Last minute Christmas baking

It’s not too late to make this easy Pineapple Fruitcake and a batch of crunchy Rich Shortbread. Or add them to your picnic basket over the summer.

Pineapple Fruitcake – Helen Barclay

Easy, moist and delicious, great tramping food and freezes well. 


  • 1 x 432g tin crushed pineapple
  • 125g butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 500g mixed fruit
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1½ teaspoons almond essence
  • 1 teaspoon lemon essence
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder


Heat the oven to 180°C and prepare a cake tin.

Place the pineapple, butter, sugar, fruit, baking soda, mixed spice and essences in a saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

When cool, add the eggs and beat well, then add the flour and baking powder and stir to combine.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for around 1 hour 15 minutes.


Rich Shortbread – Clare Taege


  • 100g butter, softened
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 125g plain flour
  • 25g semolina
  • Extra caster sugar


Heat oven to 160°C and lightly butter a small round cake tin.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Using a fork, gradually stir in the flour and semolina

Draw the mixture together with your fingertips to form the dough.

Press into the prepared tin, using a fork prick well all over and pinch the edges to create a ridge.

Bake in the centre of the oven for about 40 minutes.

Leave to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the tin.

Dredge with extra caster sugar and store in an airtight container.

Note: For rich shortbread biscuits, roll the prepared dough and cut into shape, evenly space on a baking tray lined with non-stick paper and bake for about 15 minutes.


These two recipes come from Outdoor Appetite, a great cookbook which will appeal to anyone who loves healthy and delicious food, with recipes and stories that reflect a love of adventure and the outdoors.  It includes family favourites contributed by the family of Sir Edmund Hilary, Alexa Johnston and actress Joanna Lumley.

 Thanks to the generous support of the sponsors, 100% of the sales price supports the Himalayan Trust’s work to improve lives in the remote mountain communities of Nepal.

Buy online now for $35 (including shipping to NZ and Australia) from or at your nearest Bivouac Outdoor store.


Reviews by Lyn Potter

Parent and grandparent, Avid traveller, writer & passionate home cook

Read more by Lyn here.