I have to admit that I love fruitcake.
I know, hit me with your best fruitcake joke. I can take it.
Despite the bad rap, have you ever tasted homemade fruitcake? Most of the time mass-produced treats give a recipe a bad name. As a child I remember my Mom brought home a homemade fruitcake. It. Was. Amazing!
Luckily, at the age of 8 I didn't realize the thing was preserved in liquor. It was a dense and moist cake filled with fruit and nuts. Rich and full of holiday cheer, I never understood the disdain.
Then I tangled with a sub-par loaf. The kind you get straight off the shelf in a big box store. The price was just too good to be true. Believe me, it was. I haven't touched a fruitcake since, but the memory of that moist and delicious cake still lingers every holiday season.
Then all of these ingredients just happened to converge in my kitchen at the same time.
Well, I might have helped, but once the Sweet Creations 4cup Mini Loaf Pan arrived along with festive parchment and I knew immediately what I would love to create. I mean, after the Drunken Banana post I had a little rum left to use up.
I was excited because I always seem to get clumsy with small single loaf pans. They slip, they slosh and a side will slip between the oven rack slats...and I don't generally enjoy it. Plus, it is nice to have all the loaf pans in one place. I hate hunting around for one missing little pan!
This loaf pan did a beautiful job on my fruitcake, the bottoms didn't stick at all. There is nothing worse than losing the bottom half of your loaves - especially if they are for gifting. Clean up was easy and I was thrilled with the size of my finished cakes.
So, I let the fruit mix chill out in the rum overnight. Toasted some pecans and made a simple cake. I created this with my dried fruit and nut favorites, but you could definitely change things up.
I filled the pan up 3/4 full and had enough batter to bake two batches. 8 little loaves ready to share... or savor all by yourself. I won't tell anyone.
What helps fruitcake keep? Oh, just a wee bit of rum basted on the outside. Then I wrapped them up tightly and made them pretty with parchment and baker's twine. You can find the same cute snowflake parchment on the Good Cook site.
Definitely too cute to use as a doorstop!
Mini Festive Fruitcakes
You Will Need:
- 4 c. of your favorite dried fruit mixture - pineapple, cranberries, dark and golden raisins, apricots, etc.
- 1/4 c. rum
- 1/4 c. apple juice
- 1 tsp. Princess Cake flavoring
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 c. sugar
- 1/2 brown sugar, packed
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 1 orange, zested
- 5 eggs
- 1/2 c. corn syrup
- 3 1/4 c. flour
- 3 Tbsp. cake enhancer
- 3/4 c. whole milk
- 1 c. toasted pecans, roughly chopped
- 1/2 c. candied cherries
Combine the rum, apple juice, flavoring, extract and dried fruit overnight in a covered bowl.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spray the Sweet Creations 4 cup loaf pans with non-stick spray and set aside.
In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars. Then add the baking powder, salt, nutmeg, almond extract and orange zest. Beat in the eggs one at a time then add the corn syrup.
In a separate bowl whisk the flour and cake enhancer together. Add this to the mixer alternating with the milk. Beat until the cake batter is smooth. Fold in the fruit mixture, toasted nuts and cherries.
Fill each loaf 3/4 full, there is enough for 2 batches (I made 8 loaves). Bake for about 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean. Remove from the pans once they are cool enough to handle and brush with rum. Wrap tightly and repeat if desired (go as crazy as you like!), let them rest a day before enjoying.
Want to create your own little mini loaves for the holidays? Use code: SWEETLOAF to get 25% off on goodcook.com