Our version of the classic (a.k.a. dark) fruitcake is packed with warm spices, nuts, sweet dried fruit, dark molasses, and brandy. And the balance of butter and molasses means the cake ages beautifully—no worries about it becoming a brick, or a shot of alcohol with some fruit in it.
What to buy: Use our recipe for Candied Grapefruit Zest and swap out the grapefruit peel for orange. A homemade candied citrus yields the best results, but if you’d rather purchase some, use a high-quality candied zest, which usually appears in the fall at gourmet or specialty stores. Don’t even think about using the scary, Day-Glo fruit found in tubs—it tastes as horrible as it looks.
There are various intensities of molasses available, from light to blackstrap. Dark (sometimes marketed as robust) tastes best in this recipe. Molasses can be found in the baking aisle at grocery stores.
Game plan: We found this cake equally delicious eaten fresh or after it had aged a bit. For the aged fruitcake, we felt the flavor was best at 6 weeks.
This recipe was featured as part of our Shockingly Tasty Fruitcakes project.