White Fruit Cake (1968 Sweepstake winner)

Marcia McCance


My SIL, Becky, is the great grand neice of Lee Asbury Harley, who, after he retired at the age of 67, started baking and selling and giving away his award winning cakes.

This one won a blue ribbon at the South Carolina State Fair in 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1971, and won the sweepstakes in 1968.

He sent one to the President and to Billy Graham, too -- every year.

He freely printed his recipes in his 1972 book: "Spices of LIfe -- Past and Present" which is still available on the web, if you look!!

Enjoy Becky's Great Great Uncle's recipe!


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2 c
sifted all purpose flour (he used red band brand)
1 c
granulated sugar (he used dixie crystal)
3/4 c
creamery butter (1.5 sticks)
large eggs
3/4 lb
crystalized pineapple, natural color (cut in 1/4 inch cubes)
1/2 lb
crystalized pineapple, red color (cut in 1/4 inch cubes)
1/4 lb
crystalized pineapple, green color (cut in 1/4 inch cubes)
1/2 lb
dromedary dates, chopped
3/4 lb
red cherries (sliced in half)
2 1/2 c
chopped nuts (pecan or english walnuts or half and half (don't chop nuts fine.)
2 oz
sweet white wine

How to Make White Fruit Cake (1968 Sweepstake winner)


  • 1Be sure to have all ingredients at room temperature, 70 degrees or above.

    NOTE: (Mr. Harley said it did not matter if you wanted to use pineapple that was not colored -- it all tasted the same.)
  • 2Use a standard size tube pan (10x4). Line with pieces of heavy brown paper, like the kind you get at the grocery store, or some other heavy paper. Set the pan on paper and draw circle around for the bottom. Also cut paper in strips as follows: 4 inches wide for the sides, one strip 5 inches wide for the tube.
  • 3Keep back a few pieces of the fruits for decorating except the dates. If you have not already prepared your fruits you may now do so.
  • 4Place all prepared fruits in a large mixing bowl or baking pan.
  • 5Now sift your flour and stir about 1/3 cup over the fruit and blend well.
  • 6Preheat oven to 225 F (slow oven)
  • 7Now grease bottom and sides including tube with butter. Cut three inch slits in top side of paper for sides, cut slits about two inches apart (so it will conform to the angle of the pan)
  • 8After pan is well greased, place paper on bottom and other greased parts and then grease the paper, too.
  • 9Now blend sugar and butter in mixing bowl. After well blended, place speed on "cream butter-sugar" and beat for 15 minutes. Don't guess at the time, watch the clock.
  • 10Now pour the creamed butter and sugar over the floured fruit and nuts stirring until well mixed.
  • 11Now place the eggs in the small mixer and beat on high speed for one minute, now stir eggs in to the mixture blending well
  • 12Then add the flour in three parts stirring well after each addition.
  • 13Now the wine, pour a little all over the batter then stir in well. You are now ready to dip the batter in your prepared baking pan. Smooth batter even over top with bottom of tablespoon. Now decorate with half cherries, small slices of red and green pineapple and "whole" half nuts.
  • 14Now place in preheated oven. Bake timing varies from 3 hours and 30 minutes to 4 hours. Use cake tester or a straw, start checking at 3 hours and thirty minutes. Check in middle of cake on both sides, when tester or straw comes out clean with no "gluie" substance cake is done.
  • 15Place on cooling rack for fifteen minutes in a cool spot, check around tube, when you can wiggle the cake loose from the tube, remove cake from pan by turning upside down on a dinner plate.
  • 16Now remove all paper and then return to cooling rack the same way you removed it (turning it back to upright for cooling). Now place in a cool place until completely cooled. (Not the refrigerator)
  • 17Now slide cake to a smooth surface for a few hours, more to get well set, or leave on cooling rack.
  • 18Wrap in aluminum foil and place in cake box, if no box, wrap in about four double sheets of newspaper and seal with tape. Let stay two weeks or more in cool place before cutting. Do not freeze until after three weeks of baking. If you desire to make two, five-pound cakes or one seven-pound and one three-pound (loaf pan) just double the recipe.
  • 19There is no harm in cutting a fruit cake after it has cooled awhile, to check for dunness. If a little gooey, preheat oven and bake for about thirty minutes or more. Be sure and replace the slice after tasting and testing the thin part.

Printable Recipe Card

About White Fruit Cake (1968 Sweepstake winner)

Course/Dish: Cakes, Fruit Desserts
Main Ingredient: Flour
Regional Style: Southern
Other Tag: Heirloom
Hashtags: #Fruit, #white, #winner, #award

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