I can’t tell you why fruitcake gets a bad rap. Maybe I haven’t eaten a bad one. I can tell you that I could eat this one every day. I’m really proud of it. A blogger friend of mine, Natascha of Natascha’s Palace, made a fruitcake challenge and I accepted. I’ve tweaked this cake to perfection, if I do say so myself. It’s a little sugar, spice and everything nice (with less emphasis on spice or heavy on the everything). This fruitcake is dense and moist and outright delicious. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
As organic as possible:
3 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped pecans
1 1/3 cup chopped dates, pitted
1/3 cup dried cherries
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat oven to 325°. Grease and flour a 10 cup tube or angel food pan. (Do yourself a favor and do not choose a decorative bundt cake pan, trust me on this one.) Set aside.
Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a large a bowl. Gently toss the pecans and walnuts in the flour mixture. Next add the dates. I like to toss these carefully (a few at a time) in the flour nut mixture because they are the stickiest. Once the chopped dates are coated with the flour mixture, add the cherries, cranberries, regular and golden raisins, and coconut. Gently toss until all fruit is lightly coated with flour mixture.
In a separate bowl or in a stand mixer, cream butter. Add sugar and beat with the butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated. Add vanilla, almond extract and lemon juice. Mix well.
Add the dry ingredients, a scoop full at a time to creamed butter mixture, until all is combined. (I like to mix this part by hand, to not over-mix.) The batter will be very thick (like the consistency of a thick drop cookie). Spoon the batter in the prepared pan, and gently even out the top with the back of the spoon or spatula.
Bake the cake for 1 1/2 hours. Remove cake from oven and let cool for about 15 minutes. Using a knife, loosen the edges of the cake and place onto cooling rack to cool completely before serving.