Monday, December 10, 2012


Fruitcake is a love it or hate it item.  My mother loves fruitcake.  She likes the little green things people call "candied fruit," she loves the dense cake, and she loves the rum-soaked aspect of it all.  I am not a fan.

I found this recipe for fruitcake in December's Cooking Light. It uses only real apples and pears and some dried fruit, I chose apricots, cherries, and dates, fresh ginger, and orange zest.  The cake has a lighter texture than traditional fruitcakes and it has a bit of apple brandy glaze instead of the soak in rum syrup.  I loved it.
6 mini fruitcakes, hot from the oven.

Instead of one big cake, I made 6 smaller cakes for giving. If you make one big, you need to adjust the cooking time.


1/2 cup dried tart cherries

  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 3/4 cup Calvados (apple brandy), divided
  • 5.6 ounces unbleached all-purpose flour (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 4.75 ounces whole-wheat flour (about 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided 
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar, divided 
  • large eggs 
  • large egg white 
  • 1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind 
  • 2/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup chopped peeled Pink Lady apple 
  • 1/2 cup chopped peeled pear 
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted 
  • Baking spray with flour (such as Baker's Joy)
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. 2. Combine first 3 ingredients and 1/2 cup brandy in a medium glass bowl. Microwave at HIGH 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute. Set aside.
  3. 3. Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours and next 6 ingredients (through allspice) in a bowl; stir well.
  4. 4. Place 4 tablespoons butter, oil, granulated sugar, and 1/2 cup brown sugar in a bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until blended. Add eggs and egg white, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add ginger and orange rind; beat 30 seconds. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in cherry mixture, apple, pear, and pecans.
  5. 5. Spoon batter into small 6 count Bundt pan coated with baking spray; smooth top with a spatula. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 20 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pan; cool completely.
  6. 6. Combine remaining 1/4 cup brandy, remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, and remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes or until reduced to 1/4 cup, stirring well. Drizzle over cake.

Lighter Fruitcake

Mini fruitcakes topped with pecans and dried cherries.

December 10, 2012   Daylight 3 hours, 59 minutes, 32 seconds   Temp. H-2/L -8 ºF

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