Mmm…. Brandy Aged Fruitcake! Yes, I said fruitcake! Ha, ha, very funny. When you’re done with the fruitcake jokes let’s talk about this truly delicious and traditional fruitcake recipe. Ready?
Ok, ok, one more joke and then we move on. Here’s my favorite “funny” fruitcake recipe. Read through the steps of the recipe for a good laugh.
Christmas Whiskey Cake
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
6 large eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups flour, sifted
1/2 t. salt
1 cup bourbon
1 pound pecans, chopped
3 cups white raisins (or use candied fruit)
1 t. nutmeg
~ a very large bottle of bourbon whiskey ~
First, sample the whiskey to check for quality.
Assemble all of the ingredients. Check the whiskey again.
To be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink.
Repeat this step.
Turn on the electric mixer and beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl.
Add one teaspoon of sugar and cream until beat.
Make sure the whiskey is still okay… try another cup.
Turn off the mixer. Beat six leggs and add to the bowl, then chunk in the cup of dried flut. Mix on the tuner.
Throw in two quarts of flour. Gradually pour in the cow.
Add 2 dried anything.
If the fried druit gets struck in the beaters, pry it loose with
a drewscriver. Sample the whiskey and check it again for tonsistency.
Next, sift two cups of salt. Or something. Whatever.
Check the whiskey again.
Now sift the nutmeg and strain your nuts. Add one table.
And the spoon. Of whiskee. Or something. Whatever you find left.
Grease the oven.
Turn the crake pan to 350 degrees. Don’t forget to pour the oven into the batter. Throw the bowl out the window.
Lick the batter off the floor.
Bake 300 minutes at 50 degrees.
Finish the blobble of whishy and flow to bed.
Ok, NOW can we talk seriously about fruitcake? I know it’s got a bad reputation here in the US, but I truly love this recipe and I’m on a mission to change as many American minds about fruitcake as I can.
I get it, really. The fruitcakes that you find in the grocery and the big box stores are gross. I don’t know what the green things are in those cakes, and I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know. I’m not surprised so many Americans think they hate fruitcake, even if they’ve never tasted it.
I didn’t grow up eating fruitcake. But my mom is from Ireland and did grow up eating it.
The first Christmas after I graduated from pastry school she asked me if I could make a good fruitcake. I did some research and found a recipe for a traditional aged-fruitcake. It took a couple of years and a few suggestions from mom to get to this fruitcake recipe that I’ve been making for over 20 years now.
I will make one stipulation up front. The “funny” fruitcake recipe not withstanding, a real, well-aged fruitcake does have quite a bit of liquor in it.
Tips for making a traditional aged fruitcake recipe:
- The liquor not only softens the fruit part of the fruitcake, it also softens and mellows the cake part of the fruitcake. Although I usually try to give alternative options to liquor as an ingredient, I can’t really offer a substitute for the liquor in this recipe. Sorry, it’s just too integral to the flavor of the cake.
- As the name Brand-Aged Fruitcake, implies, this recipe needs to be made several weeks, or even several months, before you want to serve it. I usually bake my fruitcakes by mid-October so they’re well-aged by Christmas. My husband likes to say that the cake is ready if his tongue tingles a little when he takes a bite. Am I scaring you yet? No? Ok, great…
- Since I’ll never waste an opportunity to eat marzipan, I finish my cakes with a layer of marzipan and a layer of fondant.
- But you don’t need to decorate the cakes at all. Fruitcake can certainly be served without any icing or marzipan.
Watch the recipe video to see how to make and decorate a Brandy Aged Fruitcake.
If you love this recipe please consider giving it 5 stars.
- 1/2 cup (1.5 oz, 45g) almonds, coarsely ground
- 1 cup (85g) 3 oz walnuts, chopped
- 2 1/4 cups (12 oz, 340g) dark raisins
- 1 1/3 cups (8 oz, 235g) light raisins
- 1/3 cup ( 3 oz, 85 g) candied orange peel
- 1/3cup (3 oz, 85g) candied cherries
- 1 cup (6 oz, 170g) currants
- grated zest and juice from 1 lemon
- 2/3 cup (80 ml) brandy plus more for aging (see note)
- 1.5 cups (8 oz, 225g) all purpose flour
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup (6 oz, 170g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup (6 oz, 170g) brown sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup apricot preserves
- 1 recipe marzipan
- 1 recipe rolled fondant
- Royal Icing
- Marzipan holly and silver dragees for decoration
- Combine all the nuts and dried fruits with the lemon zest and juice. Add the 2/3 cup of brandy and toss to coat the fruit and nuts with the liquor. Cover the bowl and let it sit overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 9" cake pan with a parchment round. (see note)
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon,nutmeg, ginger and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and aerated. Scrape down the bowl and the beater. Add the eggs, two at a time. Mix until combined then scrape down the bowl and the beater.
