Yield: 3-6 x 3.5 loafs
To say this is the best fruitcake I have ever eaten would not be saying much…you’ve heard the joke about there being only one fruitcake in the world and it is just passed around year after year?
However, this indescribably moist cake may be one of the Top 5 cakes I have ever eaten, period. Okay, maybe 10 ’cause there are a lot of delectable cakes out there. But this one is like no other.
My dear friend, Sharon Tanner, an excellent cook, and her brother, with professional cooking experience, decided one year that, surely, there had to be a way to make a fruitcake that people would actually wanted to eat. I mean, come on, why should fruit, nuts, flour, sugar, etc. not taste delicious in combination? So they began experimenting and arrived at a recipe so intensely delicious–it packs a wallop as she says–that they even considered selling them at one time. I, for one, would line up to purchase.
Instead, though, she generously shared her recipe with me and gave me permission to share with you. Originally, the cake was not vegan, but she asked me how I would veganize it so that she could make me and a couple of other friends mini-loaves. I recommended that, for every egg, she substitute 1/4 cup moisture of some kind, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. She did, using her homemade apple butter (apple butter contains no “butter”) as the moisture, though it is readily available in grocery stores. Butter was never an issue because, according to Sharon, “eliminating butter makes the cakes better, denser and they hold their shape and slice much better.” When all is said and done, there is no way the non-vegan version could be any better than this vegan one.
What’s the secret? There are a few. One is that this cake contains NO candied or crystalized fruit nor maraschino cherries. Nada. But it is chock full of dried fruits, which points to another secret: a combination of various dried fruits for subtle flavor notes. And the second is the amount of nuts and, again, the variety of types. Sharon recommends “Cherries, cranberries, raisins, dates, prunes, pineapple, blueberries, apricots in any combination. I think it’s best heavy on the cherries and should include pineapple. Mixed nuts can be heavy on walnuts, but can include pecans, almonds and Brazil nuts.”
So, with no further ado…ta-da, a fruitcake that will have ’em beggin’ for more!