Friday, December 14, 2012

Small ’n’ Simple Fruit Cake

I’ve been lazy this year, scaling down the usual frenzy of Christmas baking. When that happens for any number of reasons, this quick Small ’n Simple Fruit Cake comes to the rescue. As with Margo Oliver’s Light Fruit Cake that I blogged yesterday (Dec. 13, 2012 post), todays fruit cake requires only a few days ripening, so it can still be made in time for the holidays. The recipe makes two loaves - one for you, and one for a gift. I’ve been making this easy cake for more years than I care to count!

Small ’n Simple Fruit Cake:
1-½ c. butter
½ c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. almond flavoring
6 eggs
3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
Dash of salt
½ c. dark rum
3 c. golden or sultana raisins
¾ c. diced candied peel or halved candied cherries
½ c. slivered almonds
Almond paste, as garnish (optional)

Prepare two 9x5x2-in. loaf pans by greasing well and lining with two or three layers of greased brown paper. Set aside. Have all ingredients at room temperature. 

Cream together butter, sugar, and almond flavoring. Add eggs one at a time, beating well. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add half of dry ingredients to creamed mixture, alternating additions with rum and starting and ending with dry ingredients. Beat well and set aside. 

Combine fruit-and-nut mixture in another bowl, mixing well. Add remaining half of dry ingredients to fruit and nuts, mixing by hand before stirring into creamed mixture. Preheat oven to 250 deg, F. Pour well-combined cake batter into loaf pans, baking 3 hr. on medium oven rack. Cool completely before removing from pans and peeling away paper.

As with the previous recipe, store in a tightly sealed container for several days. One day before serving, press rolled, room-temperature almond paste over top of cake/s. Decorate almond paste with additional candied cherries and peel, if desired. If you'd like to make your own almond paste, see my blog of Nov. 13, 2011.

Tomorrow: Three great recipes that aint your Mommas Cranberry Sauce. All make excellent gifts!

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