This is my mother's very old recipe, at least 60 years old. My mother baked this for my wedding, and it sure is delicious and also a great Christmas cake. This is a very long recipe, but well worth the trouble. You can substitute a cup of drained maraschino cherries for the candied cherries, if you like.

Carol

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Recipe Summary

prep:
1 hr
cook:
4 hrs 30 mins
additional:
30 mins
total:
6 hrs
Servings:
40
Yield:
1 - 3 tiered wedding cake
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Ingredients

40
Original recipe yields 40 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Wash and dry the raisins and the currants. Wash, dry, pit, and chop the dates. Chop the raisins and the citrus peel. Slice the cherries. Blanch the almonds, and slice them lengthwise. Combine fruits and nuts in large bowl.

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  • Grease and line 3 standard Christmas cake pans (these round pans are at least 3 inches deep and come in a set of three sizes- 5, 7, and 9 inch across) with 4 layers of heavy waxed paper, or 3 layers of brown paper. Grease again. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).

  • Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and spices onto a piece of waxed paper. Remove 1 cup of this flour mixture, and combine with fruit and nuts. Mix until fruit is well coated.

  • Cream the butter until fluffy. Add extracts. Gradually add sugar, mixing until creamy. Beat egg yolks until light and lemon-colored, and beat into the butter mixture. Stir in the molasses, and beat together well. Add half of the remaining flour mixture, and blend thoroughly.

  • Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry; fold into batter. Stir in lightly the remaining flour mixture alternately with grape juice and coffee. Add floured fruit and nuts, blending in until fruit is well distributed.

  • Turn batter into prepared cake tins, filling each about 2/3 full and spreading batter evenly. Bake in center of oven. Bake small cake 2 1/2 hours, medium cake 3 1/2 hours, and large cake 4 to 4 1/2 hours. Remove from oven and allow to stand 5 minutes, then turn out on wire rack to cool.

