Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

grandma betty's family fruit cake

a recipe by
Deborah Gonzalez
Ft. Lauderdale, FL

This recipe was passed down through the years and given to me by my Grandmother, Elizabeth Lydiard. We called her Grandma Betty. She passed away in 2001. She would have been thrilled to see it here on Just a Pinch. I have no idea how old this recipe is but my Grandmother was born in 1910. My mother and I perfected the mixing process in 2006 as we found adding the fruit last made it easier to mix. It has been said ancient Egyptians placed fruitcake on the tombs of loved ones, perhaps as food for the afterlife. But fruitcakes were not common until Roman times.

serves Makes approximately 6 mini fruit cakes
prep time 30 Min
cook time 2 Hr
method Bake

Ingredients For grandma betty's family fruit cake

  • 2 c
    all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp
    baking powder
  • 1 c
  • 5 lg
  • 2 tsp
    vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp
    almond extract
  • 1 lb
    pitted dates
  • 1/2 lb
    whole red cherries / candied
  • 1/2 lb
    whole green cherries / candied
  • 1/2 lb
    pineapple pieces / candied
  • 3 c
    whole walnuts

How To Make grandma betty's family fruit cake

  • 1
    Oven should be preheated to 250 (yes that is correct - 250) and cooking time is 2 hours (yes, 2 hours). Prep time is about 30 minutes. You will need 5-6 Mini Loaf Pans approximately 5" x 3" in size, I used 6.
  • 2
    Bowl #1 - Mix flour, baking powder and sugar, SET ASIDE
  • 3
    Bowl #2 - Mix Eggs, Vanilla extract and Almond extract together, SET ASIDE
  • 4
    Bowl #3 - Mix Dates, Cherries (RED AND GREEN), Pineapple (get the largest pieces you can find, not whole but not the bits either) and Nuts together, SET ASIDE. (note: I have also used Pecans - either or both are excellent) NOTE #1: BE SURE to SET ASIDE 3 CHERRIES for EACH mini Pan to go ON TOP of each cake before cooking. NOTE #2: I do not add all the syrup from the candied fruit, I do my best to remove the candied fruit from the containers leaving behind the goo. I do not rinse the fruit.
  • 5
    Follow this order for easiest blending of above ingredients - Mix Bowl #1 and Bowl #2 together. Be sure to get a creamy, no lumps remaining, smooth consistency. I use a large spatula to achieve best blend.
  • 6
    REMINDER: BEFORE YOU FOLD BOWL #3 into the BATTER created by BOWL #1 & BOWL #2 - BE SURE to set aside three cherries for each fruit cake to put on top of each mini loaf before they go in the oven. THEN, fold ingredients of Bowl #3 into your above blended batter.
  • 7
    Spray your individual mini loaf pans (as seen in photo) with a cooking spray of your choice.
  • 8
    Scoop out enough batter to fill each tin. Do not over fill. This recipe will fill 6 individual mini tins nicely. NOW - ADD THE SET ASIDE CHERRIES to the top of your loaf pan now filled with the completed batter to accent your creation.
  • 9
    Place the tins on a large cookie sheet (for easiest in and out placement to oven) AND BAKE - 250 slow oven for 2 hours.
  • 10
    When finished, remove from oven and let cook on wire rack.
  • 11
    I leave the fruit cake in the pans, and then put the pretty little Fruit Cakes in a fancy clear food type gift bag or wrap in clear plastic wrap and add a bow so everyone can see your delicious treat when you present it to them.