Anneka’s BakeClub: Lining The Pan For A Christmas Fruitcake

Words by Anneka Manning

‘Tis the season for traditional rich fruitcakes, but I know many home cooks are often put off from baking their own because of the perceived preparation involved. Part of that preparation is lining the cake pan with multiple layers of brown and baking paper, which can be very time-consuming. Fortunately, I’ve got a way of preparing your cake pan that is just as effective but takes only a fraction of the time.

This method was shown to me many years ago by CWA and agricultural show judge Norma Allen. It is far quicker than using multiple layers of brown paper and will protect your cake during the long, slow baking. It will stop the outside from over browning before the centre of the cake is cooked.

Get the recipe for Anneka's Fig & Cranberry Christmas Cake here!

Get the recipe for Anneka’s Fig & Cranberry Christmas Cake here!

  1. Grease the cake pan and line the base and sides with non-stick paper, allowing the paper lining the sides to reach about 5cm above the top of the pan.
  2. Lay 4 sheets of newspaper on top of one another. Fold the paper lengthwise into thirds (you will end up with a strip with 12 layers of paper). Repeat with another 4 sheets of newspaper.
  3. Wrap one of the newspaper strips around the outside of the pan and tie with kitchen string to secure. Cut out a section of the remaining strip to fill the gap where the ends of the first strip don’t meet, allowing about a 5cm overlap on each end. Slide the strip into place under the kitchen string to completely surround the pan with newspaper.
  4. Place an old magazine on a baking tray and sit the lined pan on top. Then just fill the pan with mixture and bake as per the recipe.

I also have a divine Fig & Cranberry Christmas Cake that you can try this handy method out on – just click here.

Wishing you all a very safe and happy festive season and all the best for a wonderful 2014.

Until next year… happy baking!


For more posts by Anneka Manning, click here.

Anneka Manning is a food author and the founder of exciting new Sydney-based cooking school, BakeClub. Visit her website at to join the club, book into a BakeClass, download delicious no-fail recipes and be inspired by baking videos. You can also find BakeClub on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest. To find out more or ask about private BakeClub classes, call (02) 9399 7645 or email