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Grandmother Knight's Vintage English Fruitcake

Barbara learned how to cook and bake from her beloved Grandmother Knight.

English fruitcake

English fruitcake

Traditional English Fruitcake

My grandmother made this fruitcake every year until she was no longer able. After that, I became her hands as she told me what to do. We made it together.

She always dated her recipes in her old Webster's composition book, and this recipe is dated 1945.


  • 1 pound seedless raisins
  • 1 pound currants
  • 1/2 pound candied citron, sliced
  • 1/4 pound candied grapefruit or lemon peel, sliced
  • 1/4 pound orange peel
  • 1 package dates
  • 1/2 cup candied cherries or candied pineapple
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon mace
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 juice of lemon
  • 1/4 cup grape juice
  • 1/4 pound almond meats
  • 2 ounces candied cherries
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  1. Wash the raisins and currants and drain. Put the raisins through a food chopper. Pit the dates and cut them with a pair of scissors into crosswise slices. Mix the dried candied fruits and sliced fruit peel.
  2. Combine the flour, salt and spices.
  3. Sift the flour mixture over the fruit and mix with your fingers.
  4. In a separate bowl, cream the butter. Add sugar gradually.
  5. Add beaten eggs.
  6. Stir in the fruit and flour mixture alternately with fruit juices. Mix thoroughly.
  7. Place the batter in a deep pan that has been well greased and lined with wax paper.
  8. Bake at 275°F for 3 hours.
  9. Brush the surface with a glaze made by mixing 2 tablespoons of molasses with 1.2 cups of water.
  10. Decorate with roasted almonds and candied cherries or add pecans from your own trees.

Yield: 6-pound fruitcake

Grandmother Knight's recipe book

Grandmother Knight's recipe book

Summer at Grandmother Knight's farm with all of the grandchildren: Thelma, Jimmy, Martha and Bobbi (me)

Summer at Grandmother Knight's farm with all of the grandchildren: Thelma, Jimmy, Martha and Bobbi (me)

© 2022 Barbara Purvis Hunter

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