Fruitcake has become somewhat of a holiday joke to many people. Yet how many have actually tried a piece of truly delicious, moist fruitcake? Instead of passing a fruitcake on to someone else or saving it as an annual joke, why not make some yourself and help dispel the old myth?

The traditional fruitcake can trace its history back to the English plum cake, which came from plum pudding. These puddings were allowed to ripen in the cupboard for months, becoming hard and dry. Before being eaten, they were steamed to add moisture. After awhile, cooks found that if they saturated the cake in liquor, the cake would be preserved and it would keep it moist.


An old holiday tradition was baking small trinkets into the fruitcake. A coin indicated wealth, a thimble thrift and a ship meant travel.

Recipe for Old Fashioned Fruitcake

Enjoy this rich cake full of tradition.

What You Need

  • 3 cups dried figs, chopped

  • 2 cups pitted dates, chopped

  • 2 cups golden raisins

  • 2 cups dark seedless raisins

  • 2 cups dried currants

  • 1-1/2 cups candied citron, diced

  • 1 cup candied pineapple, diced

  • 1 cup candied cherries, chopped

  • 1 cup candied orange peel, diced

  • 1 cup brandy

  • 3 cups all purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 2 cups butter, softened

  • 1 pound dark brown sugar

  • 6 large eggs

  • 1/3 cup dark molasses

  • 2/3 cup milk

  • 5 cups pecans
How to Make It

In a large mixing bowl, combine dates, figs, raisins, currants, pineapple, citron, cherries, orange peel, and brandy. Cover the bowl and let it sit overnight, stirring several times while soaking.

Preheat your oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a dozen mini loaf pans. Line the bottom of each tin with waxed paper and grease the paper.

In a medium sized bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, allspice, baking soda, and cloves.

In a large bowl, use your mixer to beat the butter and brown sugar until well blended. Increase the speed to medium high and continue mixing until the batter is fluffy and light. This should take about 5 minutes. Scrape the sides frequently. Reduce the mixer speed to medium. Add eggs one at a time, mixing them into the batter completely. Add molasses and mix. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture a bit at a time, alternating with the milk. You should start and end with the flour mixture. Blend well.

Pour batter into larger bowl and add fruit mixture, any brandy that was not absorbed by the fruit and the pecans. Mix.

Spoon batter into the mini loaf pans, spreading evenly. Bake in the oven until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. This takes about 1 hour 30 minutes. Let the fruitcakes cool in the pans on wire racks for 15 minutes. Run a thin knife around the edge of each cake and invert onto wire racks. Turn cakes upright and let them cool completely. Remove the waxed paper. Wrap cooled cakes in plastic wrap and then in a layer of foil. Keep in a cool place. They can keep in the refrigerator for up to a month before serving. Recipe makes 12 mini cakes.

Holiday Dessert - Old Fashioned Fruit Cake

Traditional Mexican food can trace some of its origins back hundreds of years. Following tradition is important in Mexican cuisine. Why not try some when you choose your Cinco de Mayo food in celebration of this rich culture? The Sweet Side of Mexican Food.

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