My delicious take on the classic fruitcake recipe for the holidays.
Some people dread the very mention of fruitcake, but I'm here to change those minds with this delicious, version of the holiday classic.
The part I always found off-putting in other fruitcakes were the candied cherries. They had an odd texture I couldn't get past. So, when making my version there was no way I would be adding them. Instead, I selected seasonal fruits I do enjoy, like currants, figs, and dates. If you are the opposite and love the cherries, swap equal quantities of other fruits for red and green candied cherries instead.
This fruitcake is intended to be gluten-free; however, if this is not a concern, replace the cassava flour and tapioca flour with 3 cups of pastry flour. This cake is also completely vegan, as it contains no dairy, sugar, or eggs. Again, if this is not a concern, the recommended sweetener can be substituted with granulated sugar at the cost of higher calories and carbs.
It is common to wrap up a fresh fruitcake in alcohol-soaked towels or cheesecloth and store it in the refrigerator for days or even weeks before serving. Because the amaretto is directly in this cake, that step is not necessary unless additional alcohol is desired. However, I will place the cake in an airtight container and refrigerate it for at least a day or two to let the flavours meld. If you are worried about alcohol content, note the alcohol in this recipe is given time to cook off leaving just the flavour and aroma of amaretto.
TIP: If you wish to gift this fruitcake, try making it in two 9 x 5 loaf pans, a large Bundt pan, an angel food cake pan, or several small Bundt pans for individual cakes.
(Makes 24 servings)
1 cup sultana raisins
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup black currants
1 cup dried figs, chopped, hard stems removed
1 cup medjool dates, pitted and chopped
1 cup candied peel, finely chopped
1 cup walnuts, crushed
1 cup pecans, crushed
2 cups monk fruit sweetener (or granulated sugar)
1, 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup amaretto (or rum, or brandy)
1 tablespoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2, 1/2 cups cassava flour (or 3 cups pastry flour and omit tapioca flour)
1/2 cup tapioca flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups baking monkfruit (or confectioners' sugar)
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
The day before you wish to bake the fruitcake prepare the fruit and nuts.
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add the raisins, currants, figs, dates, candied peel, nuts, sweetener, water, shortening, amaretto, and spices. Mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to come to room temperature. Transfer to a large covered bowl and refrigerate overnight.
Ensure the oven rack is in the middle, then preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C. Grease and lightly flour a 10-inch x 3-inch-deep cake pan and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cassava flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. mix well.
Slowly combine the dry ingredients into the fruit mixture until thoroughly combined (I find using my hands for this works best.), then let sit for 10 minutes. The baking soda will react with the orange juice resulting in a lighter cake density.
Bake for about 2 hours, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. If you find the cake is becoming too dark on top, cover with a piece of foil until it is finished baking. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes in the pan before removing the cake to a cooling rack. Allow the cake to reach room temperature. (See notes below.) Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days to let the flavours combine. Slice and serve.
NOTE: If you wish to add additional alcohol to the cake, it is at the point when it reaches room temperature that the cake can be wrapped in alcohol-soaked towels or cheesecloth then placed in foil or airtight container and stored in the refrigerator for several days before unwrapping and serving.
NOTE: Frosting this cake is optional. If frosting, wait until the cake has been in the refrigerator for a few days. Before serving, add the frosting and refrigerate for 30 minutes to let the frosting set.
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
total calories = 271 | total fat = 8.9g | saturated fat = 1.45g | cholesterol = 1.17mg | sodium = 161.1mg | carbohydrates = 63g | dietary fibre = 4.74g | sugars = 25.39g | protein = 3.09g