Contributed by Shirley Manchester (Bohannon)
“Originally I learned to make fruitcake because my Dad loved it. As a child the flavour was too strong for me to like, but as an adult I fell in love with it also. Here is “Shirley’s Fruitcake” as baked for her Dad. (p.s. he loved pecans, and I loved walnuts so I wrote a note on the recipe that the baker can use either or both.)”
5 Cups total of candied fruits (any colors you wish)
3 Cups total raisins (or currants or mixed)
4 Cups total chopped nuts – recommend pecans or walnuts or both
1/2 Cup Meyer’s Dark Rum (dark has more flavor)
48 hours ahead: spread raisins/currants out on a baking sheet and allow to dry indoors for 24
24 hours ahead: in a coverable bowl, put raisins/currants + 1/2 C rum. Toss to coat with rum.
Cover and soak overnight to re-hydrate the fruits.
1-1/2 Cup Flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp ground mace
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp milk
1 tsp almond or walnut extract
1/2 C unsalted butter, softened
1 Cup granulated sugar
1 Cup packed brown sugar
In very large bowl, combine all candied fruits, nuts, raisins and their ‘soaking’ rum . Mix well and
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Line your loaf pans with waxed paper. Recipe will make 7 each
small loaves, or 3 each 8″ or 9″ loaves.
- Sift together flour, baking soda, mace and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, beat eggs, milk, and almond extract. Mix till smooth. Set aside.
* Melt butter gently in microwave. (Don’t ‘cook’ the butter.) In a large mixing bowl, put the melted
butter and blend in both kinds of sugar.
- Into the butter mixture, gently beat in egg mixture until smooth. Gradually add flour mixture,
beating at low speed until blended. Pour over fruit mixture. Use a spoon to thoroughly mix the
batter with fruits.
- Spoon batter into pans. Pack batter down with the back of a spoon. Fill the pans up to about
1/2″ from the top of the pan.
- Bake medium loaves at 275 F for 1-3/4 – 2 hours, (or small loaves for 1-1/4 – 1-1/2 hours) until
skewer inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool in the pans, on racks, for 30 minutes. Run knife around edges of cakes to loosen. Remove
cakes from pans. Peel off waxed paper.
Wash the pans. Re-line the pans with fresh waxed paper and put the cakes back into the pans.
For six weeks, refrigerate in tightly-closed plastic. Today and once every two weeks, spoon
Meyer’s Dark Rum over the top of each cake. I use a soup spoon, and I spread 3 spoonfuls
over each large loaf, or 1 spoonful over each small loaf . (The rum will eventually soak down all
the way through the cakes, week by week).
Keep cakes in the airtight plastic bag and refrigerated. Fresh waxed paper can be used to wrap
finished cakes (avoid aluminum foil directly against the cake.)