Festive Fruitcake

Festive FruitcakeThis holiday fruit cake is packed with chopped nuts and dried fruits like dates, figs, apricots, cranberries and cherries. Unlike the sugar glazing in this recipe, in many traditional fruitcake recipes the cakes were glazed with brandy or rum instead. Then they were wrapped in brandy or rum soaked cheesecloth and the tightly wrapped in wax paper and then stored for up to a month in a cool dark place. The option is up to you on how you chose to glaze and store your fruitcake.

Festive Fruitcake

Ingredients                                   Makes: 1 fruit cake
1 Tbsp coconut oil (for greasing loaf dish)
1 cup almond flour ~or~ all-purpose flour
1/2 cup coconut sugar ~or~ organic brown sugar
2 Tbsp ground flax seed (optional)
2 Tbsp chia seed (optional)
1/4 tsp all-spice
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup walnuts and/or pecans, broken
1/2 cup dried cherries and/or cranberries
2 cups dates and figs, pits and stems removed and chopped
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
3 large eggs, mixed
1/4 cup coconut oil and/or unsalted butter, room temperature
3 Tbsp avocado oil ~or~ extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 tsp purified water (glaze, optional)
1 Tbsp of coconut sugar (glaze, optional)

Preheat oven. Preheat the oven to 325°F and place the rack in the center of the oven. Grease a loaf pan with coconut oil and then line the bottom with parchment paper.

Combine dry ingredients. In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, flax seed, chia seed, baking soda and seasonings such as the all-spice, cinnamon, ginger and sea salt. Mix until all of the ingredients are well combined.

Prepare dried fruit and nuts. In a medium-sized bowl combine broken walnuts and pecans, make sure there are no shells. Stir in the dried cherries and cranberries. Remove the pits and stems of the figs, apricots and dates and then chop up; add to the bowl and combine. Add the fruit and nut mixture to the flour mixture and combine, breaking apart the fruits and making sure everything gets a nice flour coating.

Combine wet ingredients. In a small bowl break the eggs, make sure there are no shells, and then mix until well combined. In a large bowl cream together the butter and coconut oil, then stir in the eggs. Add the avocado oil and the vanilla extract. Mix until all ingredients are well combined.

Combine the dry ingredients in with the wet. Pour half of the dry ingredient mixture into the wet ingredients and mix well. Then add the remaining dry ingredients and stir until well combined. The batter should be very thick and sticky.

Bake. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Press the batter into all corners of the pan with the back of a large spoon to ensure there are no air pockets; and then spread out evenly. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes in a pre-heated oven on the middle rack. After an hour the bread should be a golden brown and has pulled away from the sides of the pan. Check for readiness by inserting a toothpick or thin knife into the bread. If the toothpick or knife come out clean then the bread is ready; otherwise give the bread some additional time.

Allow the bread to cool for at least 10 minutes before lifting out of the loaf pan using the parchment paper. Allow the bread to cool completely before glazing or attempting to slice.

Glaze fruitcake. To make glaze warm 3/4 of a teaspoon of water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the coconut sugar and mix until well combined and begins to bubble, the remove from heat. With a pastry brush, glaze the fruit cake with the sugar-water mixture. Place the fruit cake somewhere to dry and allow the sugar-coating to harden. To make the glaze harden quicker, place the cake in a warm oven for a couple of minutes, but do not bake it or forget it!

Wrap the cake in wax-paper and keep sealed in a bag for freshness. Cake will keep best kept in the fridge.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

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