Monday, December 22, 2008

Ole Fashion Fruit Cake

Ole Fashion Fruit Cake

Dorcas Annette Walker

Fruit cake is like olives. You either love it or hate it. My mother loved fruit cake. The way she handled and stored her wedge of fruit cake each year at Christmas was like a ceremony that intrigued us kids. The fact that our dad couldn’t stand fruit cake only heightened our curiosity. We’d watch our mother carefully slice a small piece, take a bite, and savor the flavor. Not a crumb was wasted. Then she’d generously offer us a taste. The fruit cake would hit our taste buds with its exotic flavor and only the very brave among us would venture a second bite. It wasn’t until I was older that I really fell in love with fruit cake. After I was married I began searching and trying out different recipes. Once you’ve tasted a homemade fruit cake you’ll never enjoy a store version again. I’ve hesitated to share my recipe because many do not like fruit cake. Despite having fruit cake each Christmas both of my kids still roll their eyes and excuse themselves from eating any declaring it is a “parent thing” and not for them. Several times my husband, who is a great fan of my fruitcake, has urged me to share my recipe.

Since I am unable to get out and enjoy the holiday festivities like I used to, I started a tradition of inviting friends to our house for an evening of singing carols by the fire. I gather all the bells I’ve collected of each state we traveled through and we have a merry time ringing them as we sing. There is no program planned and everyone is free to join in as they wish. Last night after singing for an half an hour around the fire our pastor asked for past Christmas memories. Only a generation ago children didn’t receive toys for Christmas. To them Christmas meant getting an apple, orange, and some candy. One lady confessed that the first doll she ever received she never took out of the package it came in. Instead she would hold and stare mesmerized through the cellophane at her doll. Our pastor reminisced about the first train set he received for Christmas. He played with it all day long. The general census was that we feel sorry for this generation of kids, who are so used to receiving candy and toys throughout the year until Christmas doesn’t have the meaning it used to have. We finished our evening with a snack of Christmas cookies, candy, fruit cake and hot drinks. One fellow was simply enraptured over my homemade fruit cake. So to those of you who believe that Christmas is not complete without a fruitcake this recipe is for you.

Making a fruit cakes used to involve a complicated process that took days of soaking in prepared brine. My Ole Fashion Fruit Cake is a simpler version of the old recipes with the same moist nutty and fruity taste. You can add or substitute ingredients to personalize what your family enjoys. This Ole Fashion Fruit Cake takes ten minutes to prepare (not counting baking time) and serves at least sixteen.

Ole Fashion Fruit Cake

In a large mixing bowl cream together:
1 c shortening
1 c brown sugar
4 eggs
1 tb vanilla
1 tb lemon juice

2 lb candied mixed fruit
1 lb candied cherries
½ lb chopped pecans
Then stir in 2 c self-rising flour and mix until all the ingredients are blended. Pour batter into a 9 x 12 baking dish lined with wax paper. Bake at 350ยบ for one hour. While still hot prepare glaze and pour over cake. Cool and store in an enclosed container!

Bring to a hard boil for three minutes in a small saucepan:
½ c brown sugar
1 c syrup (or honey)
1 tb orange juice
1 tb lemon juice

Weekly tip: For a moister fruit cake: pour half a cup of orange juice over a baked fruit cake and seal in an enclosed container!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, columnist, speaker, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: For more recipes check out her Creative Mountain Cookin page at:


Darius T. Williams said...

Looks great!


Leasmom said...

I made a fruitcake that had so many ingredients and was so expensive that I couldn't make it the next year. So I looked up easier and cheaper recipes and found yours. Thanks so much for sharing!

Dorcas Annette Walker said...

I had the same problem myself. For years I started researching and experimenting until I found a fruitcake that not only tasted good, but was affordable as well.


Leasmom said...

I just made it. Its a keeper!! Thanks so much!!!

Dorcas Annette Walker said...

You're welcome!
Have a great holiday and happy cookin-

Leasmom said...

I made another one because I sent one to my sister and kind of ate most of the other one and I had some fruit/nuts left. The recipe was so easy to modify. I love it! Its delicious, easy and inexpensive. Thanks so much Dorcas and I love the rest of your recipes. They're great.

Do you have one for pulled pork?

Patrice in East Tennessee

Dorcas Annette Walker said...

Thanks, Leasmon!

I just made a fruitcake myself last night. It looks so Christmasy. I plan on serving it with Christmas cookies this Fri when we have our yearly open house for caroling by the fire.

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "pulled pork". I do have a Valentine Barbeque Biscuit recipe in Feb of this year that you can use shredded pork. Hope this helps.


frugalgravy said...

Can't wait to make this again this year. Thanks again for this recipe, this is officially my family Fruitcake recipe!!!