Is it necessary to soak your dried fruit for fruitcake?

I have never made any cake before and now I want to try this one. I have more than one recipe I'm trying to take the best from. Soaking the fruit is the first question.

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5 Comments

Lori T. December 12, 2020
Not only are the little dried fruit bits likely to remain little pellets- they will try to rob your cake batter of moisture as well. Soaking the dried fruit helps your cake retain moisture as the days pass, too. Raisins, currants, and apricots don't usually need a long bath, but stuff like dried peel and sometimes chopped dates or figs can really use it. Plus it's a chance to add in flavor via the soaking agent. While you can use plain old water, brandy, rum, sherry, and other alcohols really do bring a lot to the party. At least use juice, if nothing else.
 
Happygoin December 12, 2020
Lovely expansive answer, Lori. I was pressed for time when I responded! :)
 
Lisa J. December 20, 2020
Hi Lori T - I have been making fruit cakes for too may years to remember as gifts for friends and work colleagues (I live in Tasmania) - fruitcake is very much part of the Australian psyche in one form or another. I start my cakes back at beginning of November each year, soak fruit for at least a weak in rum, make cake the following week & when it comes out of oven to cool, douse cake immediately with more rum & leave to soak in (I like listening to the sizzle as the cold alcohol hits hot cake) - saves having to undo the cake & feed each week until Christmas & have never had a failure yet. Good luck
 
Lori T. December 20, 2020
I've also been making fruitcakes in various forms for many years. In fact, there is always one in a tin just in case. That's a hold over from my grandmother's day- when company would always be offered a cup of coffee or tea, and a platter of cake slices would appear. In her opinion, having a fruitcake of some sort in the tin was a sign of a well organized household. And now, I keep one in the tin as well. Rum and cream sherry rule the day!
 
Happygoin December 11, 2020
Many times, if you don’t soak your fruit, it turns into hard little nuggets when baked. Also, depending on what you soak it in, you contribute flavor.

Err on the conservative side and soak your fruit.
 
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