Tips For Making Fruitcake

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Tis the season for fruitcakes and if you’d like to try your hand at making one yourself (or troubleshoot any problems), here are a few tips and recipes I’ve collected to help achieve the best results possible…

Homemade Fruitcake On The Holiday Table Is Looked Forward To Year After Year

Homemade Fruitcake On The Holiday Table Is Looked Forward To Year After Year

  • Completely dust the fruit and nuts with flour so they don’t fall to the bottom of the batter while baking. Shake off excess flour before mixing in the recipe.
  • Oven temperature should be low enough to cook the batter fully without drying out the cake (250°F).
  • First line the cake pans with several layers of brown paper, this insulates the batter against excess drying.
  • Baking pans should only be filled 2/3 full of batter, not full.
  • After baking, the cake should be thoroughly cooled on a rack, then removed from pan and wrapped in aluminum foil. Store in a cake box. Cake may be wrapped in several thicknesses of cheesecloth. Brandy or fruit juice may be poured on the cloth occasionally.
  • Make fruitcakes at least 3 weeks before using, this allows them time to ripen.
  • Don’t freeze a fruitcake right away. Let it age at least 3 to 4 weeks first so it has a chance to build its flavor (ripen).
  • Use the best spices, nuts and dried fruits you can afford. Spices should be fresh.

I found the above information in an old community cookbook. If you’re always on the lookout for cake baking tips, you won’t want to miss this big list: 43 Cake Baking Tips & Tricks.

Old-Fashioned Recipes Collection

These are from old cookbooks…

White Fruit Cake

Ingredients

1 cup butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp salt
2 cups plus 2 TBS flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups seedless raisins
1 pkg (8oz) mixed fruit
1/2 cup red cherries
1/2 cup green cherries
1/2 cup nuts
1 lemon (juice and rind)
1 orange (juice and rind)

Directions:

  • Prepare fruit and pour over the fruit juices and let stand overnight.
  • Cream butter and sugar till foamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between each.
  • Add flour sifted with salt and baking powder, alternating with fruit.
  • Bake in slow oven (275°F) for 3 1/2 hours.

Tip: Place a small pan of water in the oven to help keep cake moist.

Yield: 1 9×9″ cake

Dark Fruit Cake Recipe

Prepare Fruit & Nut Mix:

  • 1 lb currants
  • 3 lbs raisins
  • 1/2 lb dates
  • 2 lbs mixed glace fruit
  • 1 6oz bottle red maraschino cherries, drained
  • 1 6oz bottle green maraschino cherries, drained
  • 2 cups blanched almonds, slivered
  • 1 cup walnuts

Dredge the above with 1 cup sifted flour.

Cream together well (Creamed Mixture): 1 lb butter, 1 1/2 cups white sugar, 1 cup brown sugar

Blend in and beat thoroughly:

  • 1 TBS lemon flavoring
  • 1 TBS vanilla
  • 1 TBS almond flavoring
  • 1/2 cup thick, sour cream

Beat well and add to creamed mixture: 10 eggs

Sift together (Flour Mixture):

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cloves

Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture.

Then add 1/2 cup thick strawberry jam and juice from bottle of red maraschino cherries.

Pour the batter over the fruit mixture and mix thoroughly.

  • Line pans as instructed in the Light Fruit Cake Recipe (below).
  • This will make a 3 tiered cake.
  • Fill pans about 2/3 full.
  • Bake at 250°F

Master List of Ingredients:

  • 1 lb currants (about 3 cups)
  • 1/2 lb dates
  • 3 lbs raisins (about 9 cups)
  • 2 lbs mixed glace fruit (about 6 cups)
  • 1 6oz bottle red maraschino cherries, drained
  • 1 6oz bottle green maraschino cherries, drained
  • 2 cups blanched almonds, slivered
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup sifted flour
  • 1 lb butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 TBS lemon flavoring
  • 1 TBS vanilla
  • 1 TBS almond flavoring
  • 1/2 cup thick, sour cream
  • 10 eggs
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 cup thick strawberry jam
  • juice from bottle of maraschino cherries

Light Fruit Cake:

  1. First cream 1 1/2 cups of butter.
  2. Then gradually blend in 1 1/2 cups sugar.
  3. Add one at a time, beating well after each addition: 6 medium size eggs.
  4. Add 1 tsp almond extract, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp lemon extract and beat well.
  5. Sift together three times: 3 1/2 cups sifted flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt.
  6. Use about 1/2 cup of the mixture to flour the fruit and nuts as prepared below:
    • 1 cup glace or well drained maraschino cherries, halved
    • 2 cups seedless raisins
    • 3/4 cup mixed lemon and orange peel, finely cut
    • 2 rings candied pineapple, diced
    • 1 cup blanched, shredded almonds
  7. Add to butter & egg mixture the remaining sifted dry ingredients and 3 TBS cream.
  8. Fold in the fruits and nuts
  9. Now line your cake tins* with three thicknesses of brown paper on the bottom and two on the sides.
  10. Grease the paper next to the cake.
  11. Fill the pans about 2/3 full. Build the cake batter well up to the sides and corners of the tin, making a slight hollow in the center.
  12. Bake at 250°F until done (small and medium size pans will take 2 to 3 1/2 hours, large size pan takes 4 to 4 1/2 hours).
  13. Cake should be firm and should no longer sizzle when pressed lightly.
  14. Cool on cake rack until thoroughly cold.

Cake Tin Sizes:

Large – 8x8x3-1/2″
Medium – 6x6x3-1/2″

Master List of Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs, medium size
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp lemon extract
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup glace or well drained maraschino cherries, halved
  • 2 cups seedless raisins
  • 3/4 cup mixed lemon and orange peel, finely cut
  • 2 rings candied pineapple, diced
  • 1 cup blanched, shredded almonds
  • 3 TBS cream

Mincemeat Fruit Cake Recipe

This makes a quick and economical fruit cake.

  1. Cream together 1/2 cup shortening and 1 cup sugar.
  2. Add and beat until smooth and creamy: 2 eggs, well beaten.
  3. Sift together: 2 cups sifted flour, 2 TBS cocoa, 3 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, alternating with 1/2 cup water, sherry or grape juice (real grape juice, not the purple powdered stuff).
  5. Beat the above until everything’s thoroughly blended.
  6. Then add 1 cup mincemeat (first drained dry), 1/2 cup nuts, finely chopped.
  7. Pour into a greased pan 8x8x2 inches. Bake at 300°F. approximately 1 1/4 hours.

Master Ingredient List:

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 2 TBS cocoa
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water, sherry or grape juice
  • 1 cup mincemeat, drained dry
  • 1/2 cup nuts, finely chopped

Fruit Cake Glaze

Combine and bring just to rolling boil:

  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water

Remove from heat. Cool to lukewarm.

Pour over cold cake before or after storing.

Decorate with candied fruits.

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Published: December 3, 2007
Updated: October 10, 2012

What Readers Are Saying:
2 Comments to “Tips For Making Fruitcake”
  1. jane bennett says:

    I have a boiled datenut cake i make…it was my Grandmas’….it is delish…but,i am def luvin’ these and can’t wait to try them…even though Christmas is past…or ,i guess,on it’s way…lol

  2. sandy b says:

    Looking for a recipe for a dark fruit cake mix made from a modified pillsbury date bread mix fruit cake recipe….sorted, organized recipes and threw out the wrong pile…didn’t notice till next year…was my mom’s recipe.


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