Skip to content

Mini Loaves, Banana And Fruitcake- Christmas/Holiday Gift Box

fruit cake

fruit cake

I love including a mini loaf in my gift box of cookies. I always do banana, sometimes I do pear or apple or fig. This year I made banana which is always good and yesterday I got an email from Pure Wow Recipes. The name of it was The Best Damn Fruitcake Ever. Hmmmm I thought, thats a lofty claim, the dreaded fruitcake that most really hate, can this be the exception that I have been looking for. I decided to give it a try. How can you go wrong with delicious dried assorted fruits, nuts and booze. I bought the fruit. was out of bourbon so I used cognac to soak the fruit, ran out of almonds so I used walnuts along with the hazelnuts and pistachio’s. I must say it tastes absolutely nothing like the dreaded fruitcake, it is a loaf like banana bread or any fruit based bread really and is really good. If I make this again,  I will make a few changes. They have you soak the fruit for 10 minutes in 1/2 cup of bourbon (cognac) I would soak the fruit longer even over night in more booze. The other change I would make is baking temperature. They say 350 degree’s I would bake at 325 degree’s. I found it got done much quicker (actually a bit overdone) than they said, of course to be fair I doubled the recipe baked 4 mini loaves and 1 larger loaf in a pan that wasn’t quite full enough. If I had left the larger loaf in the oven for 2 hours it would have burnt. All in all I think this is a really nice fruit cake and is a recipe I would play around with and tweak, it has serious potential.

Ingredients

Makes one 9 inch loaf or 3 mini loaves

from Pure Wow Recipes

½ cup dried apricots, chopped

½ cup dried cranberries

½ cup dried cherries

½ cup golden raisins

1 cup bourbon

½ cup pistachios, chopped

½ cup hazelnuts, chopped

½ cup pecans, chopped

½ cup sliced almonds

12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup light brown sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons orange zest

Pinch of cinnamon

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Turbinado sugar, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a loaf pan with nonstick spray.

2. Prepare the fruit: In a medium-size heat-safe bowl, toss the apricots with the cranberries, cherries and raisins. In a small pot, bring the bourbon to a simmer. Pour it over the fruit and let sit for 10 minutes. NOTE: I soaked my fruit overnight and because I did that I didn’t bring the bourbon/cognac to a simmer on the stove.

3. Drain the fruit, reserving the bourbon. Transfer the fruit to another medium bowl and toss with the pistachios, hazelnuts, pecans and almonds. Set aside.

4. Make the batter: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the side of the bowl well after each addition.

5. Beat in the vanilla extract, orange zest and cinnamon. Add the flour and baking powder; mix just until combined.

6. Bake the cake: Add the fruit-and-nut mixture to the batter and mix to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Garnish with a sprinkle of turbinado sugar, then bake until golden and cooked through, 2 to 2½ hours. NOTE: I made 3 mini loaves which took approximately 45 minutes to bake. I tested with a bamboo skewer starting at 30 minutes in the oven. 

7. While the cake is baking, bring the reserved bourbon to a simmer and reduce to about ¼ cup. Pour the reduced bourbon over the warm cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. Let the cake cool completely before slicing and serving. The uncut cake will keep for up to two weeks in an airtight container. NOTE: I did not cook the bourbon/cognac but spooned some on the cake when it came out of the oven, let it cool then spooned on a little more and wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in a air tight tin. Every few days I spooned more syrup on the cake and re wrapped and let it age in the tin. It is good after about a week to eat but it can sit longer.

not your average fruitcake

not your average fruitcake

Banana Bread:

Makes one 9 inch loaf or 3 mini loaves

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 heaping cup mashed very ripe bananas (the recipe calls for 1 cup, I pile it high)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan; set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, and beat to incorporate.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture, and mix until just combined. Add bananas, sour cream, and vanilla; mix to combine. Stir in nuts, and pour into prepared pan.
  3. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.
Banana bread

Banana bread

 

59 Comments Post a comment
  1. Wow, there is nothing I like better than a fruit cake with booze!!! I will be so making it this holiday. Speaking of which, have a wonderful holiday Suzanne, I know it was a difficult year for you and hope that the next one will bring many, many happy moments!

