Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Mom’s Fruit Cake Updated

The basics are below, and the basics make the fruit cake. This year, once again, I am alcohol-less in Kuwait, as alcohol is illegal here, but during Ramadan I stocked up on some other local specialities – the glaceed cherries in red and green, the golden currants from Iran, the tiny red berries from Iran, delicious dried peaches, chunks of dried papaya, dried apricots, and the juiciest prunes I have ever tasted. Thanks to a care package, I will also be using fresh, delicious Texas pecans! Wooo Hooooo!

Every year is different, depending on where I am!

Here is the original blog entry, which to date has been one of the all-time statistical wonders. Thanks, Mom!

Wooo Hooooooo! The fruitcakes are in the oven, and already the house smells wonderful. I’ve been making these cakes since I got married. I don’t think I have missed a year, but I may have. I grew up smelling these delicious cakes every winter. I don’t think my Mom makes them every year any more. I wish I were close enough to pop one into her refrigerator for their holidays.

Mom’s Fruit Cake
Even people who think they HATE fruit cake like this fruit cake. It has a secret ingredient – chocolate!

This is the original recipe. I remember cutting the dates and prunes with scissors when I was little; now you can buy dates and prunes without pits and chop them in the food processor – a piece of cake!

1 cup boiling water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup lard or butter
1 T. cinnamon
1 t. cloves
3 Tablespoons chocolate powder
1/4 cup jelly
1 cup seeded raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup candied citron
1/2 cup cut prunes
1/2 cup cut dates

Put all in a pan on stove and bring to a boil. Boil for three minutes. Let cool. Add:

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Flavor with lemon

Bake at 350° in loaf pans for one hour. Makes 2 normal bread loaf sized cakes.

My variations: I put in about three times the fruit, the difference primarily in the candied citron – I prefer using whole candied cherries, because they are so pretty when the loafs are cut. This recipe doubles, or quadruples with no problems.

Pans: Mom used to line all the pans with brown paper and grease the paper. That’s a lot of trouble.

I grease the pans, then dust with more of the chocolate powder. Use a good quality chocolate, not cocoa.

When the cakes come out of the oven, let them cool for ten minutes, loosen them with a knife, then they will shake out easily. Let continue to cool until they are totally cool, then wrap in plastic wrap, with several layers, then foil, then seal in a sealable plastic bag. Let them age a couple months in a corner of your refrigerator.

I never make these the same any two years in a row. This is the first year, ever, that I won’t be using any brandy – alcohol in Kuwait being against the law. Yeh, I have some friends who laugh and say “you can get it anywhere!” but we made a decision to obey the law. Only rarely do I regret it . . . sigh . . .fruitcakes really need brandy.

Update: If you are in a country where brandy is available, and if you want to use brandy, here is how to use it in this recipe. You know how raisins get all dried out and taste yucky in fruitcakes? The night before you intend to make the fruitcakes, take all the raisins you intend to use (depending on how many fruitcakes you intend to make) and put them in a glass container. Pour brandy over them, to cover. Microwave just to the boiling point. Let stand in the microwave overnight.

The next day, you can drain that brandy and use it in a stew or something, and in the meanwhile, you now have plump, juicy raisins to use in your fruitcake, and just a hint of brandy flavor. Yummmm!

November 15, 2007 - Posted by | Blogging, Christmas, Cooking, Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Living Conditions, Statistics, Thanksgiving | , ,


  1. I’m giving this recipe to my brother. He loves baking cakes…and I love eating them 😀

    Comment by Mirror Polisher | November 15, 2007 | Reply

  2. I can almost smell the wonderful aromas in your house 😉
    Thanks for sharing as usual

    Comment by jewaira | November 16, 2007 | Reply

  3. […] house still smells of cinnamon and clove and Mom’s Fruit Cakes which I spent all day yesterday chopping, pitting, baking, and wrapping in the crisp Kuwait Autumn […]

    Pingback by Sweet October Morning « Here There and Everywhere | October 20, 2008 | Reply

  4. Thanks for posting this! I’m going to make one using your Mom’s recipe.

    Comment by GeminiStar | October 20, 2008 | Reply

  5. Wooo Hoooo Gemini Star! If you make one, using this recipe, you will make two. I often double it, yesterday I quadrupled it. Good luck finding candied cherries; you might try the LuLu or alDana – I haven’t seen any at the Sultan Center.

    Comment by intlxpatr | October 21, 2008 | Reply

  6. The more the better! Are the preserved cherries in jars will do? I have been only to Sultan Center and ever since it has been like our one stop supermarket.

    Comment by GeminiStar | October 21, 2008 | Reply

  7. You will need to go to one of the really good Sultan centers, because what you need are the candied cherries – they are dry, not in liquid. Red ones or green ones or both – whatever you can find. the Sultan Sharq and the Salmiyya Sultan had them – but I don’t know if they still do. When you can’t find them, then you also have to try the LuLu and Al Dana and some of the less well known stores, because sometimes you get really really lucky and you find them! It’s like a challenge, the fruit cake challenge!

    Comment by intlxpatr | October 21, 2008 | Reply

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