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Aunt Ellen’s Fruit Cakes

Full of sweet candied and dried fruit marinated in cherry brandy, then mixed with nuts and a spiced batter that's baked to perfection. This is why fruit cake is a holiday tradition that has lasted for centuries. If you haven't tried fruit cake, this is the one to try. If you are a fruit cake lover, then you'll know this is the best!
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time16 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Creole
Keyword: fruit cake
Servings: 75 Servings
Calories: 135kcal
Author: Sweet Daddy D

Here's What You Need

The Fruit

  • 15 ounces raisins
  • 8 ounces chopped dates
  • 16 ounces glazed fruit mix
  • 8 ounces green candied cherries
  • 8 ounces red candied cherries
  • 8 ounces red, green or yellow candied pineapples see Recipe Notes

The Batter

  • 1 cup cherry brandy in all
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • cups butter or margarine softened
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar packed
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon allspice

Here's What You Do

Prepare the Fruit

  • The night before you make the Fruit Cake, chop the fruit into small pieces (about ⅛ to ¼ of an inch); Set some red and green cherries (sliced in half), some pineapple chunks and some pecans halves aside for topping the fruit cakes. Place the raisins and chopped fruit in a large bowl. Pour ½ cup cherry brandy over the fruit and toss well.
  • Let the fruit and brandy mixture stand at room temperature overnight, stirring often to mix the fruit.

Other Preparation

  • Prepare some 8 X 4 aluminum loaf pans (see Recipe Notes) by spreading a thin layer of shortening all over the inside, then lining each loaf pan with parchment paper or wax paper.
  • Chop the nuts into small pieces (don't pulverize) and mix into the fruit and cherry brandy mix; set aside.
  • Combine the flour, cinnamon, allspice, grated nutmeg and salt and sift all together into a bowl; set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

Mix the Batter and Fruit

  • Using a stand mixer, cream the softened butter or margarine until light and fluffy.
  • With the mixer on a medium speed, add the brown sugar gradually, allowing the brown sugar and butter to completely combine before adding more brown sugar.
  • Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the eggs one at a time. Make sure each egg is completely mixed in before adding the next egg.
  • Keeping the mixer on low, add the sifted spiced flour to the butter and brown sugar mixture, a little at a time, making sure that it is all incorporated before adding more.
  • Turn off the stand mixer and transfer the batter to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the fruit and nut mixture, a little at a time. Mix everything together well, then mix some more!
  • Turn the mixture into the prepared loaf pans.
  • Bake at 250 degrees for 2 ½ to 3 hours. The fruit cakes are done when a toothpick comes out clean, but slightly sticky. (see Recipe Notes)
  • Cool the fruit cakes in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto cooling racks until fully cooled. This will take a few hours or can be cooled over night.
  • To finish the fruit cake, poke several holes in the top of each with a tooth pick and pour a little cherry brandy over the fruit cakes slowly.
  • Once the cherry brandy has been absorbed, individually wrap the finished fruit cakes tightly in plastic wrap (airtight) and store. These fruit cakes can be eaten right away or stored for a couple of months in the refrigerator or pantry, or can be frozen for several months.


This recipe says to marinate the chopped fruit in the cherry brandy for twelve hours....feel free to do it longer if you want. Just keep stirring it every few hours!
This recipe is easy to increase-just keep all the ingredients proportional.
Sifting the dry ingredients together, then adding the sifted, dry ingredients gradually will make sure that the delicious spices are distributed throughout all the batter.
This recipe will fill approximately five of the 8" x 4" X 2 ½" loaf pans, or about 15 of the little 6" x 3 ½" x 2" loaf pans. The little ones are the perfect size for gifts.  This is also great in larger loaf pans or the round  angel-food cake pans.
The cooking time is a good estimate and depends a lot on the size loaf pans you decide to use.   Check after about 2 hours-if they are done the cakes should be firm when you press down on them and just starting to pull away from the sides of the pans. Poke them with a tooth pick-if it comes out clean and just a little sticky, it's done! 
Make sure to wrap the fruit cakes tightly-start with plastic wrap then cover with aluminum foil. Make them airtight! They can be placed in freezer bags and stored for up to six months, either in the fridge or out. They can also be frozen for a year.


Calories: 135kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 98mg | Potassium: 76mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g

This recipe came from First...You Have a Beer (www.firstyouhaveabeer.com). If you like it, please leave a 5 star rating and a comment on the site and, most importantly, SHARE it with your friends.