Grandmom Schumacher's Dark Fruit Cake

Susan Bryan


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!


★★★★★ 2 votes

30 Min
2 Hr


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  • 1/2 lb
    brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 c
    butter [(may be 1/2 shortening)]
  • 1 lb
    dark raisins
  • 1 lb
    golden raisins
  • 1 lb
  • 1 lb
    pecans (or walnuts)
  • 1 c
    molasses [[for light color cake sub 1 c honey]]
  • 1 c
    very strong black coffee [[for light color cake sub 1 c orange juice]]
  • 8
  • 1 tsp
  • 1/2 tsp
    cloves [ground]
  • 1 tsp
  • 1/2 tsp
  • 2 Tbsp
    baking soda
  • 1 - 1 1/2 c
    flour, enough to stiffen
  • 2-3 Tbsp

  • 12 oz
    candied cherries
  • 12 oz
    candied pineapple
  • 6 oz
    candied citron
  • 6 oz
    candied orange peel

How to Make Grandmom Schumacher's Dark Fruit Cake


  1. Chop all of the candied fruits and toss with 2-3 tbsp flour, set aside.
  2. Cream sugar and shortening; add eggs.
  3. Sift flour, soda and spices together until well blended.
  4. Combine 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)
  6. Line 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'
  7. Bake SLOWLY at 275 DEGREES FOR ABOUT 2 HOURS. Check with a toothpick - if it comes out clean, they're done.
  8. After cakes are completely cooled, they can be wrapped in plastic and tin foil and stored up to 6 weeks.
  9. I'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!

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About Grandmom Schumacher's Dark Fruit Cake

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