Nutrition Facts

451 calories; protein 6.2g 13% DV; carbohydrates 79.6g 26% DV; fat 14.5g 22% DV; cholesterol 85.9mg 29% DV; sodium 176.8mg 7% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (29)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
01/01/2008
My parents have a hallmark fruitcake made in Texas the memory of which I was working against in making this recipe at my father's request. Given that there are only three of us sharing Christmas I halved the recipe and took some liberties because of what we had in the kitchen as well as trying to match the Empress Fruitcake of Yore. I added dried apricots and some withered blueberries because of what we had on hand and omitted the sultanas and currents going heavier on dates. I also substituted pecans for almonds. My father also wanted the taste of burbon so I soaked the raisins in burbon for a few days drained them well and used the burbon-raisin juice instead of coffee and grape juice. I suggest that you read the recipe carefully for the myriad of steps -- beaten egg whites beaten egg yolks and the flour mixtures all in separate bowls that converge quite quickly. It makes for a BIG project and heavy clean up. The recipe also calls for three differently sized "Christmas cake" pans the like of which I've never seen and do not see the reason for -- it's not a stacked cake after all. I used loaf pans and baked the minimum 2 1/2 hours. I used two layers of greased brown paper but only on the bottom of the pans; after running a sharp knife around the greased edges the cakes dropped out easily. The next time I make this (and I think I will -- it did essentially match that acme of fruitcakes from my childhood) -- I won't chop the fruit and nuts as small as I Read More
(86)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
12/13/2011
This is a good fruitcake, but it's nothing like I expected. My grandmother made a DARK fruitcake. This one is not very dark at all. I searched my dad's house for her recipe and found a really old cookbook that had a similar recipe to this one. The difference is it calls for 4oz. of dark unsweetened chocolate squares. When I told my dad he remembered her putting bakers chocolate in her cake. Her cake never lasted until new years. The book also used Mace in the spices. Read More
(12)
31 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 25
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
12/31/2007
My parents have a hallmark fruitcake made in Texas the memory of which I was working against in making this recipe at my father's request. Given that there are only three of us sharing Christmas I halved the recipe and took some liberties because of what we had in the kitchen as well as trying to match the Empress Fruitcake of Yore. I added dried apricots and some withered blueberries because of what we had on hand and omitted the sultanas and currents going heavier on dates. I also substituted pecans for almonds. My father also wanted the taste of burbon so I soaked the raisins in burbon for a few days drained them well and used the burbon-raisin juice instead of coffee and grape juice. I suggest that you read the recipe carefully for the myriad of steps -- beaten egg whites beaten egg yolks and the flour mixtures all in separate bowls that converge quite quickly. It makes for a BIG project and heavy clean up. The recipe also calls for three differently sized "Christmas cake" pans the like of which I've never seen and do not see the reason for -- it's not a stacked cake after all. I used loaf pans and baked the minimum 2 1/2 hours. I used two layers of greased brown paper but only on the bottom of the pans; after running a sharp knife around the greased edges the cakes dropped out easily. The next time I make this (and I think I will -- it did essentially match that acme of fruitcakes from my childhood) -- I won't chop the fruit and nuts as small as I Read More
(86)
Rating: 4 stars
12/05/2007
This fruitcake is delicious but costs a fortune to make - definitely a once a year item! I soaked dried cranberries in rum (instead of currants) and used half white sugar and half brown sugar - other than that followed recipe. I made a couple of cupcake size ones to taste and the big one is wrapped and in the freezer for the holidays. The cupcakes tasted superb....... Read More
(49)
Rating: 4 stars
01/19/2007
I 1/3 the recipe and baked the cake for 2 and a half hours.The cake is moist and has a nice flavour. I didn't like dates so i replaced them with cashewnuts instead. I didn't change anything else. Good recipe. Read More
(48)
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Rating: 5 stars
12/23/2003
Having lost my mother's recipe years ago I was thrilled to find this one so close in content. With a few changes I'm back in business. Thank you so much Read More
(43)
Rating: 5 stars
03/06/2006
best fruit cake!! I cooked this fruitcake for my sister who is the fruitcake-mania. it will be great taste after ageing 1week. I marrinade dried fruit with bourbon for 3 days and simmer it for 20 min. Read More
(36)
Rating: 5 stars
01/21/2008
I made this recipe for Christmas; I gave one of the cakes to my mom she and my father love it. She gave some to her friends and they all say the cake reminds them of their mother's fruitcake. Read More
(22)
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Rating: 4 stars
12/03/2010
I made this fruitcake for Christmas last year because my family and I love dark spicy fruitcakes but noticed too late (after using about 15 worth of ingredients - since I doubled the recipe to make some little ones as gifts) that the amount of cloves it calls for is excessive at least double what would be adequate. Also as others discovered it required at least an hour more baking time than the recipe states so I put a pan of water on the lower oven rack to keep it from drying out. The texture was fine but the heaping helping of cloves gave it a strong medicinal taste that overpowered the other flavors. My mom likes spicy fruitcakes too but she also noticed this. I'm only using two teaspoons of cloves this year instead of the two tablespoons called for and am sure it will come out great. Read More
(22)
Rating: 5 stars
04/12/2008
Had a hankering to taste the flavor I remembered from my childhood in the late '50s from an Irish aunt who made fruitcakes and you hit it right on the button. Thanks;) Read More
(22)
Rating: 5 stars
10/25/2011
I made this two years ago it was fabulous! I lost the recipe and have been looking for it ever since. So glad I found it again. Read More
(13)
Rating: 3 stars
12/13/2011
This is a good fruitcake, but it's nothing like I expected. My grandmother made a DARK fruitcake. This one is not very dark at all. I searched my dad's house for her recipe and found a really old cookbook that had a similar recipe to this one. The difference is it calls for 4oz. of dark unsweetened chocolate squares. When I told my dad he remembered her putting bakers chocolate in her cake. Her cake never lasted until new years. The book also used Mace in the spices. Read More
(12)