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Friendship Brandied Fruit Starter and Cake Recipes

Margie's been an online writer for several years. Her articles focus on great Southern-style recipes for any occasion.

What is brandied fruit? Learn all about it, plus a delicious recipe to try out this holiday season. This friendship fruit starter with brandy is easy to make—and even easier to devour.

What is brandied fruit? Learn all about it, plus a delicious recipe to try out this holiday season. This friendship fruit starter with brandy is easy to make—and even easier to devour.

Friendship Brandied Fruit Is a Family Tradition

Brandy is distilled from fermented fruit, and has been around since about the 12th century. Brandied fruit is fruit that's soaked in brandy and sugar until it is fermented. It can be used in cake mixes, drizzled over ice cream, pies, and pound cake, or any way you desire!

In our house, it's a holiday tradition for Christmas and other holidays. It makes a wonderful gift to share for any occasion. Place it in a pretty jar, and attach a ribbon and a tag listing all the ways they can serve it!

Look for a spot in your kitchen to keep the jar at room temperature. You can find at Walmart a large jar or crock for making your brandied fruit. You do need to give it care and feed it daily, which only takes a minute or two.

Have fun, share enjoy, and make new friends!

Fruit fermenting in brandy and sugar

Fruit fermenting in brandy and sugar

Brandied Fruit Starter Recipe

  • Ingredients for 6 Starters
  • Brandied fruit takes 21 days to ferment and yields 6 cups.
  • You will love the taste of this delicious brandied fruit.


  • 1 (20-ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained
  • 1 (16-ounce) can peach slices, drained
  • 1 (10-ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained
  • 1 (17-ounce) can apricot halves, drained
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups brandy


  1. Drain the juice from all the fruit.
  2. In a clean, large glass jar or crock, combine all of the ingredients.
  3. Using a wooden spoon, gently stir.
  4. You may use apricot or peach brandy if you desire.
  5. Let the brandied fruit stand a room temperature for three weeks, and stir it at least twice a week.
  6. When the fruit becomes translucent, you will know the fruit is fermented.

How to Care for and Feed Brandied Fruit

  • Feed every two weeks by adding one cup of sugar and one cup of different fruit each time, gently stirring with a wooden spoon.
  • Cover, and let sit at room temperature for three days before using.
  • To maintain your starter keep at least three cups at all times

How to Share the Starter

  • When you have more than six cups of the brandied fruit, you can divide it into two portions, making sure there are three cups in each portion.
  • This should be done before you would do a normal feeding.
  • Feed each three-cup portion, give one three-cup portion to a friend with the care and feeding directions and keep the other three-cup portion for yourself.
  • Sometimes your friends may not open the door when you come with a three-cup portion of this delicious magic! I had to bake a lot to keep up with the starter!
  • Some friends may prefer you just bake a cake or bring a mason jar of brandied fruit for toppings for ice cream, cake, or whatever!

My Favorite Canning Jars

My mom always used Ball jars, and I do, too! If you are making a batch to put up, you need lots of good jars and lids—like these Ball jars.

Friendship cake made with brandied fruit starter

Friendship cake made with brandied fruit starter

Friendship Cake

These traditional cakes make thoughtful and delicious gifts.


  • 1 (18.25-ounce) package yellow or white cake mix
  • ⅔ cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 (4-ounce) package vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1 cup nuts, chopped
  • ⅓ cup coarsely chopped brandied fruit


  1. Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl, and mix by hand. Do not use an electric mixer.
  2. Prepare a bundt or tube pan by greasing and flouring well. Place the batter into the pan.
  3. Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour.
  4. You may double the recipes, and it will make three 5 x 9-inch loaf pans. I would check the loaves at 45 minutes to see if they are done; it may take the whole hour!

Tips From Margie Lynn

  • Ingredients will make 24 servings.
  • The loaves make awesome gifts for Christmas, Thanksgiving, or any occasion.
  • You can bake in the disposable loaf pans and add some special touches with decorations, and you have a lovely gift!
  • If you do not like mixed fruit, just use one kind of fruit if you like!

Friendship Cake Without Cake Mix Recipe


  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups brandied fruit
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup brandied fruit juice


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar and beat well.
  2. Add the next six ingredients and beat well.
  3. Add the eggs and chopped brandied fruit. Stir into the batter.
  4. Add the juice and chopped pecans and mix well.
  5. Place the batter into a well-greased and floured Bundt pan.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour.
  7. Let cake cool in the pan for ten minutes and remove from pan.
Brandied fermented fruit

Brandied fermented fruit

I love the Anchor Hocking jars, and this size would be perfect for fermenting your starter. I use them for my canisters for my flour, sugar, and tea bags—and they match any decor. This clear glass jar will look beautiful displayed on your counter while your fruit is fermenting.

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