Make your Christmas dishes memorable. Learn how to make traditional fruit cake from scratch in this free how-to instructional video clip on classic Christmas cooking.
Ingredients 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour 1 ½ cups granulated sugar 1 cup butter, softened 1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened 4 large eggs 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract 1 ½ cups mixed dried fruit, chopped ½ cup chopped walnuts *Makes 6 mini loaves Hi, today we are going to make a fruit cake, and this is not going to be the traditional 10 or 20 pound fruit cake, and it is not going to be the rustic brown colored variety. Actually we are going to make a pound cake that has the same types of fruit in it. It’s a fruited pound cake in that sense. We are not going to use candied fruits either. We are actually going to use some dried cherries and some dried cranberries, and what we did was we soaked those for 2 days in Captain Morgan’s Spice Rum because it’s kind of festive and holiday style. We also took some chopped walnuts, which we soaked for 2 days as well in the Captain Morgan’s Spice Rum. So as you can see, we’ve got our preliminary ingredients to start with and our trusty Kitchen Aid is ready to go. So first and foremost, we’ve got 1 ¼ cup of all purpose flour. We’ve got 1 ½ cup of sugar. I’ve got a full cup’s worth of butter here, and this has been softened actually. I’ve got a 8 ounce package of cream cheese, which has also been softened. I’ve got 4 eggs in my coffee cup there. I’ve got ½ teaspoons of baking powder. I’ve got 1 ½ teaspoons of extract, and I use a combination of almond extract and rum extract, and in my Tupperware containers here, I have my cranberries and my cherries and my walnuts. Also, the remaining 1 cup of flour. I’m going to go ahead and put in my flour first, and this is the first batch of flour. I’ve got a remaining cup that I will stir in a little bit later. We are really just going to do this on a slow to medium speed to get everything incorporated the way that it needs to be. So, I’m going to go ahead throw in my sugar. So what I like to do with the butter, and again, this has been softened, I just like to put in a little bit at a time. Some folks like to just throw it in all together. It’s up to you. I just want to kind of gently incorporate into the dry ingredients here. This is going to be a different fruit cake, obviously, than what a lot of people are used to, and we’ve kept it festive as said by using some of the Captain Morgan’s Spice Rum so that it will be holiday-like and Christmas-like. So in with our baking powder and our extract. Again, we use a combination of almond extract as well as rum extract. I’m going to start to cut in our 8 ounces worth of cream cheese and, again, this has been softened, but I am just going to tear off smaller pieces so that we get it dispersed in through the recipe. All right, so we’ve mixed in all our ingredients, and I’ve finished off with the eggs. As you can see we’ve got a really pretty looking cake batter here, and it’s going to be quite sweet. You saw the amount of sugar that was poured in there along with all the butter. So I am just going to kind of clean the residual off of my beater here, and at that point, we can go ahead and unlock our bowl, and what I want to do at this point is finish with the remaining flour, but I want to do it by hand. So it’s going to be kind of a slower process in that sense, and it’s a little bit gentler than the machine. All I’m really going to do is kind of sprinkle this in, and as I do that, I am going to use my wire whip here and incorporate that. Now I just want to sprinkle small amounts at the time and make sure to get all the flour off the edges to your bowl. We’ve got a real good consistency coming off here. I’ve got a non-stick spatula that helps a whole lot. So what we are going to do is fold in the key ingredients to all this. I’ve got some walnuts here, and again, I’ve soaked these for about 2 days in a small amount of Captain Morgan’s Spice Rum. So I’m just going to sprinkle these on the top, and what we are really doing, is just kind of folding these in with our spatula and just incorporating this stuff nice and gentle. You just want a nice and even distribution so that once these cakes bake, and we are going to make some multiple ones. We are going to use some small loaf pans, and you will have an even distribution of all your ingredients throughout the recipe there. Okay so we’ve incorporated all of our walnuts and folded those in. We are making sure to scrape from the bottom of the bowl and come up and over because we are kind of whipping air into this in a general way as well. All right, so now the ingredients of the hour. We’ve got some dried cherries and some dried cranberries, which I put inside a food processor and the green that you will know in there is no way around it. We have to use some of the green Marachino Cherries, and I actually put those inside the food processor as well so that we got a nice small dice on these pretty much. So I’ve soaked these also in the Captain Morgan’s Spice Rum simply because they were a dried fruit. We want to re-hydrate those, so they can survive the baking process and survive in this batter we are making for the cake. So in much the same fashion we did the walnuts, I am just going to sprinkle these onto the top and just fold those in. As you can see, all of our ingredients are incorporated nicely, and the batter itself has started to discolor a little bit, so we got kind of a spicy rummy feel to this fruity pound cake, which is what we wanted simply because it is that type of festive pastry. So I’ve got these loaf pans greased already, and I am just going to split this batch into the two, and we will knock those down so that we get them even and again, just keep folding and turning this out so that you get a nice even distribution into your pan. And yes we did add baking powder. So these are going to rise. That’s about half and half. I’m just going to clean up the edges on this guy, and what we are going to do is just kind of massage these a little bit, move them over to the side from end to end. Get those as level as we can before they go into the oven. Speaking of which, we have our oven preheated to about 325 degrees, and I am using a gas oven, so it is going to get a little bit hotter than electric oven. In an electric oven, you may want to do 350 degrees. We are going to let these guys go for about 45 minutes. We are going to stick a toothpick in them middle, and when that toothpick comes out clean, we are ready to go, and put these on a cooling rack and get ready to eat them. All right, we are all done on the fruited pound cake. We are going to go ahead and pull this guy out of the oven. Again, it was about a 45 to 50 minute cooking process. I am using a gas oven so I cooked them at about 325 degrees, and here is the finished product. They split nice and pretty on the top for us, and all we are going to do now is just let these cool, cool in essence that they can be taken out of the pan and from that point, we will put them on a cooling rack and we will be ready for some nouveau fruit cake.