This was our Grandmom's [secret] fruitcake that we loved growing up. Even though many folks don't enjoy fruitcake - this is worth giving a try - because you can follow along this basic recipe & add fruit or nuts [or leave out some] as you desire. BUT keep in mind - this recipe 'as is' was the family original and it took forever to convince Grandmom to share it with the outside world. It goes together quickly by hand [you've been warned - it's a stiff cake and will burn out a hand mixer quickly] & has enough batter [only] to hold the fruit and nuts together! I hope you smile at the taste!
1Chop all of the candied fruits and toss with 2-3 tbsp flour, set aside.
2Cream sugar and shortening; add eggs.
3Sift flour, soda and spices together until well blended.
4Combine sugar/butter/egg mixture and flour mixture alternately with molasses and coffee. [can sub orange juice and honey here for a lighter color cake] ***
5*** Batter should be VERY stiff!! Fold in fruit and nuts (don’t try to use a hand mixer – My sister and I broke each of ours until learning to do it by hand with a good wooden spoon)
6Line 2 bread pans with oiled dark brown paper from grocery bag [or oiled parchment paper] and oil the sides of the pans as well. [you could sub loaf cake liners if you wish instead of oiling and papering the pans]
Pour batter into pans - can add cherries or nuts on top to 'decorate'
7Bake SLOWLY at 275 DEGREES FOR ABOUT 2 HOURS. Check with a toothpick - if it comes out clean, they're done.
8After cakes are completely cooled, they can be wrapped in plastic and tin foil and stored up to 6 weeks.
9I've done these in muffin pans and round cake pans. The baking temp stays the same - just adjust the time as needed. It's "tradition" to slice this thinly to serve. "I" love fruitcake, I'll have a good slice please!