    December 18, 2014
    • I have never made this recipe before and am afraid I blew it, the loaves over baked and although they taste good are not soft, they are actually quite hard. I cannot put them in my gift boxes and now have to think of something to do with hard fruit cake loaves. LOL, maybe a trifle or something. Thanks Sashy, yes it has been a difficult year. Losing Izzy has taken it’s toll on me. Thank you so much for your kind words.

      December 18, 2014
  2. What is it with fruit cake?! I love the stuff. Still haven’t made any. Problem is, I can’t get dried cherries here. And I’m not so keen on using mixed dried fruit from packs. Maybe I’ll try and make something over Christmas. Now, what can I soak the fruit in as I don’t drink. Do they need to be soaked? Wouldn’t have thought so…

    December 18, 2014
    • You know Johnny, the only reason I can think for soaking the fruit is that they add moisture to the loaf but you can do other things to add moisture. I do like fruitcake, not the kind with those super sweet candied fruit but this type with the lovely dried fruit. Have to admit, the soaked fruit was really good. Thank you so much.

      December 18, 2014
  3. I made oodles of mini loaves today! Still need to make more though, and here you are supplying more ideas. 🙂 Love the delicious variety of nuts you used in the fruitcake version! I’ll make note of your comments in regard to soaking and oven temp. Thanks for sharing this, Suzanne.

    December 18, 2014
    • I have to make more tomorrow. Can’t send the fruitcake loaves. I do believe it’s a good recipe I think I seriously overbooked it. The loaves got really hard. Tomorrow I am going to make some apple or pear loaves. I guess with this recipe if doing mini loaves your really have to watch time and temp carefully. Thanks Nancy.

      December 18, 2014
  4. Suzanne, You are killing me with these super delicious posts. I LOVE fruit cake. I love to try this recipe. What do you suggest for me to use instead of bourbon? Non-alcoholic. 🙂

    December 18, 2014
    • I would soak the fruit in apple juice or even freshly squeezed orange or tangerine juice I think that would be delicious. Thanks so much Fae.

      December 18, 2014
  5. I think I have only made fruitcake once since my Mom died in 2007. We used to make the one from Jeffrey Steingarten’s MIL – it is terrific. Yours looks and sounds wonderful!

    December 18, 2014
    • Thanks Liz, I need to work on this recipe a bit. Did you post your fruitcake recipe on Food52?

      December 18, 2014
  6. Love it love it love it!
    Made yor thumbprint cookies last night. Absokuteky delish! These loaves sound so decandent!

    December 18, 2014
    • Thank you, so glad you liked the thumbprints. i have to make some more. The banana bread is the best, I’ve used this recipe for years. I think the fruitcake has potential i think I blew it though and over baked.

      December 18, 2014
      • I made a layered coffee bundt cake last night and it was rich, moist and so festive! Added loads of nuts.

        December 18, 2014
      • Did you get pics? Will you post the recipe. Sounds delicious, love lots of nuts!!

        December 18, 2014
  7. Beautiful

    December 18, 2014
  8. I am not a big fruit cake fan, BUT these sound wonderful!
    Don’t be down on yourself. You’re a good, kind, intelligent, creative, supportive person. I think msybe you need some rest though. Wishing you every happiness, my friend. 🙂

    December 18, 2014
    • Thanks you are right, I do need some rest. Thank you so much. I am not a fruit cake person either, thought this sounded good though and it is, I just miscalculated and maybe the oven temp is too high or both.

      December 18, 2014
  9. You fruit cakes look wonderful (much much better than mine) and I soak my fruits in a bowl of orange blossom water instead of alcohol 🙂 Love the texture of your cake 🙂

    December 19, 2014
    • Oh Linda that sounds delicious. I was thinking orange juice would make a delicious soaking liquid but love the idea of orange blossom water. Thank you so much.

      December 19, 2014
  10. Love ur idea of mini loaves in a cookie basket! These sound lovely 🙂

    December 19, 2014
    • Thanks I love making mini loaves, going to make some more this weekend. They freeze well too!! Thanks again and Happy Holidays.

      December 19, 2014
  11. The recipients of your gift boxes are so very lucky Suzanne! So much love, time and effort goes into making all these goodies. I adore fruitcake (particularly at Christmas time!) and these little loaves with their cognac soaked fruit sound amazing!

    December 19, 2014
    • Thanks Margot, I have a love hate relationship with fruitcake, this recipe is really good, very tasty and the fruit soaked in cognac is wonderful. Thanks so much and Happy Holidays.

