Fruitcake is a rich, dense cake that is traditionally made with candied or dried fruits, nuts, and spices. It is typically made well in advance of a holiday or special occasion, as the flavors of the fruit and spices develop and deepen over time. Fruitcake is often served during the winter holiday season, but it can also be enjoyed throughout the year.
The ingredients and preparation methods for fruitcake can vary widely depending on the recipe and cultural traditions. Some fruitcakes are made with alcohol, such as brandy or rum, to enhance the flavor and preserve the cake. Other variations might include honey, molasses, or different types of nuts or fruits. Fruitcake can be baked in a variety of pans, from traditional loaf pans to bundt pans, and can be served plain or decorated with icing, frosting, or additional fruit and nuts.
1 pound mixed dried fruit (such as raisins, currants, cherries, cranberries, and candied peel)
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 cup brandy or rum (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Grease a 9-inch (23-cm) square or round cake pan with butter and line with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the mixed dried fruit and brandy or rum (if using) and let soak for at least 30 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, mixing until just combined.
- Stir in the soaked fruit and any remaining liquid.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
- Bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan before removing and serving.