I guess you could say I have a fascination with yeast. My hobbies are baking bread and making my own beer and wine.
How My Wife Became a Fruitcake Convert
Ok, so I’ve heard most—if not all—of the stories about fruitcake from those who don’t like it. Things like:
- It’s made with floor sweepings and sawdust.
- Nobody actually makes fruitcakes; they just keep regifting them to other people.
- The best use for a fruitcake is as a doorstop.
My wife told me most of them because she doesn’t like traditional fruitcake. Her experience was that her parents got one every Christmas from relatives. Since no one in her family liked it, they would wait until spring and then throw it out for the birds to eat, hoping that the Audubon Society wouldn’t report them for cruelty to animals.
So, when I told her that my mother makes fruitcake, I think she had a moment where she seriously considered whether or not our relationship would actually last...
Fortunately, when she found out it was actually an applesauce cake with some fruit in it, she was willing to try a bit—and found that she liked it. She still hesitates to call this fruitcake, because she would then have to admit that she really doesn’t hate them, after all.
This is recipe was passed down from my grandmother. We usually make it every year for the holidays. Enjoy!
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1 1/3 cups brown sugar
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup hot applesauce
- 1/2 cup nuts (optional)
- 8 ounces candied fruit
- Combine the flour, spices, and baking soda together in a mixing bowl.
- Cream the sugar and shortening in a separate mixing bowl.
- Add the eggs to the sugar and shortening and mix together.
- Add the dry ingredients and the applesauce alternately to the sugar/shortening/eggs, mixing between each addition.
- Mix in the raisins, nuts, and fruit.
- Bake in a greased and floured cake pan at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.
- I normally use a 9-inch springform pan as shown in the pictures, but I would think a Bundt pan or something similar would be fine.
George Howard (author) from Connecticut on December 27, 2020:
Thanks for the wonderful comments - I saw your Nutella star bread recipe - I have never tried cooking with it, so maybe I will look into that. Thanks for sharing!
Liza from USA on December 27, 2020:
I love all ingredients you've used for the fruitcake, George. I have never used applesauce in my baking before so, it's interesting that you used it for fruitcakes. By the way, the cake looks delicious. I didn't bake fruitcake this year but, I did Nutella star bread for the holidays. Thanks for sharing your recipe. Happy Holidays!