Fruit cakes are one of those things people either love or hate. If you've been disappointed by store-bought fruit cakes in the past, it's time to try one of these delicious recipes and find out how good a homemade version of this dessert can be.
Fruit Cake With Rum
Soaking the fruit in rum gives this cake a very distinct flavor. This recipe yields one loaf.
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 1/2 cup dried blueberries
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup candied ginger, chopped
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
- Zest of 1 orange
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 cup dark rum
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 ¼ sticks unsalted butter (10 tablespoons)
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 ¾ cups flour
- 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup pecan pieces
- 1 heaping tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- Mix dried fruit and citrus zest with rum in a bowl and cover. Soak overnight.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Combine fruit mixture, sugar, apple cider, butter, and spices in a saucepan and simmer over medium-high heat for 10 minutes.
- Cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Pour fruit mixture in a large bowl.
- Combine all dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda) and sift into fruit mixture.
- Stir to mix and then add eggs and mix.
- Pour into a nonstick loaf pan and sprinkle with pecans.
- Bake about one hour, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool on a wire rack.
Recipe contributed by Karen Frazier, Cookbook Author
Fruit Cake With Raisins and Walnuts
If you prefer a recipe that doesn't call for rum, this is a good one to try. It yields two loaves or one 9-inch round cake.
- 6 eggs, separated
- 6 ounces granulated white sugar (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
- Pinch of salt
- 5 ounces flour (1 and 1/3 cups)
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 pound walnuts, finely chopped
- 3/4 pound raisins, chopped
- 1/4 pound citron, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prepare two loaf pans by coating with cooking spray or buttering and dusting with flour.
- In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks with an electric mixer until they are thick and have lightened in color to a pale lemon yellow.
- Beat in the sugar a little at a time until the mixture is very stiff.
- In a separate bowl, add the salt to the egg whites. Beat the whites with clean mixer paddles until they are very stiff.
- Pour the yolk mixture into the whites. Sift in about 1/4 of the flour and add a handful of the walnuts. Fold the mixture three or four times with a spatula.
- Repeat the process in several parts, adding more flour, nuts, raisins, and citron each time, until all the ingredients are combined. In the last addition, stir in the heavy cream. Do not overmix.
- Divide the batter evenly among the two baking pans.
- Bake the cakes for 60 to 90 minutes, until they are golden brown and pass the toothpick test.
- Let the cakes cool completely before removing from the pan, slicing, and serving.
Alternate Cooking Method
The cakes can be cooked using a combination of steaming and baking if you prefer. Follow the first eight steps above, then proceed as follows:
- Cover each pan tightly with aluminum foil.
- Steam the cakes.
- Set up boiling water in a steamer and place the cake pans in the hot steamer. Steam for 2 to 3 hours, adding new boiling water when necessary.
- If you don't have a steamer, boil several inches of water in a large stockpot. Set a heatproof dish or metal rack in the bottom of the stockpot and set the cake pans on top of the dish so that they don't touch the bottom of the pot and are above the water line (you may have to steam each cake separately). Cover the pot and steam the cakes for 2 to 3 hours, adding more boiling water when necessary.
- Near the end of the steaming time, preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. After steaming the cakes, bake them for 30 to 60 minutes or until they pass the toothpick test.
Recipe contributed by Carly Schuna
Fruit cake is a tour de force all by itself, but there are a few additions you can add if you like.
- Drizzle icing over the cake or frost the top with buttercream before slicing.
- Serve with custard, either on the side or spooned onto the cake.
- Add a dollop of whipped cream on top.
Cakes made with these recipes can be kept for about one week. Store them in sealed cake carriers and place them in a cool, dry place.
A Labor of Love
Making a fruit cake takes more effort than many other cakes, but it's definitely worth it when you taste the results. If you haven't loved any of those fruit cake gifts you've received in the past, here's your chance to bake one for yourself.