The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

The Dreaded Fruitcake

Paddyscake's picture

The Dreaded Fruitcake



We arrived home from vacation Saturday morning at 12:30AM, which was a good thing. Metro Portland, OR (and WA) have had record snow fall the past week and we landed in between snow storms.  There have been tons of people stuck at the airport, bus and trains stations trying to get home for Christmas.

We've been snowbound since Sunday and I baked up a storm (pun intended).  I made only 9 loaves of the FLOYD'S Cranberry Orange bread (last year was 15, and may I say, it is the very best), Gingerbread popcorn, Candied Spiced Walnuts, Peanut butter Fudge, Chocolate Iced Shortbread cookies and FRUITCAKE.

I know, I know the dreaded doorstop. Believe me though, this winner came from Alton Brown and we love it (I've tinkered with it a bit). The picture doesn't do it justice. Sliced, it doesn't look much different. It will be sprayed with apple brandy for a week or so and then oh yeah, with some frozen custard or whipped cream or as is, YUM!

It doesn't contain your normal icky candied fruit (what is that stuff?).  Candied ginger, dried blueberries,
cherries, cranberries, currants, golden raisins, apricots and the zest of an orange and lemon macerated in a combo of dark and coconut rum. For spices, ground cloves, allspice, cinnamon, ginger. I'd be happy to post the recipe if anyone is interested.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Holiday Greetings to all of you!

Hoping the coming year brings us all peace and good health.






gaaarp's picture

Betty, what wonderful looking treats!  Would you be willing to post your gingerbread popcorn recipe?  That sounds delightful.

Paddyscake's picture

recipe came from Culinary in the Desert blog.  Here's the recipe, hope you like it :

15 cups popped popcorn = (2 bags microwave popcorn)
1 c butter
2 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c molasses
1/4 c corn syrup
1 T ground ginger ( I like a heaping T)
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda

Preheat oven to 250. Line (2) 9x13 pans with foil and coat with cooking spray (I use Reynolds no stick foil, great stuff) and fill with popcorn.

Combine everything, but the baking soda in a heavy bottom saucepan. Heat over medium until mix boils. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Pour over the popcorn and toss to coat. Don't worry too much about getting all the popcorn coated, it will be coated by the end of baking.

Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool completely.





Cooky's picture

This is a case of a reputation being ruined by crappy, dry, tasteless commercial products. I remember my mother and aunt making massive quantities of a fruitcake similar to this years ago. They would soak it in bourbon, I believe, and let it sit wrapped in foil for about a month. It was delish with a bit of whipped cream. I agree that using dried instead of candied fruit is a big improvement.

RFMonaco's picture

I would appreciate the recipe......Thanks!

Paddyscake's picture

with some minor changes that I made.

1 c golden raisins
1 c currants
1/2 c dried cranberries
1/2 c dried blueberries
1/2 c dried cherries
1/2 c dried apricots, chopped
zest of one lemon and orange
1/4 chopped candied ginger
1 c gold rum (I used 1/2 c dark and 1/2 c coconut rum)

1 c sugar
1 1/4 sticks of butter (5 oz)
1 c apple cider
4 whole cloves ground (3/4 t ground cloves)
6 allspice berries ground (1 t ground allspice)
1 t cinnamon
1 t ground ginger

1 3/4 c AP flour
1 1/2 t salt
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 c toasted pecans
Brandy for basting and/ spritzing

Combine all the fruits and rum, macerate overnight.

Place fruit and rum into a non reactive pot with sugar, butter, apple juice and spices. Bring to a boil, stirring often, then simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for 1/2 hour.

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine dry ingredients and sift into fruit mix. Stir with a wooden spoon until mixed, then stir eggs in 1 at a time, then add nuts. Spoon into a 9x5 greased loaf pan (I always use parchment paper on the bottom). Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean. (I have found it takes 1 1/2 hours in my oven, so check at an hour and if needed every 10 minutes). Baste the top with brandy and cool completely on rack before removing. Seal in an airtight container and every 2-3 days spritz with brandy. 2 weeks is the recommended aging time.

Very easy to make, hope you enjoy it!









SylviaH's picture

Nothing dreaded about your tasty looking fruitcake....very nice!  Glad you got settled in for the Holidays...and Happy Holidays to you and yours!


pmccool's picture

It sounds absolutely wonderful!

We enjoyed toasted pain allemande aux fruits with breakfast this morning.

Merry Christmas!

Paddyscake's picture

I remember your post for Pain Allemande. That looks like another one I will have to try. My husband loves figs and all the other dried fruits.


Paddyscake's picture

your compliments. Hope you've all enjoyed the Holiday!


RFMonaco's picture

Thanks Betty...looks very good!

Wisecarver's picture
Wisecarver (not verified)

...this thread shows just how versitle these forums are. :-)

ehanner's picture

Thank you Betty for posting this. I have a question about the aging process. What is the method or container you use for this? I'm picturing a larger sized plastic container so the entire loaf could be sprayed or brushed with rum without removing it. Is that correct? The idea is to just moisten the surface every couple days or so I guess.

I have never made anything like this but secretly liked the ones I tasted all the while they have been joked about. It's a sugar thing I guess lol. I think I'll try this recipe now that the crazy holiday baking is done.


Paddyscake's picture

Hi Eric,

I use an old Tupperware cake carrier. I like it because it seals tightly and I can spray the tops and sides without moving it. Cooky, in a post above, mentions using foil.

Just keep the surface moist for a couple weeks then enjoy. It keeps forever. I think all the alcohol protects it from any chance of mold! We don't find it particularly boozy, but I guess that all depends on the person doing the spritzing!
We used Apple brandy for spraying.

I've always liked fruitcake, but the only one I ever had before this is Claxton Fruitcake, . It comes from Georgia and was just a 1 lb bar, not a cake per se.

This is really easy to whip up, hope you try and enjoy it.

Happy Holidays,


RFMonaco's picture

Here's a neat item I've been using for storing cake, bread, etc. Certainly extends freshness many times over, ie: keeping a cake as fresh as made for a very long time with no spoilage.