Food You Can Eat: Holiday Fruit Cake

Not a meatloaf.

I was feeling a tad nostalgic the other week, and for some reason thought of the holiday fruit cake the Lion’s Club service organization sold when I was a child. My Father often was left with two or three, and the fruit cake lingered until late spring.

I researched recipes, found that ingredients were not simple to find around here, but was able (I think) to pull it off. The Bundt pan is optional; several large loaf pans will also work. This makes a lot of batter – you will need a big bowl to mix it.

Mix 16 ounces maraschino cherries, 8 ounces candied citrus peel, 2 cups golden raisins, 1 cup dried currants, 1 cup chopped and pitted dates, 4-5 ounces slivered almonds, and 3/4 cup brandy. Cover and refrigerate overnight, stirring occasionally.

Preheat your oven to 275 degrees. Fully grease the Bundt pan, or if using loaf pans, grease and line with parchment with overhanging sides for easy removal.

Cream 1 cup butter, 2 cups brown sugar, 6 eggs, and 3/4 cup each of molasses and apple juice.

Mix in 2 cups flour, ½ teaspoon backing soda, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1 and 1/2 teaspoons each of ground cloves, allspice, and cinnamon.

Stir in the chilled fruit and spoon into your pan of choice. It rises very little due to how dense it is, so you can bring the batter close to the pan rim. Pop it in the oven (remember 275 degrees) and bake for 3 to 3 and ½ hours, until a skewer comes out mostly clean.

Cool and remove from the pan. Refrigerate after serving; it will last for at least two weeks. 

Still not a meat loaf.
About Elliecoo 474 Articles
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  1. I nominate this as 2021’s FYCE of the year! Well done. I love a good fruitcake and they’re almost impossible to find in stores (like Black Forest Cakes, at least around me.) Though slightly time-slider-y, I think I’m going to attempt this at the end of January or maybe mid-February, just when you start to think winter will never end, to brighten up the dead time of year.

    • We still haven’t seen the FYCE panettone and there’s still a week left in 2021, so I will reserve my vote.

    • That you @CousinMatthew you are too kind. It was good; dense and rich and sweet, and not at all slimy like store-bought versions can be. (And I thought of you as I made it, because the memories that inspired it were from the late 1960’s to early 1970’s, right in your wheelhouse).

  2. I don’t generally eat sugar but one of my students made me a beautiful fruit cake which I immediately surrendered to my wife, who confiscates all sweets and baked goods.  It’s disgusting, but she’s a skinnie Minnie and eats all sorts of cakes and ice cream and confectionaries and doesn’t have to worry one little bit about her blood sugar levels.  Anyway, in the dark of night I tried a little wafer-thin slice of the fruit cake and it made my cheeks tingle.  Damn, it was sweet and delicious.

    The fact that you used a bundt pan makes this fruit cake look extra delicious.  Nothing bad ever came from a bundt pan.

    • @luigi-vuoto you are my favorite, I tell you, my favorite! “Nothing bad ever came from a bundt pan”; ha! Take that, all you Bundt-haters!!!!

      • Truer words were never spoken. Except when a Bundt pan is subbing in for a Jell-O mold. Then things can get dicey.

    • When I got older I realized one of my problems with fruitcake was that a regular sized slice was just too much, and a wafer-thin slice was the right size.

      The other thing is I just don’t like candied fruit, but when they’re just dried fruit I like them a lot.

  3. Can confirm this was a very good cake!

  4. I never understood all the fruit cake hate. I usually get mine from the Trappist Monks here in Kentucky, but I think I’ll try yours next year.

  5. This is the Abbey where Thomas Merton lived, it’s in Bardstown, KY. That’s bourbon country.

  6. Yum! This looks amazing! And I love that it doesn’t have to sit and cure in booze for like 4 weeks.

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