Confectionately Yours: Nutty as a fruitcake


There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who like fruitcake & those who don’t.

Those who DON’T make light of those who DO, sometimes even going so far as to build an entire festival disrespecting the humble fruit cake.

The history of the fruitcake goes as far back as ancient Rome where dried fruits, nuts, and spices were all part of the mix. The term ‘nutty’ is slang for being a bit off mentally or perhaps eccentric in behavior.

‘Nutty as a fruitcake’ was a phrase coined in the 1930’s and makes perfect sense when you see a beautiful slice of fruitcake generously studded with pecans or walnuts.

The Lord also said there are two kinds of people in this world-Those who accept Christ as the Savior and those who do not.

Those who DON’T often think those who DO are ‘nutty as a fruitcake’ for believing in Him. We who DO think, “How does anyone get through this life without Him?”

I’m not too concerned if others think I’m a bit nutty. The Bible tells us that believers are a “peculiar” people. We follow God’s precepts even if it goes against the current culture. (And it always will) We should stand out because of our faith in God. We should act and react differently. We should share the love of Christ with those who don’t know Jesus.

I’m sharing the recipe for Dried Apple Fruit Cake today. I got it from my cousin King, who got it from his great aunt, who got it from a neighbor. The neighbor watched this cake being concocted by a friend who would NOT share this secret recipe. The neighbor went home, wrote out her observations and shared them freely with others. Moral of the story-be careful who you let in your kitchen! 🙂

Let’s not keep the love of Christ our secret. Share the Gospel freely. — Confectionately Yours, Sue

Dried Apple Fruit Cake

4 c. all purpose flour

1 c. butter or shortening

2 c. sugar

3 eggs, beaten

8 oz. dried apples

5-6 c. pecans or walnuts

1-1/4 c. dark raisins

1-1/4 c. golden raisin

8 oz. mixed candied fruit

8 oz. candied cherries

1 tsp. nutmeg, allspice, & cinnamon

4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

Soak the dried apples overnight in enough water to cover. Cook on low heat until soft; add additional water as needed. I use a small saucepan and med-low heat on stovetop for 15-30 minutes stirring often or a small slow cooker for 3-4 hours. Mash well and set aside to cool. You should have about 2 cups of cooked apple.

Mix fruit, raisins, and nuts and add just enough flour to coat. Set aside. Save some of the cherries and pecan halves for the top of the loaf to decorate cake.

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well. Stir in flour; add spices and salt. Mix apples and baking soda, then add to cake. Stir in the fruit and nuts.

Spray 3-4 loaf pans heavily with a flour/oil mix like Baker’s Joy. Fill pan with batter, leaving a 2″ space from the top of the pan.

Poke a few of the cherries in the batter and cut some in half along with nut halves on top for decoration. Bake in a preheated 250° F oven for 3-1/2 hours.

Place a pan of water on lower rack during the baking period. A toothpick inserted near the center of the cake will come out clean when cake is done. Cool on rack for 10-15 minutes, then loosen cake and remove from pan.

Cool completely on rack. Store in airtight container or wrap tightly and freeze. A 10″ tube pan may also be used and this recipe will yield one 10″ cake and a loaf cake. Bake the 10″ cake for 4-1/2 hours on 250°. Mini loaves may also be made, but baking time must be adjusted. Test after 30 minutes and continue to check the small loaves every few minutes. Yield: 3-4 loaf size cakes.

By Sue Murphy

Sue Murphy is a Xenia resident may be contacted at [email protected]. Her Christian radio segments share about her journey and her passion for baking. Find other recipes and more at Find her cookbook at Parker’s General Store on the courthouse square in Xenia.

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