Any recipes that the Food52 team could share for the iconic Fruitcake?

I don't seem to see any featured recipes for that reviled confection from this time of year.. the Fruitcake. Itching to start soaking fruits in Booze, but want a good recipe before I start. ALternatively, would it work if I used soaked boozy fruits in Carol Fields recipe for Panforte?



Picholine December 15, 2015
I have one that is from a neighbor's mom that had been passed down
From generations (Italian ) I use dried fruits no citron and when it comes out of the oven it's drenched in dark rum.
Will post later.
max J. December 6, 2015
Sorry I forgot the link to heaven
max J. December 6, 2015
I make this in January, I leave it uncovered in my inside pantry for 3 days. I then pin hole the cake, splash with navy rum and vacuum pack.
This years cake and pudding vintage is 2009.
bronxbaker December 5, 2015
The CHOW website has several recipes for fruitcake, including my favorite, Jamaican Black Cake, which I will be making tomorrow.
LeBec F. December 6, 2015
bb, I have spent 1/2 hr looking for this recipe on 52; plse link! and th you.
AntoniaJames November 30, 2015
For years, my mother made the classic dark fruitcake with booze-soaked dried fruit and more fruit than batter. Then she dug up a holiday cake recipe the mother of a sorority sister had given her 20 years before. It completely and irrevocably won over absolutely everyone, becoming our extended family's favorite fruitcake. It's a simple pound cake with booze-soaked cherries and yellow raisins, plus the whiskey used for soaking, plus pecans; after baking, it's wrapped in booze-soaked cloth to cure. I'm fairly certain this was the first cake my father made when teaching himself how to cook, after my mother died.

I've shared the recipe here:

or for mini-loaves perfect for gifts:

We enjoy the molasses, spice and fruit combination now in a Christmas pudding. I've also posted a recipe for that here - with instructions on how to steam it in jars for giving during the holidays.

LeBec F. November 30, 2015
aj, i haven't drunk whiskey except irish whiskey in an Irish Coffee, which I love. I once tasted kentucky whiskey(bourbon?) and found it very acrid. Do you think that factor might pose a problem for me liking this; should i use brandy(which I use in pate and love) instead?thx.
AntoniaJames December 1, 2015
You should Irish whiskey - no reason in the world not to, if you prefer its taste. I'm not a big fan of either (Irish or Kentucky), but I love this cake. The sweetness of the fruit and of the cake itself cancel out any harshness in the booze. ;o)
AntoniaJames December 1, 2015
That should be, "you should use Irish whiskey." ;o)
creamtea December 6, 2015
LBF and AJ, different bourbons and whiskies taste differently. I'm no expert (I tend to go with how pretty the bottle is ;) -- Some are smooth and some rough, some have a touch of sweetness. A good liquor shop owner can usually guide you. I use Eagle Rare bourbon for serving and occasionally cooking, it is smooth and a little sweet...same with scotch whiskies. Some are finer than others. The "challenge" is to find a smooth product at a good price point.
QueenSashy December 6, 2015
LBF -- go with brandy. It will have the same boozy effect on the cake, while minimizing the risk of putting in a whiskey or bourbon you do not like. Depending on the choice, Scotch whiskey can have a hint (or more) of smokiness, and I also find bourbon flavor too be too strong for a fruit cake. I like to have Scotch whiskey in my glass, but I prefer brandy in my cake :)
LeBec F. December 6, 2015
I read all your posts with an overriding sense of awe and admiration. I have NEVER encountered a woman who cooks as much as you do. It's astounding really. Your family and friends, the recipients of your energy and talents- they are some LUCKY CAMPERS. I just wondered though......say, your son married me . Even if he were already married, I could be the unfortunate woman that he married and then divorced after a day, and so you would think of me as that unfortunate ex-daughter in law, on the far-away coast of MA., ....and then you could send me the regular family care-packages to brighten my spirits.............. :-}
Alexis November 29, 2015
If you can find it,Nick Malgieri's panforte recipe would be a great alternative to fruitcake. Would go nicely with a charcuterie board and sharp dry cheese.
Nancy November 30, 2015
As does Pierre Herme's pain d'epices. Also good with foie gras and, for the rest of us, chopped liver.
Sarah J. November 29, 2015
We'll also be posting Alice Medrich's recipe for Christmas pudding very, very soon!
Panfusine November 29, 2015
ooh, that would be FABULOUS!, Can't wait!
Sarah J. December 14, 2015
Here it is!
nancy E. November 29, 2015
THE BEST fruitcake recipe belongs to Alton Brown. It is no fail and so delicious my German baker Mother prefers it to her own.
Panfusine November 29, 2015
thank you Le Bec Fin & nancy essig.. Alton Brown's recipe seems to be easy enough for a novice 'fruitcaker' like me, think I'll start with that one. I have large stock of home made chai spice infused vodka that I'm planning to soak the dried fruits in.
Panfusine November 29, 2015
thank you Le Bec Fin & nancy essig.. Alton Brown's recipe seems to be easy enough for a novice 'fruitcaker' like me, think I'll start with that one. I have large stock of home made chai spice infused vodka that I'm planning to soak the dried fruits in.
LeBec F. November 30, 2015
o.k. panfusine,now that you have me focused on this fruit cake thing(see, it's all your fault!!), here are some other ideas! here are alton brown's ingredients:
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup currants
1/2 cup sun dried cranberries
1/2 cup sun dried blueberries
1/2 cup sun dried cherries
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
Zest of one lemon, chopped coarsely
Zest of one orange, chopped coarsely
1/4 cup candied ginger, chopped
1 cup gold rum
1 cup sugar
5 ounces unsalted butter (1 1/4 sticks)
1 cup unfiltered apple juice
4 whole cloves, ground
6 allspice berries, ground
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
1/4 to 1/2 cup toasted pecans, broken

