Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Holiday Fruit Cake

Holiday Fruit Cake

So easy. Just so very easy. As I was putting it the oven and remarked how simple it was to stir together, Daddy-O said, "Your dad had many great qualities, but if he baked this cake, it had to be easy." That's pretty much true.

Daddy-O's next comments were along the line of, "How much longer 'til we can cut it?" "Can we try it now?" It does take a dense cake some time to cool. So we patiently waited. And then we ate it while it was still a little warm. I've never had it warm before. Daddy made them and we never got the cake until a day or two later.

I will tell you that it came out of the pan easily. I sprayed it liberally with baking spray. When it has completely cooled, I'll wrap it and store in the refrigerator. After we've sampled.

And the verdict? It is as good as we remember. It is not the traditional fruitcake (and maybe that is a good thing) like your grandmother baked. This one is a dense spice cake filled with fruit and nuts. 

Wrap it completely with plastic wrap or foil and store in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks, or you can freeze it for months. Since there are only two of us here, I might put half in the refrigerator and freeze half for later. 

Here is the recipe that my parents made for so many years. This was the first time I have made it. It won't be the last.


1/2  cup water
2 eggs
1 (28-oz) jar None Such mincemeat
1 cup chopped nuts
2 boxes Pillsbury Quick Bread Mix (date nut*, cranberry or nut bread are good choices)
2 cups candied mixed fruit (for fruitcake—I only found a cherry-pineapple mix this time)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all ingredients together. Spray Bundt pan with Baker's Joy (or PAM.) Pour mixture into pan. 
Bake at 350 degrees for 80-90 minutes. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Turn out onto rack and complete cooling.
Store cake, well wrapped, in the refrigerator. Freezes well. 

The home economist in me used some basic techniques that I doubt my dad bothered with. I tossed the candied fruit in the dry bread mix to coat it before I added the other ingredients. And I lightly beat the eggs before pouring them in. Just makes it easier to stir everything together. Use a large bowl and a sturdy spoon. And make sure you mix it completely. I spooned the heavy batter into the cake pan instead of "pouring." 

Eating that first slice tonight zapped me right back to my daddy's kitchen. He's been gone for over 10 years now. It's the first time I've tasted this cake since then. This cake recipe is full of good memories for us. We hope you might enjoy it, too.

*The date nut quick bread mix is my favorite.

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