Grandmas Christmas Fruit Cake
This recipe is courtesy of our dear friend, Karen Harbridge. She tells me that this recipe was her grandmother’s and dates back to about 1911.
Funny thing about Christmas Fruit Cake, there seem to be differing opinions about it. You either hate it or love it. Myself, I’m in the “love it” crowd. I was the kid at recess in the school yard who would trade out my lunch for all the Christmas Fruit Cake the other kids wanted to get rid of.
Didn’t matter to me whether is it dark or light fruit cake. To me, there is truly no bad fruitcake.
For today’s recipe however, this is a dark traditional style Christmas Fruit Cake.
It is jammed full of :
- mixed fruit peel
- red cherries
- green cherries
- and don’t forget the strong brewed coffee!
Yes, this is a Christian website—so no alcoholic brewing of this Grandma’s Christmas Fruit Cake.
Originally A Tiered Cake
Yes, ever wonder why your grandmother has a 3 tiered square cake pan set in the back of the kitchen cupboard?
Perhaps she was a gifted baker like my mother-in-law was. Flossie was frequently called on to not only sew wedding dresses for local women, but also to make the wedding cakes too.
However, most women would use it for baking the annual Christmas cake. Typically making enough fruit cake to fill all three tiers of cake pans.
You would make your Christmas cake ahead of the festive day to allow time for the cake to “cure”. This means that the flavors of the fruit and spices have time to properly blend in the cake. So mark this on your calendar to bake a minimum of 2 weeks ahead of time.
If your really want the flavors to blend, you may want to bake it up at the beginning of November. And after the initial curing time, you can pop it in the freezer until needed. However, if tightly wrapped, you can keep your Christmas Fruit Cake stored at room temperature in an airtight container. My mother-in-law had a special large metal can in the basement where she would keep her Christmas Fruit Cake until needed.
Then, before serving, you would assemble your three tiers on top of each other. Then you would ice with almond paste icing and further decorate if desired. Christmas Fruit Cake was a cake of celebration, and was decorated and presented as such. Tier upon tier.
However, most times today, the Christmas Fruit Cake is just baked in loaf pans. No longer stacked in layers on top of each other. A personal choice is whether you choose to put an almond paste icing on top or not.
Myself, I generally prefer to eat it without the icing. But like I mentioned earlier, there is no bad Christmas Fruit Cake.
So, try out this version, that once again, comes from our friend, Karen Harbridge and her grandmother.