christmas treat, saving time and making Christmas baking really simple. The ingredients are already measured out, so all you have to do is follow a simple recipe.

Available from Morrisons, and priced just £8 (Christmas cake) and £6 (Stollen cake), the Whitworths kits cost less than half the price of buying the ingredients separately, cutting the cost of Christmas and reducing waste as there won’t be any packs of unwanted ingredients left in the cupboard.
If you want an extra boozy cake just make holes in the top of the cake with a skewer and slowly sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of rum or even brandy over the cake before storing. Then wrap the cake in a double wrapping of baking parchment and then in foil. Make sure you can open it easily to feed it twice a week for a couple of weeks.

Christmas Cake Baking Kit, £8
Makes 20 slices
Contains: Soft Brown Sugar, Mixed Fruit
with Rum, Black Treacle, Chopped Almonds,
Plain Flour, Mixed Spice, Recipe Card
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 3 hours (approx.)
(You will also need butter, eggs and a lemon)
Stollen Baking Kit, £6
Makes 14 slices
Contains: Strong White Bread Flour, Dried Yeast,
Caster Sugar, Walnut Pieces, Mixed Fruit with
Orange Liqueur, Marzipan, Icing Sugar, Recipe Card
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Proving time: 2-4 hours (approx.)
(You will also need milk, butter and an egg)


  1. That looks lovely you made it sound easy and verty tasty.

  2. I usually end up modifying packet mixes when we get them just to make them taste a bit better. I think the fresh lemon juice in this one would have helped make it nice. I am thinking I might try the Stollen one.

  3. I always tinker with recipes and mixes, it makes it unique I think

  4. you make it look so simple, mine baking never looks like its meant to!

  5. Thanks for that. I also have a fan oven but usually just set the tempreture to the same as a standard oven. But using your advise on the high fruit content I followed the 130C recommended time.

  6. Another one i'll be trying out!