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Last updated 12:14AM ET
August 16, 2018
WFCR Local News
WFCR Local News
Jan's Killer Fruitcake
(wfcr) - The debate over holiday fruitcake gets a bit louder at this time of year. To get to the heart of the matter, WFCR's reporter Charlene Scott and sound engineer Cathleen O'Keefe visited food writer Tinky Weisblatt and her mother, Jan, in Hawley, Massachusetts.

Jan's Killer Fruitcake

This dark fruitcake recipe is a longtime holiday staple of Tinky's mother, Jan, who got the recipe from HER mother, Clara. If you don't care for classic fruitcake, you may tinker with the ingredients - substitute dried pineapple and other fruits for the traditional glac fruitcake fruits, try rum or a fruit-flavored liqueur instead of brandy. But fans of the real thing will love this one!


1 pound fruitcake fruits (Tinky recommends those from King Arthur Flour's Baker's Catalog, but use whatever you have)
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup raisins, cut in half
1 cup currants
1/2 cup orange juice or sweet cider
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons brandy, plus brandy for seasoning
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon mace
1-1/2 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) sweet butter at room temperature
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 eggs


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Combine the fruit, nuts, juice, molasses, 2 tablespoons brandy, and spices in a large bowl. Mix them together well, and let them stand while preparing the batter. (If you leave them for several hours or overnight, so much the better; you may use them almost immediately, however.)

Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. In a separate large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together, and beat them until they are fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Stir in the flour mixture, and then fold in the fruit mixture.

Line 2 greased loaf pans with well greased parchment paper, and divide the batter between them. Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. This may take up to about 1-3/4 hours, but start testing at the end of 1 hour just to be sure.

Let the cakes cool completely in their pans. Remove them carefully. Wrap them in cheesecloth, and drizzle brandy over the cheesecloth. Cover the wrapped cakes in foil, and seal them in plastic bags. Stow them away to season as long as you can. Optimally, you should wait at least 3 weeks before serving them, but you may certainly try them as soon as 10 days after baking. If you want to keep them for more than 3 weeks, you may have to drizzle on more brandy from time to time. Makes 2 loaves. © Copyright 2018, wfcr