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This fruitcake recipe is over 100 years old. It takes 2 days to make, and 3 weeks to ripen, but well worth the time investment. If properly stored, the cake can be made as much as two months before Christmas.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours, 15 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours, 35 minutes


  • Fruit Mixture:
  • 1 pound mixed candied fruit, chopped (See Note)
  • 2 ounces candied ginger, chopped fine
  • 1/2 pound seedless raisins
  • 1/2 pound golden seedless raisins
  • 1/2 pound dried currants
  • 1/4 pound candied cherries, coarsely chopped (save 4 whole cherries for decoration, if you like)
  • 1/4 pound shelled walnuts or pecans, finely chopped (save 8 halves for decoration, if you like)
  • Finely grated rind of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup brandy or orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • .
  • Cake Mixture:
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon mace
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound butter or margarine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 eggs


Place candied fruit, ginger, raisins, currants, cherries, walnuts or pecans, lemon rind, orange marmalade, lemon juice, brandy or orange juice, vanilla, and almond extract in a large bowl, toss well, cover, and let stand overnight at room temperature.

Grease, then line bottom of a 10-inch tube pan with wax paper. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

Sift together twice the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, cloves, allspice, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.

Cream butter until light, add sugar gradually, and continue creaming until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add to dry ingredients, about 1 cup at a time, beating just to blend. (Note: Unless you have an extra-large mixing bowl, you will have to transfer batter to a large kettle at this point.) Mix in the fruit mixture. Spoon batter into pan and, if you wish, decorate top with halved candied cherries and walnuts. Place on center oven rack; half fill a roasting pan with water and place on rack below. Bake, uncovered, 4-1/4 hours until cake shrinks slightly from sides of pan and a metal skewer inserted midway between edge and central tube comes out clean.

Cool cake upright in pan on wire rack 1 hour. Carefully turn out, peel off wax paper, turn right-side-up, and cool thoroughly. Wrap in brandy- or rum-soaked cheesecloth, then in foil, and store in an airtight container about 3 weeks to ripen. If you wish to store the fruitcake longer, sprinkle cheesecloth wrapping with 2 to 3 tablespoons brandy or rum at 3-week intervals.

Yield: 40 servings

In place of the 1 pound of mixed fruit, you may use the following mixture:
1/2 pound candied citron, chopped fine
1/4 pound candied orange peel, chopped fine
1/4 pound candied lemon peel, chopped fine

Recipe Source: The New Doubleday Cookbook by Jean Anderson, Elaine Hanna (Doubleday)
Reprinted with permission.

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