Fruitcake can be traced back to Roman times when the cake contained ingredients such as pomegranate seeds and pine nuts mixed with barley mash, spices, and honey. A light golden fruitcake, lightly spiced, and chockfull of brandy soaked fruit and almonds.
This fruitcake has a butter cake base, producing a cake that is lighter than a traditional densely fruit laden fruitcake. You can make a fruitcake without alcohol, though traditionally it is made with alcohol. You can use orange juice instead and you do not need to soak the fruit. But you can soak the fruit for a few hours to soften the fruit again it is not necessary.
Fruitcake is traditionally enjoyed in Latin America on Christmas Eve with hot chocolate. But it will make delicious toast and french toast the next morning, as well as fantastic bread pudding. They also keep very well and make excellent holiday gifts.
- 1 1/2 cups plain/all-purpose flour (180gm)
- 1/2 cup powdered almonds (60 gm)
- 170gm butter or margarine
- 1/2 cup sugar, ground to a powder (100gm)
- 4 eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup dried fruits and candied peel
- 1/2 cup chopped cherries
- 2 tsp. vanilla essence
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 cup milk (50ml)
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Preheat oven at 170C. Grease the line of the loaf pan, then dust it with flour. Recommended size is a 9x5x3 inch pan.
- Remove 1 tbsp. from the flour and sprinkle it over the dried fruits
and mix. This will help ensure that they do not sink to the bottom of
the back during baking. Set aside.
- Add the vanilla essence in the milk. Set aside.
- Sieve/sift the rest of the flour with the baking powder and salt. Then add the powdered almonds and still well. Set aside.
- Beat the butter/margarine with the powdered sugar in a big bowl
until light and fluffy. Be sure to beat them well because this cake
requires very little baking powder so this stage is crucial in ensuring
you have a light and fluffy cake.
- Once the butter and sugar are light and creamy, add the eggs one at a
time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of
the bowl occasionally.
- Add the flour and milk/vanilla in three installments, combining
gently between each addition, starting with the flour, then the milk and
ending with the flour again. Make sure not to over mix the batter at
- Finally, add the dried fruits and chopped cherries and gently stir
them in with a spatula. Pour this batter into your prepared loaf pan.
- Sprinkle the almond flakes over the cake and then bake in the
preheated oven at 170C for about 45 minutes to an hour or until the
skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
- During baking, if you find that the top is coloring too quickly you
can cover the cake lightly with a piece of foil midway through baking.
- Place the loaf pan on a wire to cool slightly and then turn the cake
out of the pan and allow it to cool completely before slicing. The loaf
will keep well in an airtight container for up to 3 days, and longer if