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Best Damn Fruitcake The Start Of Holiday Baking

Festive

Festive

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted anything, things have been kind of crazy and time has gotten past me. Cooking has not been a priority except what I need to sustain myself. I am going to make a concerted effort to post more, cook more, develop recipes, it’s my passion that frankly has taken a back seat to other things and I feel like I am unbalanced. I need to get back in the groove so to speak and am hoping that all the cooking that I am doing will help me to get my mojo back. In January my blog will be 5 years old, thats a long time and I am proud of how this site has evolved and also saddened that I have let it slip away lately. It has taken me a while to get some balance after the passing of Nando and Izzy. Percy is helping me and is such a good boy, he has brought joy back into my life. I am so thankful for that.

The Holidays are upon us, for me that means a lot of time in the kitchen baking. Cookies, mini loaves, cakes and pies, it’s a very important part of the holidays for me and this year will be no exception. The title of this recipe may sound kind of funny but that’s actually what they called it in Pure Wow which is where I first found this recipe. I have changed it considerably from the ingredients to the baking time and temperature. That said this is the BEST fruitcake I have ever had. A far cry from the commercially prepared and dreaded Christmas gifts that many of us grew up on. No green and red candied or fake fruit, there is actually noticable cake with a balanced amount of fruit and nuts. I make this every year and although these photo’s are from last year as I have not started my baking yet it will be made this year many times over, it is included in my gift baskets for friends and family who all agree that it really is The Best Damn Fruitcake.

fruit cakes

fruit cakes after a good soaking and brushed with a little plum jam

Best Damn Fruitcake

Makes one 9 inch loaf or 3 mini loaves

1 1/2 cups dried fruit of your choice- I used cherries, cranberries, apricots, pears and golden raisins. Use however much you like of each so that you have a total of 1 1/2 cups

1 1/2 cups nuts chopped- I used pecans, hazelnuts, pistachio’s and almonds. Use whatever you like, however much of each so that it equals 1 1/2 cups

1 1/2 cup booze or fruit juice like apple cider- (I have used cognac, bourbon, port, also have thrown in some Poire William), heated on stove top or in microwave until hot not boiling .

12 tbs unsalted butter at room temperature

1 cup packed light brown sugar

2 eggs at room temperature

2 tsp vanilla

1 tbs orange or tangerine zest

1 1/2 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

pinch of cinnamon

1 tbs retained liquid from fruit

Demerara or turbinado sugar for sprinkling

Instructions

Pre heat oven to 325 and prepare your loaf pan or pans. Butter or spray with cooking spray.

Pour the hot booze or juice over the fruit and let sit for at least 30 minutes. The longer the fruit sits in the liquid the better it is in my opinion, the recipe only has the fruit macerate for 10 minutes, but it can easily sit overnight or 48 hours.

Drain the fruit but retain the liquid, you will need it later so don’t discard.

Place the drained fruit and chopped nuts in a bowl and set aside.

In your mixer with paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar for about 4-5 minutes. It should be light and fluffy, scrape sides as needed. Add the eggs one at a time beating well between additions and scraping the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla, orange zest and cinnamon.

Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Add to the butter mixture and beat only until combined adding 1 tbs of retained liquid from the fruit. Remove the bowl from your mixer and add the fruit and nuts and fold in until combined. Add the batter to the pan or pans, smooth the top and sprinkle with the sugar. Bake with the rack in the middle of the oven. If you are making one loaf for about 90 minutes or more (watch carefully) or until tester comes out clean. If mini loaves approximately 40-50 minutes. They will be golden brown. Remove from the oven and spoon some of the retained liquid on the loaf or loaves and let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and finish cooling on rack, spoon some more liquid on them and wrap in plastic or cheese cloth and store in air tight tin, These are best served 48+ hours after baking. Over the next couple of days continue to spoon more of the retained liquid on the loaf re wrapping and storing in the airtight container until you are ready to serve.