and here's what I might tweak, based on my own taste for dark complex flavors and upping textures!:
--use dark brown sugar and molasses instead of white sugar
--use prunes and/or dark mission figs instead of apricots
--sub some of the golden raisins with candied lemon and orange zests(which I happen to have around)
-- sub strong coffee or OJ for the apple juice
--instead of all white flour, use white whole wheat and rye flours; adding in some toasted wheat germ
(Am I cheeky or what?!)
LeBec F. November 29, 2015
i started googling. Alice medrich's doesn't have soaked fruits, ditto david liebowitz. This alton brown looks good, though i would feature candied lemon and orange over raisins.

seriouseats has a good discussion:
I'd like to look into the varied cuisines' versions.

if i find more, i'll post here.
Dina December 7, 2015
I made the Alton Brown version just yesterday! It is really, really good, right out of the over, even without any time for it to soak up brandy
Windischgirl November 29, 2015
Let me find my recipe for my real fruit fruitcake...I will try to post it tonight. I love fruitcake but am terrified by any food that appears in a color not found in nature. Red and green candied cherries? Run, run away, and quickly!
Panfusine November 29, 2015
the technicolor quite frankly scares me. I'm hoping to stick to more of the natural colored ingredients as far as possible (if it excludes HFCS, all the better)
Windischgirl November 29, 2015
I posted the recipe...look for Real Fruit Fruitcake. I marinated the fruit in red wine and orange juice, but the original recipe used rum and cider, with Calvados as a backup. Now you have me wondering if I should make it this year...I have all these lovely mini loaf pans for gifting...!
LeBec F. November 30, 2015
w girl, here is the link to your intriguing recipe.

Now, gloves off: There are things about your recipe that I love, but a few make me hesitate. Is this a DENSE fruit cake or more an applesauce cake with spiked fruit in it?
I Love that you use red wine and OJ, and the textured and more- healthy-than-usual dry components . But the grated apple and the apple juice, and the large amount of flour- make me ask my question. If it is more cake-like, do you think it could work cutting down the flour etc components that form the cake batter, so that there is less of the batter and more of the fruit and nuts? Hope you don't mind my question, as I do really admire your recipe!
Windischgirl November 30, 2015
Sorry, LE BEC FIN, my tablet doesn't offer the option for me to reply beneath your comment (looks like the site is set up to only offer three replies to a sub thread).
The cake has very little batter compared to the amount of fruits and nuts....8 cups of Fruits/nuts to 3 1/2 c flours, for 3 loaves, so it is dense. I found the apple and applesauce add moisture but not the sponge texture of a typical applesauce cake. When I make it, I am always surprised by how little batter there is. Looking at the Alton Brown recipe, with has 4c fruit to 1 3/4 c flour, I'd say the textures would be similar...actually Alton's cake would have a bit more batter.
LeBec F. November 29, 2015
Hmmmmm, you said my own magic work- Panforte. But I don't think it would work, because panforte has to be somewhat 'dry' and compacted, so it can slice well. Soaked fruits would be too soft. But I am only guessing. I wish I had even tasted a 'world's greatest fruitcake' but I never have; otherwise i could easily give you the recipe!
QueenSashy November 29, 2015
Panfusine, here are two recipes I have been using for years. Sri Lankan Christmas cake is from my husband's family, the tropical is just a variation, I subbed Sri Lankan fruits with other stuff.

If you would like to make them, I suggest doing it asap, because they need to sit for about three weeks so that flavors absorb.
LeBec F. December 6, 2015
queen, thx for the brandy suggestion. very helpful and will do.
And , I have to gripe about a DRAG in the world of fav recipes. So many of us create wonderful things and go on to hope others will discover our recipe on 52, but the darn recipe calls for an ingredient that just isn't easily available (we don't have in our pantry and don't have access to a store that sells the critical ingredient and inspiration can be so fleeting [and all the ramifications for that fact]). I HATE THAT. And some of my recipes are like that, as yours with that darned sri lankan chutney! Maybe in the next generation or three, Technology will come up with our own personal amazon system where we push a button, and a jar of whatever appears on our kitchen counter! Ah, I might consider cryovac'ing myself for THAT day!!!
QueenSashy December 6, 2015
Ha, ha, ha -- LBF -- I know the feeling. But the fact is -- we live in the world where everything is just a mouse-click away... I am not so sure anymore if that's a good thing or not, because there is something to be said for craving the foods from faraway places... But I am digressing, here is the mouse-click for the Sri Lankan chutneys
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