I'd like to substitute dried cherries for candied cherries in a whiskey cake recipe that's essentially a pound cake with nuts, raisins, etc.

You soak a pound of candied cherries and 1/2 pound of raisins in a pint of whiskey overnight. You add the soaked fruit and the liquid to the batter. Dried cherries will soak up more whiskey, plus they'll create a greater volume of cherries, once soaked. Should I do a test run to see how much soaking liquid is left using the candied cherries, and then work from there? (I really don't want to, as the current recipe using two large loaf pans provides more than enough whiskey cake for my holiday baking needs.) Also, how many dried cherries would you use? I use the tart ones. Thanks so much, everyone. ;o)



garlic&lemon December 6, 2011
I dislike candied cherries but love the unsweetened dried ones so I substitute them all the time. As others have said, soak in water or port or the liquor of your choice first to plump them up. I always substitute 1-for-1, it never occurred to me to reduce the amount of dried cherries! Fruit-packed cakes can dry out in the little pans, so I put a pan with boiling water in the bottom of the oven while they are baking to keep them from drying out.
SKK December 5, 2011
Hi AJ, I always dry cherries because I love them and am probably addicted to them. When it comes time to use them I soak them in water, not whiskey. Seems that candied cherries would do well soaking in whiskey because they are already sugared. I would soak them in water and after plumped up throw them in the whiskey.
bigpan December 5, 2011
Never a problem soaking them in rum. The cake will be moist and not as sweet tasting ... a good thing.
AntoniaJames December 5, 2011
Thanks so much, both of you. I subbed dried last year and subbed 1/2 by weight, and the cake seemed kind of dry. That may have to do with having baked the loaves too long. I'm working with a recipe I hastily transcribed many years ago from a family recipe and may have been careless in getting all the details right. I suspect that I need to work on re-sizing the recipe for loaf pans from a giant tube pan. I made the recipe yesterday, but in my very tired state the night before, I'd soaked a full pound of dried cherries. The cake is full stuffed with them. Unfortunately, with the cost of pecans, whiskey, all the dried fruit, etc., added to the fact that it's not like cookies that you can distribute easily, the recipe is not one that lends itself to a lot of experimentation, adjusting variables, etc. over multiple test batches. I may well though do it again, however, this time baking it into mini-loaves as well as a couple of shorter regular loaves. Oh well. Thanks again. ;o)
creamtea December 5, 2011
You may be able to judge the volume of tube pan to loaf pan by filling the tube pan w/water and seeing how many times you can fill the loaf pan (even though you won't be actually filling to the rim for the actual cake). That's what I sometimes do. Also, if you are multiplying the recipe, better to have a little too much and scrape the overage into a few small cupcake or custard cups (midnight snacks! yay!) once you've filled the loaves to the level called for in recipe.

Can you do a dry run without the fruits, whiskey etc. to see if it works to add an extra egg yolk for moistness??
Candiew357 December 5, 2011
There is a possibility that the dried cherries will dry out during the baking process so depending upon how moist, plump and chewy they are, I'd recommend soaking the cherries in either hot water or better yet, booze for an hour or so.
boulangere December 5, 2011
I sub dried for candied all the time, Antonia James. I'd go right ahead, and I wouldn't worry too much about the change in volume of whiskey remaining after the soak. As for quantity of dried, perhaps go with half to two thirds the volume of candied, since they're going to increase in volume quite a bit.
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