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88 Comments Post a comment
  1. Love the name of the cake! They look suitably festive and delicious.

    December 2, 2016
    • Lisa, thank you so much. It feels like the holidays when I make fruitcake and eggnog.

      December 3, 2016
  2. Yum-Yum-Yum!!!

    December 2, 2016
  3. Do you know that I never ever ate a piece of fruit cake in my life

    Everytime I looked at that “dreaded Christmas gift” I just thought…yuk 😧 and turned away after a very short glimpse of the dreaded fruit cake!

    I had concerns it would give me nightmares coming to life in my sleep 😴 and attacking me

    Your fruit cake though does look damn good 😋 with all those nuts inside golden brown on the outside and the good selection of fruits

    Merry 🎄 Christmas…enjoy 🎅

    December 2, 2016
    • Oh I hated that awful fruitcake we got every year for Christmas it was so bad and for the life of me I don’t know why they make them and can’t believe there is a market for them. This one is so good, not your “dreaded fruitcake” for sure, thank you so much, merry merry 🎄

      December 2, 2016
  4. I am not a big fan of fruit cake but yours looks delicious and I might give it a try it . Enjoy the holidays and everything that comes with it.

    December 2, 2016
    • Thank you so much Gerlinde. Hope you have a wonderful holiday, are you staying stateside or traveling?

      December 3, 2016
  5. My sister in law just delivered my annual Christmas cake and like yours it should spend time in Betty Ford’s or at least join AA. (or in Mike’s case AU…Alcoholic’s Unanimous ).
    The cakes look glorious Suzanne, I can see cherries radiating through the top.
    Have a Wonderful Christmas.
    xxx Hugs Galore xxx

    December 2, 2016
    • AU? Haha save a piece for me, David. Hugs.

      December 3, 2016
    • Oh I bet your sister in law’s cake is awesome. Thank you so much David, yep there is a little bit of the hard stuff soaked into this cake which makes it even better and there are cherries peeking out from the top for sure. Hope your holidays are magical!

      December 3, 2016
  6. Oh my goodness Suzanne, I would so eat a piece of this! We always had the laughable “regifted” fruitcake from our Uncle each year. He wanted to see how many Christmases it survived from regifting within our family before it got tossed. I’m sure it went at least 20 years, lol.

    December 3, 2016
    • Thanks Kathryn, it is a really wonderful recipe. Ugh… the fruitcakes I grew up not eating were the worst. Re gifting them is a tradition in many families, in NYC there is a tradition where people toss fruitcakes from their windows but have to make sure no one is underneath they could seriously maim if hit with one.

      December 3, 2016
  7. Yum, I love christmas cake. This sounds great. Thanks for the share.

    December 3, 2016
    • Thank you so much, until I tasted this recipe I hated Christmas cake hope you have a wonderful holiday.

      December 3, 2016
  8. I’ve always hated fruit cake too, but yours do look lovely!
    Be kind to yourself, you do so much and sometimes our blogs take a back seat for a little while, but we always come back to them xx

    December 3, 2016
    • Hi Elaine, thank you so much. Me too, always hated fruit cake until I tried this one. I just have to find balance, and I will. Still staying on track with a few minor blips but not beating myself up though. Thank you my friend and happy holidays.

      December 3, 2016
      • It sounds like you’re doing brilliantly! You should be very proud of yourself xxx

        December 3, 2016
      • I am, fell off the wagon a bit at Thanksgiving but not terribly and I am sticking with the plan but not being hard on myself during the holidays, this is not a diet it’s a life style change for me. Not worried about losing weight just trying to be healthy. Your encouragement has helped me tremendously and I hear your voice in my head when I eat it’s brilliant.

        December 3, 2016
  9. Reblogged this on ravenhawks' magazine and commented:
    This fruitcake actually looks good! Love the name.

