We don’t have any real qualms with fruitcake. Although it gets a bad rap, there are some people that love it; so much so that it remains a Christmas favorite. There’s also a lot of effort that goes into making it—and we salute anyone who has the patience to endure the two to three-month process.
The buttery cake is customarily made with candied fruits, and soaked in rum. And it takes about 10 weeks to age, in which it’s still soaked occasionally. That said, we think it could be better, and less grandma-like (not that there’s anything necessarily wrong with that).
*adds Christmas decor to make it more festive*
Our modern fruitcake is not so much fruitcake as it is a cake with fruits. We took some of elements we weren’t particularly fans of, such as the candied fruits (we only used dried fruits). Plus, to save time, the recipe doesn’t require any aging. We’ve also removed any trace of rum in the batter to keep the cake fluffy. Though, it does generously soak the cake with rum syrup to preserve the the traditional flavor.
Serves: 4-8 people
Active time: 1 hr 30 mins
Total time: 3 hrs
Special tools: 8-inch cake pans
1 ½ cups raisins (one 200g bag)
1 ½ cups cranberries (one 170g bag)
2 cups dates, diced (one 250g bag)
1 ½ cup prunes, diced (one 225g bag)
1 cup apricots (one 170g bag)
2 cups hot water
2 cups butter, softened
2 ½ cups white sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla
2 cups milk
5 cups flour
1 2/3 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 ½ cups walnuts, chopped (200g)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
½ cup dark rum
½ cup powdered sugar
¾ cup coco jam or caramel sauce
Combine the dried fruits in a large bowl.
Cover in hot water and let soak for about 20 minutes until the fruit has softened.
Drain the liquid and set the rehydrated fruits aside.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Prepare two 8-inch cake pans with oil/butter and parchment paper.
To make the cake, cream butter and sugars in a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 5-8 minutes.
Add vanilla, then add the eggs two at a time with the mixer on low, until well incorporated.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Add the flour mixture and milk in batches into the mixer, alternating until the batter is well combined.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and add in the fruits and walnuts.
Fold the fruits and walnuts in by hand until evenly distributed in the batter.
Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans, then bake in the oven until a toothpick inserted in the canter of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour.
Remove cakes from the oven and let cool slightly, about 15 minutes, then loosen the edges with a knife.
While the cake is baking, make the sugar syrup.
For the sugar syrup, add water and sugar into a pot over medium-high heat.
Cook until sugar is dissolved, then let come to a boil.
Let the mixture boil for about 3 minutes, then remove from the heat and stir in the rum.
Set aside to cool completely.
Once the cakes have cooled slightly, pour over syrup and repeat until all the syrup is soaked into the cakes.
Let the cakes cool completely, then carefully remove cakes from the tins and invert onto a plate.