Monday, December 23, 2013

Bourbon Fruit Cake

     Can any holiday dessert be more recognizable than the ubiquitous fruitcake? No, of course not. That was a rhetorical question. Ubiquitous means you'll find it everywhere. That was a quiz. Did you pass? I hope so, because this is going to be on the final exam. This particular recipe was adapted from a recipe for Kentucky Bourbon Cake I found on's Southern Food section around five years ago. In all fairness, this is not a true fruitcake as we know it. It is not the consistency of blacktop. It is not cloyingly sweet with terrifying unidentifiable bits of detritus suspended within. The original recipe did call for candied cherries and nuts, but I quickly put an end to that nonsense. I want cake. I don't want to be losing fillings and digging things out of my molars all night. This recipe does have a lot going for it. This cake is actually fluffy. It cooks well in any number of different shapes. It's good with icing. It will, however, make your Kitchenaid howl like a damned soul while mixing it. This recipe will fill a 5 quart mixing bowl frighteningly close to the top. It's worth it. When I tell somebody I'm serving fruitcake, they flinch. Then they eat it. Complaints cease. As always, any notes and changes are in blue.

Bourbon Fruit Cake
  • 8 ounces red candied cherries, halved (I omitted all the candied cherries and used a jar of drained maraschino cherries)
  • 8 ounces green candied cherries, halved (omitted)
  • 8 ounces seedless raisins or chopped dates (I'm married so I shouldn't have dates. I used golden raisins)
  • 2 cups bourbon (I went with Jim Beam)
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chopped pecans (omitted)
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the cherries, raisins, and bourbon; cover and let soak overnight. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 275°F.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars with an electric mixer until light and fluffy; add the egg yolks and beat well. Stir in the soaked fruit with bourbon. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the flour with the pecans; set aside. Add the remaining flour, nutmeg, and baking powder to the creamed mixture and blend well. In a bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form; gently fold into the cake batter. Sprinkle the floured pecans over batter and fold in gently.
  4. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan and line the bottom with greased waxed paper. (I have made this recipe several times and have never used a tube pan or waxed paper. I've used loaf pans, cake pans, bundt pans). Pour the batter into the pan; bake at 275° for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean (this does, in fact, take every bit of 3-1/2 hours if you're using a large pan)
  5. Cool the cake. Turn cake out of the pan, peel off waxed paper (which I did not use), and store in a tightly covered container for several days (this recipe makes me think that you're not supposed to eat the cake. Just store it for several days and then shitcan it. Look, if this lasts more than seven days in your house, you must have cooked it wrong. It's awesome).
Good times!


  1. Thanks to the 21st Century Housewife for hosting the Hearth and Soul Blog Hop!

    1. My pleasure! Thank you for sharing this delicious fruitcake recipe. The bourbon would give the cake such a wonderful flavour! Happy New Year!

  2. G'day! One word? YUM!
    Wish I could come through the screen and try some now too!
    Thanks for sharing at the Foodie Friends Friday Best of 2013 Party!
    Cheers! Joanne