    December 3, 2016
  10. This fruitcake is gorgeous – I can either love or hate fruitcakes and this is definitely one I love. works well with spelt flour too…

    December 3, 2016
    • Same here, I hated them really did, used to pick out that weird fruit it tasted so bad. This cake is delicious and is now one of my favorites. Thank you so much.

      December 3, 2016
  11. Looks delicious!

    December 3, 2016
  12. Wow this sounds lovely! My dad loves fruit cake so I will give it a try!

    December 3, 2016
  13. Love the title “Best damn fruitcake” :). I grew up eating fruitcake around Christmas time and absolutely love it. From assembling the ingredients to adding the booze and drizzling it every so often. Living in England too with my family, fruit cake was always a must, together with the mince pies. Alas, I’ve stopped the tradition as it definitely is so tempting, and with only my husband and myself devouring it, I felt it to be too much of a temptation. I’m going to bookmark your recipe though Suzanne. Perhaps I can make it in a loaf pan or mini loaf pans. It looks just gorgeous with the various fruit and nuts and love the top.

    December 3, 2016
    • Thanks Loretta, the recipe title caught my eye when I got the email and I thought, well, thats a big statement lets see if it’s true, it was and with some changes it’s really the best fruitcake I’ve had. Hope you and your husband have a wonderful holiday.

      December 3, 2016
  14. Haha… I had to smile when I saw the recipe title, Suzanne. The photos are beautiful (it doesn’t matter when you took them). What a beautiful golden color.
    I’m happy you are beginning to find your balance. Believe me I can relate. This year brought me one failure too many, and my equilibrium has left the building. So just do whatever brings you peace and joy. We’ll still be here whenever you post. Mega hugs.

    December 3, 2016
    • Thanks Teagan, I know this year has been hard for you. But you persevere and continue to write and you are an inspiration. Thank you for your support and wishing you a very happy holiday.

      December 3, 2016
  15. This looks so good Suzanne! I am not a fan of market bought fruit cake..it just doesn’t smell right…love home baked cakes ❤️

    December 3, 2016
    • You are right Sonal, it smells wrong, maybe it’s preservatives who knows but it’s terrible the store bought kind of fruit cake. Thank you so much an Happy Holidays.

      December 3, 2016
  16. Your fruitcake sounds and looks amazing, Suzanne 🙂
    I’m often not much for cakes at all, but this one will be in for trying.
    Can I freeze some of it? I’m not able to get so much eaten in short time.

    December 3, 2016
    • Hi Irene and thank you. Yes you can freeze I always double wrap and put in a freezer bag. I like making mini loaves keeping one out and freezing the others. Let thaw in the fridge and bring to room temp before serving. Thank you and happy holidays.

      December 3, 2016
      • Thank you Suzanne and Happy Holidays for you too 🙂

        December 3, 2016
  17. Hi Suzanne, what a beauty of a cake, love that you soaked the fruit, I bet this is very moist. Congrats on 5 years that is quite the accomplishment. Percy sounds like a wonderful companion. Love that little face. Happy holidays!

    December 3, 2016
    • Percy is the best, just about the sweetest most well behaved dog, a real pleasure and true companion. Thank you so much. Soaking the fruit gives this cake not just moistness but incredible flavor. Happy Holidays my friend.

      December 3, 2016
  18. Terrible fruit cakes ! Best when they look small… such a temptation.
    Merci Suzanne, bises et amitiés – Bon dimanche et merci pour ta recette, tes explications toujours si précises et …. tentatrices ! 🙂

    December 3, 2016
    • Ahh France merci, merci, avoir un très joyeux noël, hugs and kisses from across the pond et bon dimanche!!

      December 3, 2016
  19. This is a fruit cake anyone would love as a gift. Salute to your mojo, Suzanne. Happy Cooking to you and Percy!

    December 3, 2016
    • Thanks so much Mary, it’s a delicious fruit cake and I can’t wait to start making them again. Have a great weekend.

