Monday, November 28, 2011

"The Official Fruitcake of the Humble Bungalow"

I am not the fruitcake in question!!

Christmas is coming....
we do not go overboard with material goods but we do bake.
It is a family tradition to bake some festive treats and have them on hand for guests and for gifts.
Mother's Rum Balls and Scottish shortbread are made every year without fail.
I posted these recipes here and here.

Mother has a very traditional fruit cake recipe that she used to make every year and ladle full of rum or brandy for many weeks before serving. It is a dark cake, the same cake that we served at our wedding and the wedding of friends. It was iced with almond paste and was quite heavy.

For the past 10 years I have branched out and broadened my fruit cake horizons and have chosen the Bon Appetit Golden Fruitcake to be "The Official Humble Bungalow Christmas Cake."

(efi recently requested this recipe)

This cake uses dried fruit...
it is not an inexpensive cake to make but it is delicious!

Humble Bungalow Golden Fruitcake
(makes 4 loaves 8 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 2)


1 7 oz. package Marzipan
1 1/4 c. chopped dried figs
3 c. dried fruit chopped I used ginger, apricots, craisins, pineapple, and pitted dates.
(choose your favourite fruits)
1 c. golden raisins
1/2 c. brandy

1 1/2 c. softened unsalted butter (3 sticks)
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. packed brown sugar
8 large free range eggs
1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
3 c. all purpose flour
1 1/2 c. pine nuts toasted

Cut Marzipan into 1/2 inch cubes, freeze on a plate overnight covered in Saran wrap.
Chop and combine all the fruit and place in a large bowl with the brandy covered on the counter overnight.
Stir frequently.

Toast the pine nuts, cover and set aside.

The next morning...
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Butter the pans and set aside.

Beat the butter and sugars together in the bowl of a mixer and beat until light.
(I love my Kitchen Aid, I think of it as my Kitchen MAID!)
Beat eggs in one at a time then add vanilla and the spices.
Slowly add the flour in 4 additions, blending well each time.
Stir in the pine nuts and dried fruit and brandy.
Gently fold in the frozen Marzipan.

Divide the batter among the 4 pans, place on a baking sheet and bake until a tester comes out clean...
about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Cool completely on wire racks and then wrap and keep in a very cold room or refrigerate.

These make great gifts and look festive wrapped in ribbon with a sprig of fresh holly.

Paired with a glass of sherry this sweet little fruity concoction has great powers of festive restoration.
Before or after shopping and wrapping gifts...
Personally I love a sliver of this cake served with a cup of tea!

I hope that you like this recipe.
If you make it please let me know what you think of it.

If you have a family recipe that you care to share I'd love to have it here.


  1. I will definitely have to try out your recipe, I am a huge fan of fruitcake!!
    Hope you don't mind that I added your post to my daily online paper The Charmed Life Daily, take a peek if you have a minute!

  2. I used to make one that sounds very much like your mother's. I loved ladling the rum or brandy over it daily! But it was very heavy, as you mentioned. This golden fruitcake looks great - might try it out this year.

  3. I am not a fan of fruitcake but yours sounds much better than the cakes I have tasted. The fruitcakes I usually come across have those artificially bright green and red candied cherries - yuck. Your bread looks almost healthy - nothing artificial about it. Just like you! xoxo

  4. Wow, hou. I could simply not manage to bake anything this complicated, never. I think that I´ll just take a piece of chocolate and hide in shame into my own room ; )!

  5. Wow, this looks delicious and may give it a try. I am the only fruitcake person in my family. Sometimes I think I need to start a "support group" for those of us who love it!

  6. 8 eggs sounds a lot. I think I'll give your recipe a try but might opt to reduce the eggs to 6 or 5 and add some baking soda. Otherwise this looks yummy, especially the marzipan bits. I can never resist it.

  7. I'm looking for a new fruitcake recipe this year and this sounds like something my husband would like. I don't eat it myself. The marzipan bits in the cake sound interesting. I'll let you know if I make it.

  8. Your cake looks better than the average, but whenever I think of fruitcake I can't help but think of the irish song "Miss Fogarty's Christmas Cake" ;)

  9. Oh gosh that looks so good - i hate to admit it esp in light of your yummy endeavours but i buy an organic, gluten and dairy free one - it is not so yummy but i dont know how good a homemade one would be given the restrictions - one year i am going to find out xx

  10. @fashion and frank,
    we also eat gluten free - i'm going to substitute a mixture of almond and rice flour for the "all purpose" flour, and you could use margarine instead of butter to take care of the dairy. i substitute gluten free flour all the time in recipes and find it works out great.

  11. A labour of love for sure! We are grateful for the decades-long Christmas gift of our former housekeeper, who makes the most decadent rum cake. It summons Christmas for us as on other treat. She has promised to send us this cake by mail, and we're all waiting.

  12. Oh, this looks SO tempting! If I'm able to carve out any time for baking this holiday season, may have to give this one a go.

  13. I must get myself organised and purchase ingredients for Christmas cooking including the fruitcake. It's a whopper cake and labour intensive but worth it.
    I used spelt flour last year and it was a success, one couldn't tell the difference.

  14. Be still my heart...I love fruitcake, my mother-in-law used to make a blond fruitcake every year and it was devine, I wish I would have gotten the recipe. Yours sounds delicious!

  15. My mother has always made two kinds of fruitcake and sent them to us. This year, for the first time, she is not making the cakes and I'm looking for a substitute. I'll let you know if I make this one - the marzipan bits sound intriguing.

  16. My grandmother always made a version of fruit cake she referred to as "friendship cake" (it must be a Texas thang). We would freeze it and end up eating it in March - toasted, with a big thick pat of butter. For our own baking, my mother always made stolen that she stuffed with almond paste. Yummy!

  17. Dear Hostess:

    I made your lovely fruitcake, but not without incident. I put up a post about it that will publish tomorrow (Saturday).

    It's delicious. Thank you.

  18. Lorrie- I hope that you like it...I will look for your post tomorrow!