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A Recipe For Rich Dark Christmas Cake

Updated on November 3, 2011

Dark fruit cake is one of my favorite Christmas traditions. Many years ago I combined the best of all the dark fruit cake recipes I could find, and this recipe is the result. The cake is rich, dark, and chock full of nuts and fruit. If this is the kind of cake you enjoy, I think you will be pleased with this recipe. This cake is better is it is aged, so plan to make it early.

You will need a very large bowl, a large bowl and a smaller bowl. The recipe makes twelve pounds of fruit cake. I usually make two large loaf cakes and three small ones. The large ones take about three hours to bake and the small ones about two. You can use whatever size or shape of pan you wish, Just keep an eye on them during the baking process.

You will need:

--two pounds of raisins (I use sultanas, but golden will do just fine)

--two pounds of currants

--1 and 1/2 pounds of dates

--1 pound of whole, or half, walnuts (my preference, though you can use pecans or blanched almonds if you wish)

--1 pound of mixed peel

--1 pound of glazed cherries

--1/4 pound of glazed pineapple

--1/4 cup of flour (this is to coat the fruit - you will need more flour later)

--1 pound of butter, softened to room temperature

--2 cups white sugar

--8 eggs, beaten

--2 and 3/4 cups all purpose flour

--3/4 tablespoon cloves

--3/4 tablespoon nutmeg

--3/4 tablespoon cinnamon

--1/2 teaspoon baking soda

--1/2 lemon - grate the rind and then squeeze out the juice (mix this with the following)

--1/2 cup pineapple juice

Prepare your pans. I line mine with tin foil or you can use greased brown paper or parchment paper. Make sure the foil or paper comes over the top of the pans and can be folded down.

Heat your oven to 300 degrees. When the oven reaches the desired temperature, place a large pan of hot water on the bottom shelf. This is to remain during the baking process to keep the tops of the cakes from becoming too dry.

- In a large bowl, mix together all the fruits and the 1/4 cup of flour. Make sure all the pieces of fruit are separated and coated. Mix in the nuts and set the bowl aside.

- In the smaller bowl blend together the 2 3/4 cups of flour, the cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and the baking soda. Set this mixture aside.

- In a large bowl, cream together completely, the softened butter and the sugar. Blend in the beaten eggs.

- To this mixture, add, alternately, the flour mixture, and the juice mixture. When this is all well blended, stir in the fruit mixture. This takes some effort. I use my hands to do a thorough job.

Divide the batter among your pans. Press the batter firmly into the pans and smooth the tops.

Place the pans in the hot oven, leaving space between them. After about one hour, check your small cakes. The smaller cakes take about 2 hours and the larger ones about 3 hours. Baking time will depend on the state of your oven. When the cakes are done, the tops will be firm to the touch and there will be no more sizzling.

When the cakes are done, remove the pans to your cooling racks. After fifteen minutes, lift the cakes out of the pans, using the overlapping foil for handles. Allow to cool completely.

Wrap the cakes tightly in foil wrap, and let them age for about four weeks or more.

For adult consumers, I periodically unwrap a large cake, pierce it with my finest knitting needle and bathe it in about 1/4 cup of brandy.

These cakes can also be glazed or iced. To me that is gilding the lily, but the choice is yours. Serve and enjoy!


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    • profile image

      Patti 19 months ago

      I was under the impression dark fruit cake (which is also my fav), was made with brown sugar or molasses. But all your ingreds look good.

    • profile image

      crisp 3 years ago

      Hi! Can I asked how much you usually end up spending on everything? If you were to sell what would your price margins be? Cheers

    • profile image

      Nancy 3 years ago

      I was wondering if this recipe could be cut in half. I don't quite need 12 pounds of fruit cake. I would just like to make a cake for the lady who dies my pedicures she mentioned last year at thanksgiving how much she liked fruit cake but by then it was to late toake her one.

    • billips profile image

      billips 6 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks you reading and commenting Bbudoyono - I appreciate your time - B.

    • Bbudoyono profile image

      Bbudoyono 6 years ago

      hmm, yummy, I will try it.

    • profile image

      Derdriu 6 years ago

      Billips, What a delectable, delicious, tasty recipe for Christmas fruit cake! In particular, you do a great job of stimulating the appetite, inducing hunger and encouraging readers to try such a scrumptious treat.

      Thank you for sharing,


    • billips profile image

      billips 6 years ago from Central Texas

      It does make nice gifts - I make two batches, one in the smaller pans for family members - thanks for your comments - B.

    • gryphin423 profile image

      gryphin423 6 years ago from Florida

      Sounds delicious, I think I might just make this recipe for a couple friends as gifts. Thanks!

    • billips profile image

      billips 6 years ago from Central Texas

      It is good Gypsy - I guarantee it - many thanks for reading and commenting - B.

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Can't wait to try this fine recipe, thank you.

    • billips profile image

      billips 6 years ago from Central Texas

      Thank Katyzzz - they're aging now and will soon be ready for tasting - B.

    • katyzzz profile image

      katyzzz 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      My mouth is watering already and a great picture both of you and the cake

    • billips profile image

      billips 6 years ago from Central Texas

      I think everyone needs something special for the holidays - at least a small piece of something special - thanks for reading and commenting - B.

    • VirginiaLynne profile image

      Virginia Kearney 6 years ago from United States

      You are reminding how much I love to make fruitcake. I'm on a diet this year, but maybe I need something special to shoot for! Great recipe.

    • billips profile image

      billips 6 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks for your kind comments nikipa - I appreciate them - B.

    • nikipa profile image

      nikipa 6 years ago from Eastern Europe

      This is a precious sharing!

      Wish people nowadays find more time for cooking delicious home made Christmas cakes... and lots of other tasty food that cannot be bought anywhere.

    • billips profile image

      billips 6 years ago from Central Texas

      Making Christmas cake is the kind of baking I really enjoy - I wish I could share some with all of you - B.

    • doodlebugs profile image

      doodlebugs 6 years ago from Southwest

      Sounds delicious. I can't wait to try some!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      A great recipe for me to bookmark and thanks for sharing.

      I now look forward to reading many more of your hubs.

      Take care


    • carcro profile image

      Paul Cronin 6 years ago from Winnipeg

      I have always loved home made christmas cake, full of cherries and nuts, hmmm soo good! Thanks for sharing your recipe! Voted UP!