Japanese Fruit Cake

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  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup raisins
  • Pecan halves (for garnish)

Lemon-Coconut Frosting

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups water, divided
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 medium coconut, grated (3 1/2 cups)


  1. Cake: Cream butter; gradually add sugar, beating well at medium speed of an electric mixer.
  2. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Combine flour and baking powder; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix after each addition.
  4. Stir in vanilla extract.
  5. Pour one-third of batter into a greased and floured 9-inch round cake pan.
  6. Stir cinnamon and next 3 ingredients into remaining batter; pour into 2 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  8. Cool in pans for 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
  9. Spread frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake, stacking white layer between spiced layers. Garnish, if desired.
  10. Lemon-Coconut Frosting: Dissolve cornstarch in 1/2 cup water; set aside.
  11. Bring remaining 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan.
  12. Stir in sugar, lemon rind and lemon juice. Return to a boil, and cook to soft ball stage (236 degrees F), stirring often.
  13. Gradually stir in cornstarch mixture; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly.
  14. Remove from heat; stir in coconut. Cool.
  15. Stir frosting just before spreading on cake.