      December 3, 2016
  20. I’m a big fan of fruitcakes, but definitely not the commercial ones. I absolutely love your version and can see how the title fits it perfectly! 🙂

    December 3, 2016
    • Thanks so much Ronit, I was not a fan at all but now I am since I found this recipe.

      December 3, 2016
  21. I love your honesty about “letting the blog slip away lately” – I think all bloggers experience that – and I’m in the same boat of trying to get back on the horse. It’s funny how much I miss it when I’m not really heads down in it, no one believes me, but I really do find it relaxing – and your description of it bringing “balance” is SO right on – gives me even more oomph to get posting more regularly again. Thank you for the inspiration and the beautiful recipe! And love the snow! 🙂

    December 3, 2016
    • Sounds like we are in the same boat, I guess it’s like riding a bicycle you never forget how so it’s time to get back on the bike again, Looking forward to seeing your posts as you also get your mojo back. Happy Holidays and have a great weekend.

      December 3, 2016
  22. It is good to hear your voice, Suzanne! And I am so glad that Percy brings you joy. 🙂 Take good care of yourself -via fruitcake sounds lovely- and have a good holiday season. We hope to see you soon! xo

    December 3, 2016
    • Hi Em, thank you so much, yes would love to see you, hoping you all have a lovely holiday🎄🎅🏻

      December 3, 2016
  23. This is my kind of fruitcake!!! And so pretty!

    December 4, 2016
  24. Aww, sweet little Percy! Your fruit cake looks so delicious, in fact damn delicious 😉 I have never actually had fruit cake. I am going to have to try this out. Happy almost anniversary and have a wonderful rest of your weekend!

    December 4, 2016
    • Thank you Antonia, it’s a really wonderful recipe and it reall is damn good!! You also have a great week and thank you again,

      December 5, 2016
      • Thank you 😀

        December 5, 2016
  25. Reblogged this on Author Mary J. McCoy-Dressel and commented:
    I very seldom reblog or post recipes, but how can I pass this one up when I will never look at a fruitcake the same way again? You go, Suzanne. Mmm and yummy.

    December 4, 2016
    • Thank you so much Mary, I am honored that you re blogged. Thank you.

      December 5, 2016
  26. Wow, this is amazing! A fruitcake without those awful fruits! I can’t wait to try it! 🙂

    December 4, 2016
    • Oh Gawd, I hated those bits of fake fruit in commercial fruitcakes, it had this distinct flavor and smell that turns my stomach. Thanks so much Mollie.

      December 5, 2016
  27. These loaves are just beautiful Suzanne. Anyone would love to get these as a heartfelt gift!

    December 5, 2016
  28. Sandhya #

    Love the title best Damn fruitcake- It is perfect! I could eat all 3 of those Suzanne.They look so moist and yummy studded with the fruit and nuts.I bet your home was filled with the aroma as they baked. yum! drooling here 🙂

    December 5, 2016
    • Thank you so much Sandhya, they do smell so good when baking and tastes wonderful too

      December 5, 2016
  29. Will definitely be baking this for Christmas – for myself! – to have a treat during those seemingly dull days afterwards. Loving the look of it: perfect balance of cake/fruit.

    December 5, 2016
    • Please let me know if you make it and how you like it. Thanks Johnny, it is the perfect balance of cake and fruit.

      December 5, 2016
  30. Like many people, I am not a fan of fruit cake; however, I would definitely eat, and probably love, your fruit cake!

    December 5, 2016
    • Thanks Michelle, I have some fruit soaking right now in tawny port and waiting for my cherries to arrive so I can soak in plum brandy. I love the fruit sopping up all that deliciousness and the cake when baked takes on the flavors.

