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I take the whole amount of fruit (10 cups) and make a nice looking mixture. I don't necessarily use the amounts shown. If the candied fruit is on sale, i just use more of it than the raisins. I still end up with the 10 cups, but it is usually more of the fruit mix and candied pineapple. The almonds I use are the slivered ones. Easier to work with. The original recipe called for brandy or grape juice, but I found that if you substitute the orange juice concentrate, it has a nicer flavour.
I have never had this recipe fail me. I am asked for it by most of my family members as I send them for presents at Christmas. I have tried other recipes, but this one has the moistest results I have found.
- 4½ cups raisins
- 2¼ cups currants
- ½ lbs soft butter or margarine
- ½ lbs soft shortening
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp almond extract
- 12 eggs
- 1 cup orange juice concentrate (not thawed)
- ½ cup honey
- 4½ cups unsifted all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp cloves (ground)
- 1 cup pitted dates, cut up
- 2¼ cups candied cherries
- 1 cup blanched almonds, halved
- Use 2 tube pans 10x4 each, or 5 loaf pans.
- Line pans with 2-3 thicknesses of brown paper or 1 thickness of heavy foil; grease well with unsalted shortening.
- I use lard to grease and don't need to line with paper.
- Wash raisins and currants and dry thoroughly between paper towels.
- Beat butter and shortening together very thoroughly; when smooth and fluffy, add sugar gradually, beating continuously.
- Blend in vanilla and almond extract.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
- Beat in orange juice and honey.
- This may cause the batter to appear separated, but it will not affect results.
- Sift together remaining dry ingredients.
- Mix prepared fruits and almonds in large mixing bowl; add sifted dry ingredients, and mix well to coat pieces.
- Scrape egg and butter mixture into bowl, and, using hands, combine very thoroughly.
- Fill each pan ¾ full.
- Preheat oven to 275°F.
- Bake cakes 1½ to 3½ hours, depending on size of pans used.
- After first hour or so, place pan of water on bottom of oven to prevent cakes from drying out.
- When cakes test done, remove from oven, and let pans stand on racks until cakes are completely cooled.
- Remove from pans, and peel of paper linings.
- Let ripen 4 – 5 weeks before serving.
- This recipe makes dark moist cake, rich with fruits and mingled flavors of spices, honey, and the like.
- If desired, recipe may be halved with good results.
- When they come out of the oven, i let them sit for a few minutes and then take them out of the pans while still fairly hot.
- Let them cool for maybe 15-20 minutes and then pack them while still warm.
- I pour ¼ to ½ cup brandy (apricot, orange, or cherry) onto the cakes, wrap in double thickness of handy wrap, then wrap in tin foil securely.
- I then store them in the basement where it is cool and every couple of days i turn them to make sure that the brandy diffuses throughout the whole cake.