Many years ago, I adopted and adapted King Arthur's Fruitcake recipe in their 200th Anniversary Cookbook, and this is my delicious results. This is not your ordinary fruitcake! No awful candied citrus, etc. to turn you off. This cake is moist, flavorful and totally enjoyable! Make it early and baste it frequently---then wrap with a flourish for Christmas gifts from your heart!
Recipe By: King Arthur Flour and Shaboom (updated November 15, 2007)
FRUIT: Total of 5-1/2 cups *
Sultanas, raisins, currants, chopped dates, dried cranberries, or other dried fruit of yiour choice. Add candied red and green cherries if desired.
1-1/2 to 2 cups brandy or rum to cover for soaking
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) -- at room temperature (no substitute)
1 cup granulated sugar (I substituted half of the sugar with Splenda)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 large eggs
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts -- optional
Brandy or rum for soaking
Additional candied fruit and nuts topping -- optional
FRUIT: 3-12 hours before making the cake, combine all of the fruits in a non-reactive bowl; add brandy or rum and mix to coat well. Cover and set aside at room temperature to soak at leeast 3 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to the proper temperature for the size pans you are using (see below). Spray bottom and sides of pan(s) with non-stick spray. Line the pan(s) wax paper or parchment paper cut to fit and spray the paper as well.
BATTER: Put butter into a large mixing bowl. Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and baking soda. Cream the ingredients thoroughly, making sure to get the lumps out, and then beat on medium speed until well-blended. Add the eggs, one at a time mixing well after each addition; then add the honey and vanilla and beat on medium speed until well incorporated. Add the flour and milk alternately, ending with milk, and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Using a large sturdy spoon, fold in the fruits and remaining liquid, and nuts if using.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan(s), filling them about 3/4 full. Bake the cake(s) on middle shelf of oven for the required time for the size pan(s) you are using. The cakes are done when a light golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan(s) 10 minutes, and then turn out of the pans onto a wire rack to cool completely. While cooling in the pan(s), brush the cakes with some of the preferred soaking liquid (rum, brandy, etc.) while still warm.
When completely cool, brush cake again with soaking liquid of choice and then wrap them in a double layer of cheesecloth soaked in the soaking liquid. Then wrap in heavy duty foil and place in a cool dry place. At least once a week, unwrap and brush thoroughly with brandy, rum, whisky or apple cider until the cake(s) have absorbed as much liquid as they're able. They'll keep for several weeks this way, as long as they're tightly wrapped. The flavor improves and mellows over time.
NOTES: This batter makes enough for:
- one large 10-inch tube pan
- two 9-1/2x5-1/2 inch loaf pans
- three 8-1/2x4-1/2 inch loaf pans
- six small loaves
- 12 mini loaves
Baking temperatures and times are:
- 275 degrees F. for 2-1/2 hours for one large tube pan
- 300 degrees F. for for 60-70 minutes for both sizes loaf pans
- 325 degrees F. for for 40-50 minutes for small or mini loaves
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