Do people really like fruitcake? Why, yes, people like fruitcake. It’s fake news that people don’t like fruitcakes. Johnny Carson makes a joke on the Tonight Show and pretty soon we all think fruitcake is nasty, without even tasting it. Now we know you’re hearing your mom’s voice say, “Did you try it?”
From Roman roots to Royal Cake, fruitcake is an extravagant dish that is calorie-dense and rich. If you like pineapple cake, apple cinnamon cake, or carrot cake, you’ll likely love fruitcake.
Fruitcake is traditionally made with candied fruit, nuts, sugar, and flour just to keep it together much in the way you use a bit of oatmeal in a meatloaf. (Ewww. But yeah.) The ingredients are quite expensive to buy and you’re not meant to eat a normal size slice, either. In fact, it’s best served like a two-bite brownie since both are rich. Some suggest serving it with a bit of sharp cheese to balance the sweetness.
“Broken down into its parts, a good fruitcake contains ingredients that most people love: plump dates, candied cherries, almond extract, pecans, walnuts and sugar. And when it comes out of the oven, it is showered in whiskey.” NYTimes
Salt, sugar, and alcohol all taste amazing (bacon anyone?). More importantly, they serve a preservation function. After all, you wouldn’t want to eat any kind of cake unless it was fresh (ew. mold.). This is why fruitcake is made with candied fruit (sugar preserves) and is doused and wrapped in an alcohol-soaked cloth (alcohol kills bacteria.)
“Made this on Christmas Eve, despite my family scoffing that fruitcake couldn't be good. They changed their minds, and I think it's delicious!” Suzanne
As a bonus, we’re including Chef Warren Laine-Naida’s Fruitcake Recipe that he makes for his own family each year. It runs about $70 to make.
Fun fact: The German Stollen, also a type of fruitcake, is actually classified as a bread. Its form is meant to remind us of the swaddled baby Jesus, the powdered sugar covering the loaf the swaddling clothes.
500 grams raisins
250 grams candied orange peel
250 grams candied cherries
250 grams chopped dried dates
250 grams walnuts and almonds mixed
Mix this together with gingerbread spices, and one cup each of dark rum, and whiskey. Let sit for one month, well covered.
375 grams flour
375 grams butter
375 brown sugar
Makes 9 inch cake.
Grease the pan, line it with baking paper, this stops the edge from baking or overcooking.
150 C oven NO FAN.
Place a pan of boiling water at the bottom of the oven. This will keep the oven moist and help avoid drying out the cake. Make sure this container is kept topped up with water should it evaporate.
Cream butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs.
Sift the flour into this mixture bit by bit.
Add the fruit and nut mixture.
Place the cake batter into the pan.
Cover with a round of baking paper.
Bake for 2.5 to 3 hours.
We spread the cake’s surface with orange or apricot jam and then cover it with rolled out marzipan.
Over this goes a layer of royal icing. When the icing is dry, we dust it with powdered sugar and decorate with some figures.
You don’t have to be a famous chef, or any kind of chef, to enjoy fruitcake during the holiday season. Harry & David have several varieties available for purchase online. You can also purchase the famous Eilenberger Bakery Fruitcake from Gold Belly and even bite-sized fruticakes from Texas!
The holiday tin, conversation piece, and fruitcake serviced with your favorite brandy and sharp cheese in front of your warm fireplace (or TV equivalent) is a great way to end any evening during the holidays.
So the real question is, will you be serving fruitcake over the holiday this year? We would love it if you would subscribe to our newsletter where we send weekly emails with helpful and fun articles. Feel free to share this article with your friends and get back to living your best life!