California Fruit Cake

California Fruit Cake

This here fruitcake ain’t your grandmas Christmas fruitcake!

This my friends ~ is a California Fruit Cake!

And we all know they do things just a little bit better in California! Am I right?

No dried fruit loaves here, today we are spreading some sunshine all over the joint with beautiful Golden Vanilla Cake layers filled with fresh vanilla pastry cream; all smothered in vanilla whipped cream.

California Fruit Cake

This cake is so light, so refreshing and so EASY you will think you are California Dreamin’!

It is a Building on Recipes project as with any layer cake, so be sure to prepare your cake and filling in advance so the assembly of this cake will happen in less than 20 minutes!

Now of course you can always change up the flavors to your liking.

The Vanilla Sponge Cake would be great too if you prefer that style of cake.

Even chocolate cake would be amazing!! Why not!! That is right up my alley!

4.0 from 1 reviews
California Fruit Cake
Building on Recipes so be sure to prepare your recipes in advance except for the whipped cream which is not to be made until just before you are to assemble the cake
I baked 1 layer 12" X 18" also known as the half sheet pan prepared with pan grease & a parchment liner
Whatever recipe you decide for the cake you will pour all the batter into the half sheet pan and then cut the cake in half once it is cooled and baked to get 2- ¼sheet sized layers
Serves: ¼ Sheet Cake
  1. Follow along in the video for how to assemble the cake

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  1. Hello Gretchen, pastry cream tends liquefy a day after its made…should I make and fill the pastry cream the day it has to be served? Or its fine to do it a day before.

    Thank you

    1. Hmm, I have never experienced a liquified pastry cream even a week after I’ve made it! Some seepage of moisture does occur, but the pastry cream itself stays intact and quite firm to the point that I have to whip it slightly before using it in a cake or pastry to break up the heavy duty starch molecules. So my question to you is are you sure you are bringing it to a FULL BOIL after returning it to the pan? This is the only way theeh cornstarch will activate and that is what makes it stiff

  2. Dear Gretchen i wanna thank you for all the great tips you share.
    My question is for the golden vanilla pound cake you used the cream cheese…but is it the bar style cream or the cheese whipped tubs?

  3. Hi Gretchen

    As whipped cream is used here this cake needs to be refrigerated. So Won’t the butter cake go hard as well? Would your sponge cake be a better option here?


    1. I have never found hte golden cake to be “offensive” or hard when eaten out of the fridge, but it is your preference to use it or not, so if you prefer the vanilla sponge, absolutely go for it! good paying attention to the What is Cake Blog post 🙂

  4. Thanks for good work, I really enjoyed your Buttermilk chocolate but how to stabilize whipping cream recipe so that before you reach the place of delivery will not collapsed

  5. Hi Gretchen, I just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing these amazing recipes. My great grandmother used to make the most delicious pastries and these being me back to when I was a kid. Please keep sharing I always have fun making your recipes because they taste better than anything you can ever purchase at the store. xx take care

    1. any clear jelly or jam will work and honestly others have used raspberry – so its not the end of the world if its not clear, its just going to give a red tinge if you use any other kind

  6. Hello…my husband and i are going to celebrate our 10th year wedding anniversary and we’re thinking of renewing our vows. Do you have a recipe fit for a wedding cake?

  7. Hi Gretchen – for the pound cake, the baking duration is based on a loaf pan. How long and at what temperature should I bake it at if I want to use the 12 x 18 half sheet pan you recommended above

  8. Hi Gretchen, I am wondering will the whole recipe for the pastry cream is too much to be be used in this recipe? Because the whole recipe of pastry cream made 6 cups of pastry cream, do you think there will be leftovers?

  9. Can I use the ordinary stabilized whipped cream recipe instead of the jell-o version for this cake?
    I can’t get jell-o in Norway, at least not in the stores around here.
    Perhaps put in some vanilla as you do in the video?

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