      December 5, 2016
  31. Thank you for sharing – I’ve been looking at the fruits at the grocery and wished I had a decent recipe. :o)

    December 5, 2016
    • Thank you Debra, I buy a ton of dried fruits every year just so I can make this cake. Happy Holidays,

      December 5, 2016
      • Can’t wait to try it! Happy Holidays back. 🙂

        December 5, 2016
  32. Looks and sounds so delicious, love all the fruits and nuts. Do you think the alcohol can be substituted? I wonder if I can use orange juice. I’m not found of the taste of strong alcohol in baked goods.

    December 6, 2016
    • Hi Fida, yes you can use juice, apple cider, pear nectar are my favorites and would be wonderful to soak the fruit in. Orange juice would also be good as well. I also do not like a strong alcohol flavor which is why I used the leftover soaking liquid to brush on the cake afterwards. Using Port wine is nice because it’s not as strong as bourbon or rum. Thank you so much.

      December 6, 2016
  33. Hey Suzanne– I’ve noticed you posting less and wondered what you’ve been up to… I know how life can get unbalanced– immediate needs just take over my days sometimes–and things I want/should do just have to wait. Glad you’re back in the kitchen more. December is good for that. –and– this fruitcake looks great– not like the gummy old fashioned kind (that my Dad loved!). I like the idea of cherries and apricots– and lots of nuts. love reading your posts friend. hugs to you!

    December 6, 2016
    • I have felt completely unbalanced, don’t know whether I am coming or going sometimes. Trying to get the blog going and the holiday baking is helping and I am posting the recipe for each cookie and cake and loaf that I put in the box. Thank you so much Rhonda for caring you are amazing ❤️

      December 6, 2016
      • Hey Suzanne– be looking forward to more of you Christmas baking. It is the craziest, but in lots of ways the best time of year… I know your friends are going to love dipping in to all those treats! take care friend. xox

        December 8, 2016
  34. I am a great fan of fruit cake. Your recipe sounds amazing. Thank you Suzanne for this great share.

    December 7, 2016
  35. This recipe I must try! And I totally understand about the feeling of being unbalanced. I have hardly had time to blog recently as well. Life has been so full. And blogging brings so much positive energy into life! Hoping you find your groove and are able to post more. Can’t wait to try your fruit cake!

    December 7, 2016
  36. I make my fruitcake with dried fruit too. Doesn’t it just taste better than the candied stuff?

    December 7, 2016
  37. I’m not a big fruitcake fan (well, of the commercial brands, as you say) but your tweaked recipe actually looks very tasty! And I hear you about being ‘missing’ from the blog…since starting our blog a year and a half ago, I’ve had a struggle balancing my time… I felt that I was spending too much time sitting at my computer ‘blogging’ and not enough time actually living my life…so I’ve been trying to step away from the desk more and get out of the house! My family is complaining less about me being ‘missing’ to them and I’m enjoying my life more! Hope you have a wonderful holiday season Suzanne! 🙂

    December 8, 2016
  38. I’m back with a 5 star review!!! This is absolutely what fruitcake should be. I’ve never tried using regular dried fruits, only those that show up at this time of year with the bright red and green cherries. I used cranberries, cut up pieces of dried apricots on hand, and golden raisins, in addition to the cherries… and soaked in cider. I assume it will be better as it rests – I consumed half a mini-loaf last night while still hot – AWESOME!!! I’m so glad you shared this! It was pretty darn easy too.

    December 13, 2016
    • Oh wow so happy to hear you liked it. I have 3 of them right now soaking in some of the liquid from the fruits. You just made my day❤️ thank you😀

      December 13, 2016
      • I have to get fruit for another batch. The rest of the mini loafs are going out in Christmas packages, so won’t get to experience the full effect unless I do it again. 🙂

        December 13, 2016
  39. Sonja Allen #

    I was thinking about making this recipe, using a tube pan. Would doubling the batter be about right? About how much time would you add? I really like the idea of a bigger fruitcake. Please let me know what your thoughts are on this. Thanks!

    December 16, 2016

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