Monday, February 23, 2015

(Un)Fruit Cake

I happen to like fruitcake.
Every year in December I make fruitcake. But I don't advertise this fact. The kids are all too aware of the baggage that fruitcake brings along. As I bake a lot around the holidays, a fruit & nut cake sneaks pasts them very easily!
So far I haven't been satisfied with the fruitcake doozies that I've churned out.
If making fruitcake was bad enough making a bad fruitcake would've ensured a mention in our hall of disasters.

A few Novembers ago, once again, I assembled a virtual who's-who of the nut and dried fruit world, chopped them roughly and soaked them in rum. Every couple of days I'd shake the contents then open the bottle and sniff! Goodness!!

Unfortunately I didn't get around to making any of recipes that I had bookmarked. The boozy fruit-nut remained in the fridge and my shake-sniff-swoon routine continued. Just as I had more or less given up on the idea of making fruit cake I came up this recipe for a Fig, Lemon, and Olive Oil cake. Such a glorious looking cake that was; I could almost taste the lemon & figs.
I just had to make it.

Here is the veganised version of that cake.

(Un)Fruit Cake

1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
¾ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ cup sugar (see notes below)
½ cup olive oil
½ cup soy milk
1 tbsp lemon or orange zest
4 tbsp rum
3 tbsp orange juice or water
1 ½ cups dry fruits and nuts, chopped (see notes below)

If you aren't using previously soaked fruits and nuts, combine slightly warm rum and orange juice with the fruits and nuts and set aside for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the over to 350F.
Prepare either a 8in or a 9in round pan or an iron skillet.
Mix the flour, baking powder, and the salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine the sugar and the citrus zest. Rub the zest into the sugar.
Add the oil and milk. Mix well.
Add in the dry ingredients, stir to combine.
Fold in the fruit-rum mixture.
Do not over mix.
Give the batter a quick taste and add more sugar if necessary. The flavours will deepen and the cake will taste sweeter after a day or two. That is if it lasts that long.

Bake for about 20 minutes, till a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out mostly clean.
If using an iron skillet, you may need more than 20 minutes. Ovens will vary.

Once the cake come out of the oven, let it sit in the pan for about 10-15 minutes before inverting it on a cake rack.

Serve with a scoop of ice-cream, a dollop of lemon flavor whipped cream, or maybe just a dusting of powdered sugar.


I've made this cake several times now. Each time I vary the amount of sugar. The ½ cup sugar was slightly sweet, probably because of the sugar content added by the various dried fruit. If you make this cake with just figs, you'll probably need all of the ½ cup of sugar.
I used a mixture of raisins, golden raisins, cranberries, figs, dates, almonds, pistachios, cashews, pecans, and walnuts.

If you have any questions or comments, please write to me or tweet @cooker_baker. Thanks for stopping by.
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