fruitcake squareSweet and chewy, with just enough crunchy nuts in each bite to be a texture and taste delight; the updated version of Aunt Thelma’s fruitcake is amazing.

So, I realize people typically groan a little when fruitcake is presented, that’s because they’ve never had the chance to try Aunt Thelma’s fruitcake. Yes, there really is an Aunt Thelma and her recipe, which was already quite delicious, has been carefully recrafted by Chef Rex (my dad). The new version is actually closer to a more traditional version, with wholesome, organic, and sustainable ingredients where possible. This version is an absolute WIN with me. It’s sticky and chewy and not too sweet... it gives fruitcake a whole new meaning.

Original Recipe

Updated Recipe

Dry Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

1 ½ cups flour >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

1 ½ cups organic stone ground whole grain flour*

1 ½ cups sugar >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

1 ½ cups organic Demerara sugar*

1 tsp. baking powder >>>>>>>>>>>>

1 tsp. aluminum free baking powder*

1 tsp. salt >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

1 tsp. salt*

Fruit and Nuts                   

2 – 7 ½ oz packages of dates >>>>>>

15 or 16 ounces of organic Medjool Dates*

1 lb diced candied pineapple

1 lb. of unsulfured candied pineapple*

2- 16 oz jars Maraschino cherries

2-16 oz. jars of organic Maraschino cherries*

18 oz . (5 ½ cups) pecans or walnuts

18 oz. (5 ½ cups) pecans or walnuts*

Wet Ingredients

Wet Ingredients

6 eggs >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

6 large free range eggs*

1/3 cup dark rum >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

1/3 cup dark rum*

½ cup light corn syrup >>>>>>>>>>>

½ cup light syrup*

Original Instructions

Updated instructions and notes*

Grease 2 loaf pans, line with foil – grease foil

I used two loaf pans, buttered and floured, and they slipped out on to a serving plate without coaxing. If you want to use the foil, tightly fold the foil over the outside of the loaf pan, then slip it inside. This makes a shape conforming insert that tightly fits the loaf pan with a lot of wrinkles and crease that will adhere to the fruitcake.

Sift dry ingredients together.

Measure ingredients into an appropriate sized bowl and just whisk them together to insure a uniform dispersal of the ingredients.

Add fruit and nuts, toss until well mixed.

The point here is to make sure that the dry ingredient mixture is dispersed uniformly among the chunky fruit and nut mixture. I tried using the paddle and dough hook attachments on my stand mixer to mix these, they both worked about the same. However, they both crushed some of the ingredients which results in a denser, more uniform textured fruitcake. The original version is a composite of intact chunks of fruit and nuts that makes in stand out from other cakes. They are equally tasty.

Beat eggs until smooth, mix in rum

add egg/rum mixture to fruit and dry ingredients.

Mix well.

Again I can’t over emphasize that a large spoon gently tossing the ingredients until well mixed is the way to go. I used Myers Dark as it has a great molasses flavor which sets of the caramel tones of the Demerara sugar.

Pack into loaf pans

Bake at 300 F for 1 ¾ hrs. or until a tooth pick Inserted into center comes out clean.

Don’t skimp on the time, I recommend using the full 1 ¾ hours as the center can still be a bit sticky even if the toothpick comes out clean.

Don’t skimp on the time, I recommend using the full 1 ¾ hours as the center can still be a bit sticky even if the toothpick comes out clean. Fruitcake has a long history as a wintertime treat with recipes dating to Ancient Rome including things like pine nuts and pomegranate seeds. All across Europe there seems to be some variation of the fruitcake. fruitcake