The secret to our Christmas Fruitcake? Fresh cranberries!!
Not only do they look pretty, but taste so much better then those brightly colored odd bits of fruit traditionly put in fruitcakes. When we tell people that we make fruitcake, the first response is "I don't like it, all that weird fruit".
Even lovers of fruitcake are a little put off by it sometimes. The main reason we started using other fruit, (besides the ick factor) was the food dye, it doesn't agree with me. So we set out to create a cake that tasted good, might be a bit more healthy for you (fresh fruit versus processed) and didn't give me hives. We took out all the stuff we didn't like and put in REAL yummy fruit.
Fresh cranberries, fresh apples, dried pineapple, dates, raisins, dried mango and walnuts.
For this batch we were a little shy on dried fruits. But fruitcake is forgiving. Whatever you have on hand works!
We like ours chock full of fruit, about half fruit and half batter! After all, that is the point of a fruitcake right?
The batter is a little light in color as we ran out of brown sugar. Yes, it was almost a crisis! But then I remembered that white sugar + molasses = brown sugar! We just measured out the amount of sugar we needed (well, maybe we didn't measure, just threw a bunch in a bowl), added molasses and mixed until it looked like brown sugar!
As you can see we like to use a lot of different sized pans. Cupcake sized for gifts, small loaves for stashing in the freezer and large round cakes for Christmas Day! (Did I mention fruitcake freezes great? We love it half frozen!)
Christmas Fruit Cake
1 1/2 cups butter
3 cups brown sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
3 cups flour
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup dried pineapple
1 cup other dried fruits such as kiwi, papaya, mango, passion fruit (optional)
1 1/2 cups chopped apple
1 1/2 (12 oz) bags fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup walnuts
Mix all dried and fresh fruit in a bowl. Stir 1 cup of flour into fruit and set aside. In large bowl cream together butter and sugar, then add eggs. Mix in flour and baking powder. Fold fruit mixture into batter. Bake in greased pans at 275 degrees for about 35-45 mins.
Are you a lover of fruitcake or a non-lover? What do you like or dislike?