Fruitcake is a holiday tradition in many families and a tasty gift for friends, co-workers and acquaintances. Because it's dense, moist and rich, a little goes a long way. Make fruitcake in individual sizes for gift-giving, and add a special touch with decorative ceramic or disposable paper pans available in a number of motifs for holidays and special occasions.
Buy mini loaf pans and waxed or parchment paper for lining. Standard mini loaf pans vary in size, but most measure approximately 4 inches long and about 2 inches wide. Alternatively, buy disposable mini loaf pans; you can leave your fruitcakes in such pans for decorative purposes.
Identify the pan size specified in your fruit cake recipe. Use a baking pan substitution chart -- which you can find in a cookbook or online -- to determine the amount of batter the pan holds; this information helps you calculate the number of mini loaves you'll get from a standard loaf pan recipe.
Fill one mini loaf pan with water until it's about two-thirds full. Pour the water from the pan into a measuring cup to determine how much liquid the pan holds.
Divide the number of cups of batter your fruit cake recipe makes by the number of cups of liquid your mini loaf pan holds. For example, if your recipe makes 12 cups of batter, and your mini loaf pan holds 1 1/2 cups of liquid, your recipe will yield eight mini fruitcakes.
Mix the fruitcake batter. Line your pans with waxed paper or parchment paper, if necessary, to prevent sticking and burning, and fill each mini loaf pan with batter, about two-thirds full.
Place a pan of water in the bottom shelf of your oven to keep the fruitcakes moist as they bake. Bake the mini fruitcakes at the temperature specified in your recipe.
Use a wooden toothpick or a metal cake tester to check for doneness after 25 minutes of baking and at five minute intervals after that. As soon as the toothpick or tester comes out clean, remove the small fruitcakes from the oven to cool.
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Margaret Morris has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She also holds a celebrant certificate from the Celebrant Foundation and Institute. Morris writes for various websites and private clients.