I am somewhat of the Christmas oddity. I love fruitcake. I encourage people to send me fruitcakes for the holidays. I seek out friends who are looking to get rid of all the fruitcakes they received. At work I am always sneaking into the kitchen to nibble on all the fruitcakes that everyone has brought in to unload on unsuspecting co-workers. My favorite aunt (yes, the same one of the dreaded Mazola Oil Cake) made a fantastic fruitcake. It contained no glaceed fruits, just cherries, raisins and nuts. It had a light batter and we always called it white fruitcake. My sister continued the tradition of the white fruitcake and when I moved to California she gave me the recipe and now I make it all the time. I usually make several during the holidays. I was quite anxious to try this one as it is a bit different from my own. The batter is much darker than mine and it is jammed with fruits and nuts.
When reading through the recipe it doesn’t seem all that different in technique from my fruitcake but there is one odd step that I found. I think it is more a matter of the editors could have done a bit better job of writing this. The step about preparing the butter. I know that I always seem to be complaining about Rose’s unnecessary steps and over complicated procedures. I do appologize. As I have stated before I am definitely opinionaled and I can come off a bit caustic in the delivery of my comments but I assure you all that I mean for my comments to be constructive criticism and not just idle griping. The recipe says to put the butter in a microwave safe container but then gives no instructions for how long to put it in the microwave if your using it. The instuctions for doing it on the stovetop seem odd to me too. We are supposed to stir it until it becomes creamy. It has always been my experience that butter on the stovetop will melt faster than I will get it creamy. I would think that by the time this much butter gets creamy, most of it will be melted. Then you get to the step where you are combining it with the sugar, the book refers to it as melted butter. Which is it? Creamy or melted. I know this seems like a minor point but we have already established that there are several beginning bakers in this group. I consider myself to be a above average baker and when I am questioning simple steps like this I have to think that the beginners are at home pulling out their hair trying to figure out what the recipe means. Again, just myopinion, as I said I thought this was a matter of the editors just not doing their job properly. I considered just letting the butter come to room temperature, but decided to try the microwave. I put it in for 10 second intervals and it took 30 seconds to get to what I considered creamy. When all was said and done I could have just let it soften at room temperature and it would have been fine so I thought this step unnecessary.
I creamed the butter and sugar together until combined and then added the eggs one at a time and beat to incorporate. I combined the dry ingredients and then added them to the egg/sugar/butter mixture and beat to combine. I then added the fruits and then the nuts and beat to combine. I spooned the batter into two 10 cup fluted pans (as I was not using the wreath mold pan) and put them in the oven to bake.
I appologize for these pictures. I am without my camera again this week so these are cell phone pictures. I tried to doctor them up so they would be a bit clearer but I think you all get the idea.
When all is said and done with the exception of that one confusing step this cake is simplicity itself. Sort of a dump and stir cake. The hardest part is remembering to macerate the fruit a week in advance of baking it. Alas I have to wait a few more weeks to see how the cake tastes as I am storing it until Christmas. It got its rum basting and was wrapped in cheesecloth and has been stored away to mellow and become even more delicious each day until I finally cut into it on Christmas Eve and fight off all the jealous relatives for the first piece. Not to worry, I made two and I will also have the infamous White Fruitcake as well.
Next Up: Classic Carrot Cake with Dreamy Creamy White Chocolate Frosting