Homemade fruitcake, prepared in your own kitchen is a true holiday treat! This moist, deeply flavored cake has stood the test of time as a holiday favorite for a reason. Fruitcake recipes are generally very versatile and can be tailored to your own tastes and preferences. Though there are many different recipes for fruitcake, most of them follow the same method of preparation:
Keep reading to learn how you can craft delicious fruitcakes to share with your loved ones throughout the holiday season.
Tips for Fruitcake Success:
1. Take a few days to prepare your fruitcake. A few days before baking, chop the nuts and dried or candied fruits your recipe calls for. Then soak them for 2-3 days in liquor or fruit juice. On baking day, prepare the batter and bake your cakes.
2. Adapt your fruitcake recipe to your taste. Use your favorite kind of nuts in place of those called for in your recipe. Fold in dried fruit instead of candied fruit if you prefer. Make sure that the weight of the fruits and nuts you include is the same as the weight called for in your recipe.
3. Coat fruit and nuts in flour before folding them into your fruitcake batter. This will prevent them from sinking to the bottom of your cake.
4. Wine or fruit juice can be used instead of brandy or rum in your fruitcake.
5. Fruitcake needs to be baked slowly at a low temperature.
6. Bake your fruitcake in pans that have been greased and floured or lined with greased parchment paper. Spoon the batter into the pans and then tap them on the counter to even out the batter and release any air bubbles.
7. Bake your fruitcake with a pan of how water on the floor of the oven to keep the cake moist.
8. If the fruitcake is browning too quickly, cover it with aluminum foil during the last hour of baking.
9. Your fruitcake is fully baked when a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
10. Completely cool your fruitcake before taking it out of the baking pan.
11. Most fruitcakes need to ripen for at least one month so that the flavors can fully develop. Some fruitcakes can ripen for years!
12. When you are ready to begin the ripening process, poke holes in the cake with a toothpick and brush with brandy or rum. Wrap your fruitcakes in cheesecloth that has been soaked in liquor. Store fruitcakes in airtight containers or zip top plastic bags in a dark place while they ripen.
13. Ripening fruitcakes can be stored in the refrigerator.
14. Do not freeze fruitcakes until the ripening process is complete. After ripening, fruitcake can be stored in the freezer for up to one year.
15. Check on ripening fruitcakes once a week. If they become dry, brush them with liquor and then rewrap them in liquor soaked cheesecloth. In general, fruitcake should be eaten within two years of baking.
16. If you plan to ripen your fruitcake for a very long time, soak it in liquor and then bury it in powdered sugar. Place it in a tin with a tight lid and store it in a cool, dark place. Fruitcake can be stored this way for up to 25 years!
18. A fruitcake is either light or dark based on the color of the ingredients. Light fruitcake includes lightly colored fruits and granulated sugar. Dark Fruitcake includes darkly colored fruits and brown sugar or molasses.