What is a Fruitcake?
A fruitcake is a heavily spiced cake decorated with nuts, candied fruits, or dried fruits, and is typically drenched in alcohol such as rum or brandy. Fruitcakes are popular Christmas cakes and traditional holiday cakes, when they may be covered with marzipan or white satiny royal icing and decorated with fresh berries, snow scenes, holly leaves, edible ribbons, and more.
The earliest recorded recipe for a fruitcake came from ancient Rome, where the ingredients included pomegranate seeds, raisins, and pine nuts mixes into a barley base. Throughout the centuries fruitcakes were popular across Europe, with variations in recipes according to the ingredients available.
In the 1500s, with the advent of sugar trading from the American colonies, it was discovered that fruits stored in high concentrations of sugar preserved well, making fruitcakes less expensive and more popular. Furthermore, fruitcakes containing spirits have an exceptionally long shelf life – in fact, fruitcakes are said to keep well for more than a year.
Some fruitcakes – also known as black cakes due to their dark color – are made from ingredients (i.e., fruit, raisins, walnuts) which have been soaked in rum for weeks and even months in advance. Due to their long shelf life, fruitcakes become a staple part of the diet in many European households between Christmas and New Years. Light, fluffy fruitcakes are popular in Switzerland, while Germany features loaf-shaped fruitcakes decorated with icing sugar and made from yeast, butter, flour, water, raisins, and almonds. Currants, spices, citron, dried apricots, golden raisins, seeds, assorted liquors, syrup, corn syrup, and molasses are additional ingredients typically found in fruitcakes.
To accommodate individuals with special diets, you can find delicious nut-free fruitcake recipes for the nut-allergic, as well as gluten-free fruitcake recipes for people allergic to wheat.
Fruitcake Baking Tips
•- To prevent burning around cake edges during baking, place the fruitcake pan inside a larger baking pan half-filled with water
•- Line sides and bottom of the baking pan with tinfoil to prevent over-browning and to allow for easier cake removal when the fruitcake is done
•- To store fruitcakes, wrap in tinfoil and place in a tin lined with icing sugar
Types of Fruitcakes from A-Z
You can find the perfect fruitcake recipe for any occasion by buying a cake decorating book or by leafing through cake recipes in magazines or online. Here but a few of the many types of delectable fruitcake flavors:
Apricot Brandy Fruitcake; Banana Fruitcake; Black Fruitcake; Brazil Nut Fruitcake; Carrot Fruitcake; Chocolate Cherry Fruitcake; Christmas Fruitcake; Chocolate Walnut Fruitcake; Chocolate-Almond Fruit Cake; Crushed Pineapple Fruitcake; Dark Rum Fruitcake; Elegant White Fruitcake; French Fruitcake; Gumdrop Fruitcake; Holiday Fruitcake; Icebox Fruitcake; Jamaican Spiced Fruitcake; Layer Fruitcake; Lemon Pecan Fruitcake; Miniature Fruitcakes; No Bake Fruitcake; Orange Slice Fruitcake; Pumpkin Macadamia Fruitcake; Rich Italian Fruitcake; Rum Fruitcake; Spicy Pineapple Fruitcake; Tropical Fruitcake; Wedding Fruitcake; Walnut Coconut Fruitcake; Yuletide Fruitcake; Zucchini Fruitcake, and many more.