Fruit Cake -- creative ideas?

Forgive me, but I need to solicit the collective wisdom here.

If you were to make a fruit cake (putting aside all jokes and snide remarks), what would you do to make it more creative, unique and/or to give it that personalized touch?

Different types of fruit?

No dried fruit?

More nuts?

Would you make it savory instead of sweet?

Something else?

Thank you.

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Would do a tropical riff, to include candied pineapple, red and green cherries (not too many) maybe even crushed pineapple in the batter, loads of macadamia nuts, coconut, pineapple rings on top w/macadamias in center maybe, and all soaked with a good, dark rum @ipsedixit.

Not a fan of fruit cake but I have recently read that “sugar plums”, a mix of dried fruit and nuts, bit of sweetener and spices might be similar but more well received.

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Much prefer the buttery texture of a Panettone so I’d head in that direction entirely.


Welcome back @Rooster! Think you did the smart thing to cut your trip short - the numbers are terrifying. I hope you & your family will be able to enjoy the planned visits next year, or sometime soon.

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Thanks very much. I agree as hard as it was to get off the bus!

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A Dundee Cake is a different sort of fruitcake.


Generally not a big fruitcake fan, but those good brioche ones can be good. Another vote for panattone or pandoro (the Venetian version) or you can try French king’s brioche.

Good quality candied fruits do make a big difference than those cheap ones. I saw some more unusal ones with tiny pears. Soaking the fruits in alcohol like rum can make a difference. If you are thinking of a savoury touch, maybe salty caramel? Also think of adding citrus zests and orange blossom water.

Another idea is doing a spice cake and fruit cake fusion. You can play with different spices.


I have not seen a Dundee cake in NJ.

Also love stollen and julekake- so good.

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Here’s my late friend’s unusual recipe:

3 c applesauce or other fruit sauce
2 c sugar
7 Tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking soda
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp nutmeg
1 c preserves or jam, any kind
1-2 c raisins
1-2 c chopped nuts
up to 16 oz. chopped dried fruit or candied fruit

In a large pot or Dutch oven, bring ALL of the above to a boil, stirring often, and boil 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Then stir in:

2 beaten eggs
4 c flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
optional: 1/2-1 cup booze of your choice?

Pour into a greased and floured bundt, tube, or angel food pan and bake at 325 degrees for 2 hours. When cool, drizzle with a simple icing of fruit juice and confectioner’s sugar, if desired.

I have made this several times. In addition to the above, I have done all-pear and all-apricot versions that were good. People always look skeptical when they hear the word “fruitcake”, then are enthusiastically surprised when they taste it. Polly, a Kentuckian, put bourbon in it but I don’t know how much. You could use any liquor you fancy, and could " feed" the baked, wrapped cake with it rather than adding it to the batter. You will get QUITE a workout mixing up the heavy batter, unless you have a really strong electric mixer. Refrigerated, this cake keeps for weeks. I would recommend divvying the batter into mini loaf pans instead, but haven’t tried that so can’t give you baking times. Maybe lower the tem 25° so mini pans don’t get dry exteriors before the inside is done.


Yes, I may go this route and do a soaked fruit cake.

I’m thinking either ouzo or some Brandy.

Or, if I really want to mind-fcuk my guests, maybe a good soaking in Moutai!

This year, I’ve made Nigel Slater’s Christmas cake. Dunno what it’s like yet as our tradition is not to have cake until Boxing Day


All the best for your holidays, Harters! The news out of the U.K. is alarming, to say the least. Because the extra-virulent strain of SARS-CoV-2 has been circulating since at least September, chances are it is in North America too. But perhaps it’s a hidden blessing for you, since a couple of weeks ago, Boris was lightening lockdown restrictions for this holiday week, a supremely unwise decision that, had it gone through, would surely have lead to a horrendous number of infections and deaths in January. No sooner do politicians and medical experts get vaccinated on American TV, so as to reassure the public about vaccine safety, than the Covidiots start rumors that those were saline shots, or the vaccine is intended to INFECT minorities, etc. I hope we can keep most of the stupid on this side of the Pond.

I think first one has to consider the major classification differences in “fruit cake”
UK has a Christmas Cake, a Wedding Cake . . . all translate to “fruit cake” - but there are serious differences.

pre-WW2 USA fruit cakes were dark, heavy on the dried/candied fruit plus nuts; booze included/optional.

post WW2 when everything went to "instant water, just add . . . "
and the sturdy cake types appeared. including the xxxFarms doorstop variety.

if you find a recipe from 100 years back (~1920’s…) you’ll be making a fruit cake very few living souls have seen / tasted / eaten.
those old recipes are really good stuff.

Probably because I’m the only one making them.

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Savory instead of sweet sounds to me like a bold plan with a high chance of failure. The changes in other things all sound like just interesting good possibilities to me.

Well … a fruitcake with no fruit seems kind of broken to me, but nobody’s stopping you. A fruitcake with different fruit (especially dried types) I would try in an instant and probably like.

And to you and yours.

And in these weird times, we broke with tradition and had the first slice of cake yesterday. Although I say it myself, it was absolutely bloody lovely.



Curious, did you make your fruit cake? :grin: :yum: How did your crowd like it?

No, unfortunately not.

Things got a bit hectic, and we ended up with way too much food (including a whole batch of tamales that ended up in the freezer instead of our tummy).

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