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Story of Maude's Fruit Cake Recipe

Mary Alice

From: Mary Alice Golden <>
To: B. Spees <>
Date: Aug 15 2002 - 7:58pm

Bill's view

Maude's Fruit Cake (Maude Spees ca. 1940)

1 lb.  Sugar (2¼ cups)

1 lb.  Butter

1 lb.  Flour (4 cups)

¼ cup  Flour (extra, for dredging)

1 tsp  Baking Powder

10     Eggs

1 tsp  Salt

1 tsp  Cinnamon

1 tsp  Nutmeg

1 tsp  Cloves

1 lb.  Dates

1 lb.  Currants

½ cup  Raisins

½ cup  Citron

¼ cup  Orange Peel

¼ cup  Lemon Peel

¼ cup  Candied Pineapple

2 cup  Nuts (she meant walnuts, sometimes pecans)

½ cup  Candied Whole Cherries

2 tbs  Orange Juice

1 jar  Maraschino Cherries



Chop fruits and nuts (reserving enough nut halves to cover roughly half of the top of the cake).  Dredge the chopped fruits and nuts in ¼ cup of flour.


Cream the shortening and butter; add eggs, one at a time, beating after each egg.


Sift all dry ingredients twice and add to creamed mixture alternating with chopped fruits and nuts, and beat thoroughly.


Add the orange juice.


Line a tube pan with greased aluminum foil.  Pour in batter. 


Bake at 250° to 300° for four to six hours.  Put a pan of water in the bottom of the oven 1 to 2 hours before the cake is done.  Decorate the top with the jar of cherries and nut halves, shortly before baking time is over.


Let cake cool.


Soak cake in brandy or wine for about a month.  Pour 6 tbs of brandy into cake and wrap closely with cloth dampened in brandy.  Store in airtight container.



This cake is one of my fondest memories of Mom.  It was dark and rich.  She would make it around Thanksgiving and keep it in a big heavy Dutch oven under the bed.  When she sent me out to play in South Dakota, she knew that the slice of fruitcake in my pocket would keep me alive till Spring, if I should get lost. 


This fruitcake is nothing like the fruitcakes that you buy and give to someone at the holidays—and the next year, you get back the very same one, after the recipient used it for a door stop all year.. 


When I married on Christmas, this was what I made as the groom’s cake.  Alas, nothing remained of the cake.  The marriage is still going strong after twenty-six years.