I know, I know…fruitcake? There has to be a better name for it because for many it just sends a message of hard citrus thingys I can’t even call candy or heavily sauced (and I mean sauced, you know, as in having had too much to drink!) pieces of brick. Another food blogger, EvilShenanigans and I did have a moment of fun trying to come up with new names for this delicious treat; take a look at her stellar result for fruitcake by another name…that is, it’s GOOD!
I started making this version of fruitcake a VERY long time ago when I was pleasantly surprised to see none of the above listed offensive ingredients and now make it every year. I just went and found the cookbook my inspiration came from which was a holiday book put out by Hallmark, with a copyright date of 1978…I told you, a very long time ago!
I’m sure the title refers to the fact that there is no waiting time with this fruitcake, no weeks of pouring bourbon over the cake and waiting and waiting some more. You CAN make it at the last minute for gift giving! There are NO hard citron or citronella or whatever those things are called, in it (can you tell I hate those things?). Just fruit and nuts and maraschino cherries and enough dough to just hold the fruit and nuts together. I’ve revised the original recipe a bit with the addition of dried cranberries and have also made it with Irish Whiskey but with or without that boozy touch, it’s always enjoyed by all…adults, kids and Santa’s elves!
Last Minute Fruitcake
- 1 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup cutup pitted dates
- 1/8 cup Irish Whiskey
- 1 cup maraschino cherries, halved
- 1 cup blanched, slivered almonds
- 2 cups walnut pieces
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Soak raisins, dried cranberries and dates in Irish Whiskey for at least 15 minutes to plump them up.
- Grease and flour a non-stick loaf pan. (Original directions called for lightly greasing a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan; lining the pan with waxed paper and then greasing that paper. With nonstick I’ve found that extra step of lining the pan with waxed paper is unnecessary but use that method if you do not have non-stick pans).
- Mix fruits and nuts in a large mixing bowl (Add fruit WITH liquid from 1st step).
- Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar over mixture; toss to coat all fruits and nuts with flour.
- Beat eggs until foamy, then add vanilla.
- Pour over fruit mixture and stir just until blended.
- Pour into prepared loaf pan.
- Bake in a preheated 300 degree oven about 11/2 hours. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.
NOTE: I make a triple batch of this recipe and then bake it in smaller loaf pans for gift giving. Check dough after 55 minutes for doneness – toothpick inserted into cake pulls out clean. LOVE this pan from Wilton; does make doing small loaves much easier to handle!