Fruitcake, also known as "Christmas cake" is a common dessert cake enjoyed during the Christmas holidays. It is rarely eaten outside of the holiday season.
Fruitcake day is an obscure holiday that is celebrated on December 27th just a couple of days after Christmas. This is an appropriate day to be dedicated to the fruitcake because it is likely that you received one of these cakes at Christmas time.
Now you can take out your fruitcake on December 27th and enjoy it in honor of Fruitcake Day!
Fruitcake to Celebrate
Fruitcake is not a Popular Dessert
The poor forgotten fruitcake has a notorious reputation of being disliked as an unwanted gift at Christmas time. One reason may be the taste as they can be heavy and the fruit too chewy.
But it's a tradition and traditions continue in spite of their waning popularity. New recipes have emerged that produce a lighter fruitcake that is tastier. There are many variations of the fruitcake so you just have to try them to find one that you like.
Advantages of Fruitcake
The advantage of fruitcake as a dessert or gift is that it keeps rather well and can be wrapped up and frozen for a later date. Most fruitcakes contain alcohol so this prevents spoilage. But remember that the lowly Christmas cake does have it's own holiday so bring that cake out to celebrate on December 27th!
Did you know that fruitcake was actually banned in the early 18th Century because it was considered "sinfully" rich.
The History of the Fruitcake
The Origins of Fruitcake
The fruitcake has a long history because it first appeared in the time of the Romans in 8th century BC.
It was originally a concoction of pine nuts and raisins that were mixed with a mash of barley. Later on during the middle ages it became popular to add fruits, honey and spices. The fruitcake then started to evolve into what it is today.
Hunters and Warriors Depended on Fruitcake
The fruitcake became a popular food for hunters and warriors to carry on long trips as it kept well for long periods of time. During the 1400's it became very popular in Britain especially when dried fruits started to be imported from the mediterranean.
The Good Luck Cake
Later in 16th century Europe the fruitcake became a harvest symbol and a good luck charm. The nuts of the current harvest were baked into the fruitcake which was stored till next year to be eaten at harvest time. This was considered good luck for next years harvest and it became a tradition. This was how the fruitcake first became associated with celebration.
Current Status of the Fruitcake
Today the fruitcake is most popular as a wedding cake and of course, a traditional cake of Christmas time. It is usually made with dried or candied fruit combined with nuts and spices. It can be soaked in liquor and this is what keeps it from spoiling. In the United Kingdom they often decorate their fruit cake with icing.
Did you know that Queen Victoria did not eat a fruitcake for a year after she received one for her birthday. She thought this showed restraint which was a virtue in Victorian England.
How to Make a Fruitcake - That people will love!
Making a Fruitcake or Christmas Cake
Make Your Fruitcake Two Weeks Before
This is an easy to follow video for making a fruit cake. The recipe uses alcohol but you can substitute the alcohol with juices. Another factor is if you are making it for a special occasion (likely Christmas!) it must be made at least two weeks ahead of time.
Bake Your Fruit Cake in a "Non-Reactive" Pan
The shopping list is long on ingredients and you do need a "non-reactive" pot. This means stainless steel, glass, plastic, enamel or clay cookware. Reactive cookware, like aluminium or copper, conducts heat very well but apparently creates a chemical reaction with the food you are cooking. This will spoil the cake by changing it's consistency and taste.
Fruit cakes were originally called plum cakes! They are also known as Christmas Cakes due to their popularity at this time of year.
Did You Know...
That 1/3 of all the fruitcakes sold every year in North America are never eaten.
They end up in the freezer and eventually are tossed out.
Thinking about Fruitcake - On December 27th
Do You Like Fruitcake?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Sharon Bellissimo