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Fruitcake often gets a bad rap, but this delicious version from pastry chef, Jessica Olin, will make you change your tune. A perfect holiday treat, this recipe also makes a great gift to share with your friends and neighbors.

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 1 ounce whole wheat flour
  • 4 ounces dried cranberries
  • 4 ounces dried golden raisins
  • 2 ounces dried figs, kept whole
  • 1 ounce candied orange peel
  • 1 ounce candied ginger, chopped
  • 2 ounces pecans, chopped
  • 4 ounces butter, unsalted
  • 4 ounces sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground clove
  • 2 ounces Cheerwine
  • 1 ounce molasses
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • Whole pecans, reserved for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine all-purpose and whole wheat flours. Spread into an even layer on a sheet tray. When the oven has finished preheating, transfer the sheet tray to the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Stir flour around and bake for another 10 minutes until golden brown. Completely cool before use. Once cooled, separate browned flour into 2½ ounces and 1½ ounces.
  2. Turn the oven down to 275°F. Meanwhile, prepare your 8” cake pan by spraying it with oil and lining with a parchment circle. This is best done by placing a cake pan on top of parchment paper and using a pencil to draw the round outline and using scissors to cut a circle to fit the 8” cake pan.
  3. Prepare fruit mixture by combining cranberries, raisins, figs, orange peel, ginger, and chopped pecans in a bowl. Toss with the reserved 1½ ounces of brown flour, set aside.
  4. Using the electric or stand mixer paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until lighter in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until each egg is fully incorporated. Scrape bowl as needed to ensure mixture is evenly distributed. Add cinnamon, clove, Cheerwine, molasses, then lemon zest and juice. Mix for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Add baking powder to the reserved 2½ ounces of brown flour using a whisk to combine ingredients together. Add the dry ingredients to the cake batter mixture and continue to beat on low speed until fully incorporated, but no longer than 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Pour batter into your assembled cake pan, scraping the mixing bowl to get every last bit of fruit and nut. Using a spatula, spread batter into an even layer. Lay whole pecans on top of batter in any arrangement you desire.
  7. Bake at 275°F until the top of the fruit cake is golden brown and skewer comes out almost clean with a few crumbs on it, 1 ½ to 2 hours. Let the pan cool for 10 minutes and then unmold from the cake pan.

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