I've been baking a lot these days because I'm planning on giving cake gift baskets to friends and relatives. It's the same Christmas fruit cake I've been baking for many years, in fact, the recipe hasn't changed since my childhood. I actually forgot about it until I found an old post-it tucked into the pocket of an apron with the recipe scribbled on it! It's probably been there since we moved into our new home.
The cake is made with candied fruit, walnuts, honey, brandy and a bit of spices. You can easily double or reduce the quantities to fit your needs. Ho ho ho! Happy baking!
Servings: 1 loaf
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 lemon zested
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons mixed candied fruit
1 tablespoon brandy
½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
⅓ cup mixed candied fruit
Mash the bananas with the back of a fork. Drizzle with lemon juice. You could also place the bananas in a food processor and blend until coarsely puréed. Gather about 1+ cup.
Making the fruit cake batter:
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs with ½ cup granulated sugar using an electric mixer. You'll get a pale yellow foam. Add the vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, allspice, nutmeg, baking soda and baking powder. Sift all the dry ingredients.
In another bowl, cream the butter with the remaining sugar.
Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture. Mix well. Add the creamed butter, buttermilk and banana purée. Add the lemon zest, brandy, walnuts and candied fruit. Using a spatula, mix well.
Line a cake mold with parchment paper.
Bake the cake for 20 minutes at 375°F, then lower the temperature to 350°F and bake for another 60-65 minutes. A skewer or a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean.
Remove from the oven. Allow to cool completely.