I know what your thinking, fruit cake!?!?!?! Nobody likes fruit cake right? Wrong it’s a classic holiday dessert that was created with functionality and has gotten a bad wrap.
Trust me I didn’t like fruit cake for years but in my family making it is a tradition. This is my grandmothers recipe and after she passed my dad made it every year and once old enough I would help. Every year Nov 11th after the Rembemerance service I would head to my fathers and begin the day of cake making.
Its not about the cake but rather the memories, the laughs and sometimes bickering in a kitchen heavily scented with cinnamon, cloves, mace, nutmeg, and rich dark rum.
This is the first year where the baking of the Christmas cakes is my job. My daughters are now old enough that they can assist with preparing the fruits.
Its both sad and a comfort. I wish I was making it with him, but I’m also glad that this is a passed on event. One day I hope to be the old lady sitting at the table with a coffee critiquing my daughters as they bake the cakes, hopefully with grandkids sneaking into the kitchen to steal raisins and candies fruit pieces.
Christmas Fruit Cake
4 lbs raisins (I like using sultanas)
1 lb chopped candies cherries (a mix of red and green)
1/2 lb chopped candied pineapple
1/2 lb chopped preserved ginger
1 lb chopped mix peel
1 tsp baking soda
4 cups flour (plus extra for dusting the fruit pieces)
1 lb butter (room temp)
1 lb dark brown sugar
10 large eggs
1 tumbler of black current jelly
1/2 small container of sour cream
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp mace
1 tsp nutmeg
1 lb chopped mixed nuts (unsalted)
1/2 mickey captain Morgan dark rum
Coat all raisins and fruits with flour.
In a bowl sift together flour and baking soda.
In mixer cream together butter and brown sugar. Add eggs one at a time until all combined.
Add jelly, sour cream, and spices to butter mixture.
Add nuts to bowl with fruit.
Add flour, and rum to butter mixture.
Pour cake batter over fruits and nuts and mix until all is combine.
Pour into greased and floured loaf pans.
Preheat oven to 300 F place a pan of water on the lower rack to provide moisture.
Bake for 1 hr 20 mins if using mini loaf pans (cook 5 at a time) if using regular loaf pans cook for 1 hr 45 min.
Allow to cool before removing from pans. wrap tightly in tin foil and freeze for 3-4 weeks.
Before serving or gifting remove from freezer and allow to defrost on counter. Once defrosted place in a cake pan or Tupperware container with just enough rum to cover the bottom and allow to rest until rum is absorbed into the cakes.
* These recipe will yield 10 mini loaves and 2 regular loaves.
I hope you have a tradition like this and if not, it’s always a good time to create one.