Brandy Aged Fruitcake is so rich & delicious. Brandy softens the fruit and mellows the cake part of the fruitcake and it acts as a preservative. You’ll become a fruitcake convert.
Why do American’s hate fruitcake?
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.
With this recipe, I’m on a mission to change as many American minds about fruitcake as I can.
Ingredients for making Aged Fruitcake:
Fruit & Nuts:
- Dried Fruits: Use the best quality dried fruits and nuts for this cake. Candied orange peel and candied cherries can be found in the grocery store starting in the fall, but they are also available on-line.
- Alcohol: The alcohol is key to the flavor, texture and preserving for this cake. I prefer a high abv slightly sweet alcohol like brandy or rum. You can also use whiskey or bourbon. Don’t use lower abv liquid like wine for aging, you need the higher alcohol as a preservative.
- Brown sugar: This is a “dark” fruitcake which includes brown sugar rather than white sugar. Light or dark brown sugar is fine.
Scroll through the process photos and watch the video to see how to make, age and finish a traditional Christmas fruitcake:
- Mix the dried fruits and nuts with lemon zest, juice and brandy.
- Cover and set aside for at least 12 hours or up to 2 days.
- Add the eggs to the butter and sugar.
- Add the flour.
- Add the soaked fruit.
- Mix to combine then spread into the cake pan.
FAQs about making traditional aged fruitcake:
The alcohol moistens the cake and fruit, flavors the cake and acts as a preservative. It’s hard for bacteria to live in a high alcohol/low moisture cake.
I like to use brandy, but you can also use whiskey, bourbon, sherry or rum instead.
The liquor not only softens the fruit part of the fruitcake, it also softens and mellows the cake part of the fruitcake and keeps the cake from spoiling. There is no good substitute for the liquor in this recipe.
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.
The cake can be finished with a layer of marzipan and a layer of fondant or royal icing. But you don’t need to decorate the cakes at all. Fruitcake can certainly be served without any icing or marzipan.
Once the cake is aged, it can keep at room temperature for several months. Keep the cake wrapped in plastic and in a closed container like a cake tin. Once a week brush any cut edges or un-iced parts of the cake with more of the liquor used for aging.
You’ll also love this Almond Filled Stollen on your holiday menu.
If you love this recipe please consider giving it 5 stars.
Brandy-Aged Fruitcake Recipe
- 1 ½ oz almonds (½ cup coarsely ground)
- 3 oz walnuts (1 cup chopped)
- 12 oz dark raisins (2 ¼ cups)
- 8 oz light raisins (1 ⅓ cups)
- 3 oz candied orange peel (⅓ cup)
- 3 oz candied cherries (⅓ cup)
- 6 oz currants (1 cup)
- 1 lemon (grated zest juice)
- 6 oz brandy (⅔ cup (plus more for aging, see note))
- 7 ½ oz all purpose flour (1 ½ cups)
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- 6 oz unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 6 oz brown sugar (¾ cup)
- 4 large eggs (room temperature)
- Combine all the nuts and dried fruits with the lemon zest and juice. Add the ⅔ cup of brandy and toss to coat the fruit and nuts with the liquor. Cover the bowl and let it sit overnight.1 ½ oz almonds, 3 oz walnuts, 12 oz dark raisins, 8 oz light raisins, 3 oz candied orange peel, 3 oz candied cherries, 6 oz currants, 1 lemon, 6 oz brandy
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line a 9"x3" cake pan with a parchment round. (see note)
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon,nutmeg, ginger and salt. Set aside.7 ½ oz all purpose flour, 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, ½ teaspoon ginger, ½ teaspoon table salt
- 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.6 oz unsalted butter, 6 oz brown sugar, 4 large eggs
- 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. The cake can be served as is or you can ice and decorate the cake with marzipan and fondant.
Ice & Decorate the cake (optional)
- 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.recipe Royal Icing, 8 oz 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.1 recipe marzipan
- 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.1 recipe rolled fondant
- Add dragees, stencils, glitter and marzipan holly or other decorations as you like.Marzipan holly and silver dragees for decoration
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