Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Old Southern Fruitcake Recipe

'Tis the season for a really good fruitcake;  nothing tastes better with a hot cup of  tea or coffee!  I have a recipe from a friend (Freda Handley), given to me years ago, called Texas Lizzies, but they are fruitcake cookies.  I may share that recipe with you  before the holidays are over.  However, if you are a true fruitcake-lover, as I am, you have to have the loaf type cake filled with nuts and candied fruit at Christmas. If you don't bake, Claxton White Fruitcake can be a semi-homemade substitute.  I would also like to add that many locally-owned  restaurants often bake fruitcakes for sale, but you must order early!   My dear mother-in-law, Louise, used to order each of us a fruitcake from The Wren's Nest, a Mom and Pop Restaurant near St. Albans, WV,  that was known for good food (and jazz night)!  We were a small fruitcake-loving club of  2 at the Davis' when Christmas time came;  thoughtful Louise had ordered the cakes for us to enjoy way before she got busy at Thanksgiving!
 So many jokes have been made about gifting unwanted fruitcakes, but if it's a great homemade fruitcake with the right ingredients, there is no better food gift!!  Here's a wonderful old recipe from a southern family;  it's the only Christmas cake that the lady who cooked for their family  made for decades.  Enjoy!

Big Mama's Fruitcake
(Shreveport, Louisiana) 

1 C butter
2 C sugar
6 eggs, separated
4 C flour (save 1 C for flouring the fruit)
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 C good Kentucky bourbon
2 tsp freshly-grated nutmeg
2 tsp vanilla
1 lb. candied cherries
1 lb. pitted dates
1 lb. raisins
1 lb. pecans
1/2 lb. English walnuts
1 lb. candied pineapple

-Cream butter thoroughly, then add sugar gradually.  Beat until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg yolks one at a time.  Sift and measure three cups flour;  resift three times with the baking powder and salt.  Add alternately (flour first and last) with the whiskey.  Add nutmeg and vanilla.
-Flour fruit with remaining cup of flour (sifted) and fold into the batter.  As this needs a very large container, you can use a roasting pan, and use your hands to mix the fruit into the batter thoroughly.  Finally, fold in egg whites, which have been beaten stiff but not dry. 
-Put batter into tube, loaf, and other deep pans, greased and lined with waxed paper.  Bake at 275 degrees for 2 or more hours.  Test with a toothpick or clean broom straw for doneness of batter;  you do not want cake to be too dry!
Makes wonderful Christmas presents
Yield:  1 large and 2 small cakes

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  1. I enjoy a good, homemade fruitcake - but have never made one myself! Bookmarking this to try. Thank you for sharing at All my Bloggy Friends this week, Marcia!

  2. Hi Marcia,
    I just love your new blog look, it looks very nice. Fruitcake always reminds me of my mother, she always had to have her fruitcake at Christmas, and it was delicious. Your recipe looks very good, I would love to have a slice of it. Hope you have a great week and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  3. Hi Sweetie, My Mom has a great FC recipe too but it is so different from yours. I'm going to give yours a try too next year and we will have a sampling of both. Thanks