Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Friend or Foe: A Treatise on Fruit Cake

During the Christmas season, many people anxiously await a slice of their beloved cake. Others, however, dread the thought of receiving one for a gift.

Whether you love it or hate it, fruitcake has been around for quite a long time. The first fruitcake was made by the Romans. They used pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and raisins mixed into a barley mash. During the 1700s, in Europe, a ceremonial fruitcake was baked at the end of the nut harvest and saved until the following year to celebrate the beginning of the next harvest.
So how does fruitcake stay fresh for so long?

Fruitcake can last for years! It has to be aged before you can even eat it. The cake is filled with alcohol, which acts as a preservative. Most of the other ingredients are dried, so there is not much to spoil.

Do you remember the story of the young couple James and Jennifer Stopla? They were trapped in a snowstorm in Nevada with their baby. They survived on fruitcake and a bag of corn chips. It may not be a bad idea to always keep a fruitcake in the trunk of your car.


Did you know that Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding cake was a fruitcake? The English are crazy about fruitcake. Also, It was customary in England during the middle ages for unmarried wedding guests to put a slice of fruit cake under their pillow to dream of the person they would marry. I think I'll stick with my Kismet cookies.


And who could forget the charming Fruitcake Lady who appeared many times on Jay Leno. Warning: This video contains vulgar language (of course it does, it's the Fruitcake Lady).

I must be honest. I do not care for fruitcake. What about you? Do you like it? Vote on my pole on the upper left side of this site. I can't wait to see the results.


  1. My husband is English and when we got married 25 years ago in England our wedding cake was fruit cake with white icing and peach color icing for the trim the cake was heart shape!
    My older sister makes us fruit cake every Christmas can't wait for it!
    Merry Christmas!

  2. I love fruitcake..every Christmas while growing up, we would make a matter of fact, I had some yesterday....yummy!!

  3. Denise E from Toronto, OntarioDecember 7, 2011 at 8:26 AM

    I like the light-colored fruitcake much more than the dark or the marzipan topped ones. Being Scottish we always had fruitcake during the holiday season. I remember, when I was younger, that we always put out a selection of cakes and such for the first person to enter your home in the New Year. It had something to do with the house being prosperous and never going hungry.

    Have a wonderful and healthy Christmas and a Happy, and safe, New Year.

  4. I adore a good Collin Street Bakery fruitcake, but the secret to making most fruitcakes good is dip them in chocolate. *big grin*

    love ya!

  5. I don't like fruit cake, but my dad and granny do. She just ordered him a Collin Street Fruit cake for Christmas. She says its the best. I told her at that price it should b;-)

  6. I love fruitcake. It has to be made way in advance of Christmas and "basted" often with brandy. The alcohol mostly evaporates and you are left with a moist and delicious cake. I have to admit that when I make it, I leave those "green things" out. Don't know what they're called but yuk. *Whole body shiver!*

  7. This is the first time I've heard of the couple trapped in a snowstorm but interesting story it is. I haven't eaten fruitcake in awhile so I can't quite remember the taste. I may have to try a piece this holiday to refresh my memory.

  8. I love fruit cake but it has to be a Claxton Brand Fruit cake.
    here is the link for a look.

    This fruit cake is like eating candy.
    We always buy the 3 pack from Sam' Club or Publix.
    I don't like the other fruit cakes that are filled with citron and lots more bread than fruit.

  9. Being Canadian and coming from Irish and Scotish heritage, a lot of people had fruitcake for the weddings cakes. I always said if I got married, it would be strawberry shortcake..
    And all the fruitcake I had under my pillow, it never done a darn thing...

  10. I don't really like fruitcake with all of the oddly-colored fruit. However, many years ago I bought I slice of Jamaican Black Cake from a bakery run by monks. It was so good! There was so much rum in it I think you'd need to find a designated driver after eating a slice. :)

  11. I love fruitcake, My kids father who passed at an early age, was a truck driver and every year at Christmas time, he would make sure he had to go through Claxton Ga. Just so he could bring me one..they are the best but I eat any kind...LOL

  12. It looks like most people enjoy a good fruitcake. My parents love fruitcake from the Collin Street bakery as well. My mother would make fruitcake type cookies called Russian Rocks. Thank you all so much for your comments.

  13. The Fruitcake Lady was the best.

  14. wow I was surprised by the results after I voted. There are some people out there that actually like fruitcake.


  15. As I recently mentioned to a friend of mine: the only way to make American fruitcake eat-able is to soak it with booze. LOL. Though I can only imagine that a fruit cake "fresh baked" (hmmm using the word fresh with fruit cake since it has to age, like, 4 weeks feels weird. Maybe I should have said handmade) vs. one manufactured, packaged, and sitting on a store shelf probably taste like night and day.

    The only memory I have of fruit cake was a piece I accidentally ate as a kid and it was so full of rum it was disgusting. LOL. I've never tried a slice as an adult.


  16. Well, honestly, I never really tried any, that I know of... so, while I figure, blah, ugh, get away from me, I can't say one way or another. I figure there is a good version out there that probably needs to be showcased, but probably a lot more crappy ones that actually give fruitcake it's stereotype bad name. :)


  17. I've converted my entire neighborhood to my homemade fruitcake. They all know I make it on Thanksgiving weekend to be ready for Christmas, and they all offer their ovens (the recipe is too much for one oven) so they can get their own cake as a thank-you!


  18. I love fruitcake. My uncle used to make a wonderful one, but he never passed down the recipe. They are rich, so a small slice goes a long way. I think many people expect not to like fruitcake so don't really give it a chance when they first try it. I know it isn't for everyone, and some cakes are much better than others.