- With the mixer running on low speed, add the dry ingredients in 3 batches and mix until combined. Fold in the soaked fruit and all the liquid.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and spread it out to an even layer. Bake until a toothpick poked in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 55 minutes. As soon as the pan is removed from the oven pour 1/4 cup of brandy over the top of the cake.
- Cool the cake to room temperature before removing from the pan. Wrap the cake in two layers of plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature.
- Once a week for at least 4 weeks, unwrap the cake and generously brush on all sides with more brandy.
Finish the cake
- Unwrap the cake. Glue the cake to a cardboard cake circle using a dab of royal icing. Trim the cake cardboard to the same size as the cake. Place on another cardboard circle or serving plate. Ice the cake with apricot preserves.
- Roll the marzipan to a 14" round. Roll the marzipan onto the rolling pin then transfer and unroll onto the cake. Trim the marzipan flush with the bottom of the cake and board. Brush the marzipan with brandy.
- Roll the fondant to a 14" round and cover the cake over the marzipan. Trim the fondant flush with the bottom of the cake and board.
- Add dragees, stencils, glitter and marzipan holly or other decorations as you like.
I like this cake best made with brandy, but you can use whiskey or rum instead.
This recipe will make one 9" round cake. You can also divide the batter between two 6" pans for smaller cakes.
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- 7 oz (196g) Almond Paste (see note)
- 1/4 cup (2 oz, 56g) light corn syrup
- 4-7 oz confectioner's sugar, about 1-2 cups
- Mix the almond paste and corn syrup on low speed with a beater attachment until it forms a smooth paste. If working by hand use a wooden spoon to mix until combined.
- Scrape the bowl. With the mixer running on low speed add 1/2 cup of the confectioner's sugar. Turn the dough out onto a surface sprinkled with more confectioner's sugar. Knead in the remaining sugar to form a smooth dough. Add additional powdered sugar to achieve the desired consistency (see note)
I based the recipe on 7 oz of almond paste because that's the size I find in my local grocery.
I like a softer marzipan for covering cakes so I use less sugar. Add more sugar for a firmer texture if you plan to make roses or other decorations
- 24 oz (5 cups, 685g) confectioner's sugar
- 2 oz (1/4 cup, 60 ml) cool water
- 1 Tbsp gelatin powder
- 3.5 oz (1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp, 95g) white corn syrup
- .75 oz (1 Tbsp, 20g) glycerin
- Sift the confectioner's sugar into a large mixing bowl or in a stand mixer bowl with the hook attachment.
- Put the water in a small microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin powder evenly over the surface of the water. Whisk 1-2 times to combine. Let the gelatin "bloom" for 5 minutes.
- Heat the gelatin in the microwave for 15 seconds to melt. Whisk the corn syrup and glycerine into the warm gelatin (see note if you want to tint the fondant). Heat another 15 seconds in the microwave to make sure everything is melted.
- Pour the warm gelatin mixture into the sugar all at once. If working by hand use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture until most of the sugar is incorporated. If using a stand mixer, use the dough hook on medium-low until most of the sugar is incorporated.
- With the fondant still in the bowl, use your hands to finish kneading the rest of the sugar into the fondant. It will be quite sticky and messy at this point, just keep kneading. A plastic bowl scraper is helpful for handling the fondant.
- Turn the fondant out onto the plastic wrap. Wrap 2x in plastic wrap and let it set at least 8 hours or overnight before using.
- When ready to use, knead the fondant until it's smooth and supple. Roll on a surface dusted with powdered sugar. When not using always keep the fondant covered so it doesn't form a skin.
If you want to tint the fondant, this is a good time to add the coloring. Whisk the coloring into the warm gelatin mixture before adding it to the sugar.
You must let the fondant rest overnight before using so the gelatin has time to set. Knead the fondant into a smooth ball before rolling. If it's well wrapped and kept in an air tight container, the fondant will keep for several weeks.
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