      December 19, 2014
  12. I love this idea and can’t believe I missed the opportunity to use my mini loaf tins in this years Christmas hampers! Thanks for the inspiration, I definitely will be doing so next year 🙂 have a wonderful Christmas!

    December 19, 2014
    • I know it’s so much fun to make mini loaves, they are so cute and make such a nice addition to a basket of treats. Thanks so much Holly.

      December 19, 2014
  13. These loaves are great Suzanne. So inspirational and inviting! Thanks for the recipe, I wish you a truly Merry Christmas!

    December 19, 2014
    • Same to you Viviana, thank you so much and hope you and your family have a wonderful Holiday!

      December 19, 2014
  14. These little loves are beautiful! What a special addition to give as gifts. These are lovely!

    December 19, 2014
  15. Hi Suzanne, absolutely love all those cakes. But, I can’t make the time . At the meantime, my antique laptop was going strike, I get so frustrated it. It can’t work. So I need to borrow my Hubby’s to do the writing. It took me lots of time.
    Wish you have a happy Christmas!

    December 19, 2014
    • Happy Christmas to you too, so sorry your laptop is giving you problems. Mine is too but I can still use it. Time for a new one I think.

      December 19, 2014
      • Yeah, we can have a good reason to get a new one.

        December 20, 2014
  16. What lovely loaves, both recipes are gorgoeus xx

    December 19, 2014
  17. What a delicious twist on christmas fruit bread, these loaves look awesome 😀

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    December 19, 2014
  18. Your posts are killing me. I want some!

    December 19, 2014
  19. Wow these loaves looks delightful Suzanne. .. love the addition of sour cream there…. yummm…

    December 19, 2014
    • Yes the sour cream makes the banana bread delicious. I love adding to baked goods. Thanks Chitra.

      December 20, 2014
  20. Banana bread is one of my favourite sweet things. I have never added sour cream so I am going to make this version the next time. I am a fan of fruit cake but it’s a while since I made a Christmas cake, the recipe for the one I used to make suggested soaking the fruit for ten days! 😉

    December 20, 2014
    • Thank you, yes I love banana bread also, soaking the fruit 10 days sounds good I would soak much longer than 10 minutes is just not enough in my opinion at least a good overnight soak or longer is in order. But really it is a delicious fruitcake, I will make it again with a few minor changes.

      December 20, 2014
  21. These look so beautiful Suzanne! I love that you baked 4 mini loaves. I am one that doesn’t like typical fruit cake because I’m not a fan of too much fruit, but I love how these don’t look soggy, but nice and firm. Gorgeous!

    December 20, 2014
    • It’s a really nice fruitcake recipe, well balanced with fruit, cake and nuts. Delicious. I will definitely make this again. Thanks so much,

      December 20, 2014
  22. What a lovely idea. Lucky lucky recipients!

    December 21, 2014
    • Both loaves are great the banana bread is fantastic but I am in love now with that fruit cake. It’s delicious, Thanks so much.

      December 22, 2014
  23. This looks delicious. I think I’d much prefer this recipe to traditional Christmas cake. Emma xx

    December 21, 2014
    • Yes Emma, it’s a wonderful fruit cake. So unlike the traditional. Thank you so much.

      December 22, 2014
  24. Have to try the banana bread recipe – I have had 3 over ripe bananas in my freezer waiting to make a banana bread – this sound wonderful!

    December 22, 2014
  25. Antonia James #

    I didn’t make any fruitcakes of any kind this year, making instead 5 pretty amazing chocolate panfortes (panforti for the purists out there), which are each stuffed with dried fruit and nuts. This fruitcake looks like a real winner. I’m bookmarking it for next year!
    Also, did you know that if you refrigerate a fruitcake, it’s much easier to cut? My father now makes and ships the same old-fashioned fruitcake that my mother always made – but he puts it into mini-loaves. I found that refrigerated it can be sliced quite thinly, if one uses a just-sharpened utility knife.
    Wishing you all the best. ;o)

    December 28, 2015
    • Hi and how nice to see you. I would love to know which recipe you used for the panforti I love it and would really like to make. Very good tip about refrigerating. I hate cutting fruitcake it breaks and does not always slice nicely. Thank you so much I hope you are doing well and happy holidays.

      December 28, 2015

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Christmas Gift Hampers | Noisette
  2. Crinkle Cookies, Decorating And More Stuff | apuginthekitchen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: