The Best Fruitcake Recipe – and It’s a Non Alcoholic Fruitcake Recipe!

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This is the best fruit cake recipe ever. And it’s an alcohol-free fruit cake recipe, too, even though it’s one that you baste and let age and cure! Yummy, aged, and non-alcoholic. What more could you ask of a fruitcake?

This recipe is based on a recipe that Mike from Houston gave me when I posted a request for a great fruitcake recipe on the Usenet group, years ago.

He in turn got it via Tom Lester.

This fruitcake should be made several weeks – at very least 2 or 3 weeks – before you plan to serve it. Four or five weeks ahead is even better. Do not try it before it has cured – it is icky until it has aged a few weeks, and then it’s heavenly.

The Best Ever Fruitcake

1 lb candied red cherries (reserve 8 or so for decoration)
1 lb candied citron peel
1/2 lb candied orange peel
1 lb dried sweetened pineapple (you can use candied pineapple, but dried is nicer)
1 lb figs, chopped
1 lb raisins
1 lb pitted dates, chopped (you can use the pre-formed and coated date pellets, but they aren’t nearly as nice)
1/2 lb currants
1/2 lb golden raisins
2 1/2 lb pecans – chop all but a handful to use for decoration
1/4 lb walnuts, chopped

1 lb butter, softened
12 eggs
1 cup molasses
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups granulated sugar

1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
2/3 cup apple cider or apple juice juice
1 teaspoon brandy extract

Bottle vanilla syrup (such as Torani or Monin brand, like they have in coffee shops)

Mix fruit and nuts together in an enormous bowl (we have to use our big stock pot).

Dissolve the baking soda in the molassess and set aside.
Mix the brandy extract into the apple cider and set aside.

Mix about three tablespoons of the flour in with the fruits and nuts, mixing thoroughly so that each individual piece has some flour on it, so that nothing sticks to anything else. Set aside.

Cream butter well, and then add the eggs, sugar, molasses & baking soda, the
spices, the vanilla, the cider & brandy extract, and the rest of the flour. Mix thoroughly.

Pour batter over fruit and nuts, and mix and mix and mix, until completely mixed.

Preheat oven to 225.

Press batter into baking pans that have been well-greased, then lined with parchment paper. The recipe will make 8 8″ loaves, although you can put it in just about any pan so long as you don’t pack it more than about 2 1/2 to 3 inches deep. I like to put it in mini-tube pans.

Cut reserved cherries in half, and use along with the reserved pecans to decorate the top of the fruitcakes. (See picture below.)

Put in oven, and be sure to put a pan of water on the rack below it.

Bake 3-4 hours, being sure to start checking half-way through. Don’t let the bottom pan run out of water. Fruitcakes are done when cracks appear all over the top – or when a toothpick comes out clean and they seem otherwise done (here at altitude for some reason the cracks don’t appear).

Let fruitcakes cool completely, then remove from pans.

Mix a teaspoon of brandy extract into about a cup of the vanilla syrup, and brush outside of fruitcakes with the mixture. Then wrap each fruitcake individually in wax paper, then foil, and store in cool place for at least two to three weeks – longer is better. If you like, you can brush them every week with more syrup mixture.

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