When I decided to use recipes to blog through the alphabet I kept getting stuck on the letter x. There are just not many recipes that begin with this letter but then one afternoon I was doing some planning for our Christmas trip to Louisiana and it came to me…Xmas is a somewhat common abbreviation for Christmas. (One that I rarely use but still valid.)
So what Christmas recipe would I choose? My inspiration came from my friend Liz B. who has been posting about her trip to the bulk food store (one of my favorite places) to purchase her fruitcake supplies.
Liz says her favorite recipe is this one from Old English Fruit Cake from cdkitchen.com but she makes some changes to it. Here is her explanation:
“I use less of the spices and have more “bright” fruit, and brandy vs rum. I used to make a batch without raisins for my Gramma, too!
2 batches means 24 eggs, lots of nuts, flour, sugar and more!”
We always referred to fruitcake as Wedding Cake or Christmas cake in our family. My gramma had a favorite recipe from her well worn Five Roses Flour cookbook that she used to make my parents” wedding cake. I used the same one to make my brother’s.
That was quite the undertaking. We had to drive on gravel roads to the hall so I made extra layers in case something fell or cracked. As it turned out all went well and I was serving fruit cake with coffee for our guests for the next several months!
I like to try some of the fruitcake recipes in my older cookbooks as well. There is quite a variety of ingredients in them with some boasting almonds and others brazil nuts. There are also several glazes to hold the candied fruit to the top or to prepare the cakes for marzipan icing (adding the glaze keeps them from “crumbing” in the icing).
Madame Benoit’s French Canadian cookbook features “Mrs. Fleury’s Boiled Fruit Cake”. I at first wondered if it were more of a pudding but you simply boil all the “wet” ingredients (except the walnuts and mixed peels) before adding the baking powder and flour and baking in cake tins or one bundt pan.
There is much opportunity to amend these recipes to your own taste as you can see by comparing the differences in them. I also prefer to make my own candied orange and lemon peel (Madame Benoit suggests adding Grand Marnier liqueur when making the syrup) because I like to remove the pith and keep only the zesty part of the peel.
Now my hubby is no fan of fruit cake (the top layer of our wedding cake was pound cake because of this, the rest of the layers were traditional fruit cake) so when I make a “Christmas Cake” for our home I must include either a raisins only version or something filled with cherries like this Newfoundland Cherry Cake from Rock Recipes (so delicious and flavored with almond extract). FYI there are some terrific recipes on this site and they have cookbooks available for sale.
Of course, if you are like me and travel at Christmas (and the rest of the year) you can always enjoy the delicious brandy and milk chocolate infused Christmas Cake from Murchie’s Fine Tea and Coffee in Vancouver, Canada. They only take orders for a limited time each year so be sure to order early! (And be sure to include a tin of their famous 1894 Select Orange Pekoe tea to enjoy with it, so delicious!) This cake will last for about a year in its tin (although I have never managed to have any left after about August even being careful to eat only small pieces).
So there you have it, a couple of links to delicious cakes you can serve at your holiday gatherings. For more Blogging Through the Alphabet fun please visit my co-hosts:
- Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool
- Kirsten @ DoodleMom
- Jennifer @ A Peace of Mind
- Kimberley @ Vintage Blue Suitcase
- Desiree @ Our Homeschool Notebook
- Markie @ My Life as Mrs. Cooks
- Hilary @ Walking Fruitfully