Use your favorite dried fruits, plus candied cherries and nuts, in this light-gold, mildly flavored cake. Or use the fruit/nut combination suggested below.
- 2 cups raisins: golden, jumbo, or your favorite type of raisins
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 1 cup candied lemon peel
- 1 3/4 cups candied red cherries
- 3/4 cup brandy, rum, or whiskey; or apple juice, plus extra to brush over the cakes when they come out of the oven
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia (optional)
- 5 large eggs
- 3 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups diced pecans or walnuts (optional)
- Fruit: Combine the dried fruit (except for the candied cherries) with liquid in a bowl. Cover and let the mixture steep overnight.
- Heat the oven to 300 degrees F. Lightly grease the loaf pans of your choice: two 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pans OR five 7" wooden bakers OR six 7" paper bake and give pans.
- Cake: In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, corn syrup, baking powder, salt, and flavors.
- Beat in the eggs one at time.
- Stir in the flour alternately with the milk.
- Add the undrained fruit, the candied cherries, and the nuts.
- Spoon the batter into the lightly greased baking pans, filling them three-quarters full.
- Bake the cakes for 50 to 80 minutes, depending on the size of the pans; smaller pans will bake for the shorter length of time. When done, the cakes will be a light golden brown all over, and a cake tester inserted into the center will come out clean.
- Remove the cakes from the oven. Brush with brandy or the liquor of your choice while warm.
- When completely cooled, wrap well and let rest at least 24 hours (or for up to a month, brushing with liquor or flavored syrup weekly) before serving.
Yield: Two standard loaves, or an indeterminate number of smaller gift loaves, depending on size
Hands-on: 25 to 30 min | Bake: 50 to 1 hr 20 min
Recipe and photo used with permission from: King Arthur Flour