Thursday, December 19, 2019

Gram's Famous Fruit Cake #BundtBakers

The only fruit cake I’d eat as a child, this recipe was my grandmother’s special treat at Christmas time. It’s chock full of pecans, walnuts, crystalized fruit, dates, cherries, raisins and pineapple.

I was not a fan of fruit cake when I was a child, at least not the store-bought sort. I made an exception for Gram’s famous fruit cake. (Famous in our family circle anyway.) It was not dry at all and it had lots of pecans, my favorite nut of all time. My grandmother made many of different sizes, wrapped them up in foil with ribbons to share and more for keeping safe under her bed.

I finally knew I was considered an adult one Christmas when I was given my very own little loaf.

If you’ve been reading here for a while, you know that both of my grandmothers were wonderful cooks and sometimes bakers and candy makers. I’ve inherited so many good recipes from them. Gram’s fig preserves and her Cajun rice dressing, Mo's chicken and sausage gumbo and her shrimp stew and crawfish étouffée, just to name a few. This fruit cake is one of my favorites.

Gram’s Famous Fruit Cake

Amongst my grandmother’s things I found several copies of the original recipe, copied out in her distinctive old-fashioned hand. I have no idea where she came by it or if it was a mixture of her own devise. I've downscaled her ingredient amounts to make one 12-cup Bundt cake.

8 oz or 227g pecans
8 oz or 227g walnuts
15 small bottled cherries (weight 48g)
1 cup or 125g flour
1 1/4 lbs or 367g crystallized fruit mix
12 oz or 340g seedless dates, roughly chopped
3 oz or 85g raisins
2 oz or 57g sliced pineapple, cut in chunks
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoons each allspice, cloves and cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cups or 132g sugar
1/2 cup or 113g butter (plus extra to butter pan)
2 eggs
1/4 cup or 60ml red (dark) Karo
1/8 cup or 30ml fruit juice from canned pineapple and bottled cherries

Separate out your prettiest pecans and walnuts to line the bottom of your classic Bundt pan and set them aside. I use a Nordic Ware anniversary Bundt so I set aside 8 of each. Cut the cherries in half and set aside an equal amount of cherry halves.

Check your nuts thoroughly for any errant bits of shell that might have been missed before they were packaged up. You do not want to break a tooth while eating the fruit cake! Roughly chop the rest of the pecans and walnuts, then mix all of the fruit and nuts with 1/4 cup or 31g flour.

Whisk or sift the baking powder, spices and salt into the rest of the flour. Set aside.

Preheat your oven to 250°F or 121°C. Liberally butter and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan, then arrange the reserved pecans, walnuts and cherries as decoration for when the fruit cake is turned out of the pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter. Separate your egg whites and yolks, adding the whites to a clean, grease free bowl.

Add the egg yolks, Karo, flour mix and fruit juice to the creamed sugar and butter. Mix well.

Beat the egg whites until foamy.

Fold them gently into the fruit cake and then do the same with the fruit and nuts.

Spoon the mixture into your prepared Bundt pan.

Bake the mixture for 3 1/2  hours in your preheated oven.

Leave to cool for about 10 minutes, then invert the fruit cake on a serving plate. If any of the bits stick to your pan, just pry them off and poke them back in the cake.

My grandmother never added alcohol to her fruit cake, but feel free to brush yours with some good dark rum or brandy if you so desire.

Leftovers should be tightly wrapped in cling film and foil and stored in a cool place.


This month my Bundt Baker friends are all sharing fruit cake recipes. Check them out!

#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all of our lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about BundtBakers, can be found on our home page.

Pin Gram's Famous Fruit Cake! 


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