Dark Fruit Cake (Prizewinner)

Marcia McCance


This is my SIL, Becky's, Great Great Uncle Lee A. Harley's Dark Fruit Cake recipe. It has also won several blue and red ribbons at the South Carolina State Fair in the 60s and 70s. It is a 7 pound cake.

Becky says this one is her favorite!

She also says that her Great Great Uncle Lee was a very sweet Christian man who loved the Lord. Before he started baking cakes he was a candy machine vendor and he had a following of children who would come to meet him every week when he came to fill the machines and he would give them gum and tell them about Jesus and his love for them.


pinch tips: How to Grease a Pan






2 2/3 c
pre sifted plain flour (sifted three times after measuring)
2 c
light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 c
creamery butter (1/2 lb)
7 large
3 oz
dark grape wine
2 lb
mixed fruit (pineapple, orange and lemon peel, cherries, and citron)
1/2 lb
red cherries, sliced in half
3 c
pecans or walnuts, quartered (or half pecans and half walnuts)
1 box
15 oz, seeded raisins (or seedless) (follow directions on seedless)
1 box
11 oz of dried currants
3/4 lb
chopped dates
1/3 c
black molasses
1 1/4 oz
box sauer's cake spice (now "marcum cake spice" if you live near a "save-a'lot" store... if not, try "all spice"

Directions Step-By-Step

Be sure and have all ingredients at room temperature -- 70 F or above.

Preheat oven to 225 F
Prepare one-piece tube pan (10x4): Cut heavy brown paper bottom (trace bottom of pan) and one 4" wide strip to go around the inside of the pan (slit the top every half inch or so, to conform to shape of pan), and another 5" wide to go around the tube.
Grease the pan, place the paper liners inside, then grease the paper (or can grease the paper before putting into pan -- greased side next to cake, not the pan.) The grease on the pan, holds the paper, the grease on the paper is for the cake.)
For decorating the cake put aside a few pieces of the prettier pieces of fruit, plus about ten nut halves, and ten cherry halves.
Place all of the fruit in a large mixing bowl or baking pan. Separate the seeded raisins into small pieces and mix thoroughly with the fruit.
Sift 1/2 cup of the prepared flour over fruit and mix well, also stir in the cake spice.
Now cream butter and sugar for 15 minutes (watch the clock) then pour over the fruit and blend.
Beat the eggs one minute on high and stir well into fruit. Add the black molasses and stir in well.
Separate remaining flour into 3 parts and blend each part into the fruit mixture individually and fully before adding next part. Pour the wine over the top of the mixture and blend that in, too.
Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan. Smooth the batter with the back of a spoon, then position your fruit and nut decorations on top.
Place in preheated oven at 225 F and bake for four hours, until checker comes out clean. Don't start checking the cake until 3.5 hours have passed.
When done, set aside in a cool place and let it sit for 15 minutes. Turn upside down on platter, remove paper, then invert onto cooling rack so it is now right side up. Let it sit until completely cooled.
After it is completely cooled, wrap it in aluminum foil and place in a cake box (or: wrap in four double sheets of newspaper and tape it shut)
Let it rest for two weeks or more in cool place before cutting. do not freeze until at least three weeks have gone by. (Write the "date made" on the Newspaper so you can keep track of time.)
NOTE 1: I have no idea what he means by "(or seedless) (follow directions on seedless)" for the raisins -- there is no other unusual mention of the raisins in his directions -- but, frankly, I would not be too fussy about it. This, to me, is a "whatever."
NOTE 2: I would probably just make the cake batter, then add the floured fruit, too... but that is just me. I hate all the tedium -- LOL -- I figure it is a cake, not the Taj Mahal! -- but you do what you think is best.
NOTE 3: I also searched the Sauer's web site and they do not have a "cake spice" which is why I have made the assumption that "all spice" is what is meant. It may be that they used to have a spice with that name, but they no longer do. You, can, of course, choose any spice you like. AND more than a box of spice seems like an awful lot -- I consulted with Becky and she says it is a 7 pound cake so should be correct.

About this Recipe

Main Ingredient: Flour
Regional Style: Southern
Other Tag: Heirloom
Hashtags: #Fruit, #dark