Everyone knows that Christmas fruitcake is usually the joke of the holidays, but this year you can bake a fruitcake that everyone will be begging for. Christmas fruitcake is a great gift to bring to your friends or family for their Christmas meal or to bake for your own family to enjoy. Here are some top baking tips for Christmas fruitcake and three festive Christmas fruitcake recipes.
Tips to make a great fruitcake
1. Quality ingredients
One of the most important parts of making a good Christmas fruitcake is to use high-quality ingredients. Make sure to use a good brandy or liquor and be sure your spices are fresh.
2. Make ahead
For best results, fruitcake should be made at the very least a few days – if not a few weeks – in advance in order to mellow out. It can even be prepared a few months before Christmas and stored in a cool dry place.
3. Soak fruits and nuts
Before you get ready to make your Christmas fruitcake, soak the fruit and nuts in the liquor overnight or for up to three days and then coat them in a light flour dusting.
4. Bake low and slow
Once the batter is prepared and the cake is put together, bake it at a very low temperature, no higher than 325 degrees F., in a pan lined with wax paper to prevent burning.
5. Keep fruitcake moist
A secret to keeping your Christmas fruitcake from drying out is to put a pan of water in the bottom of the oven while it is baking.
6. Cool in the pan
After the cake is finished, let it fully cool in the pan before removing it.
7. Wrap cooled fruitcake and let it sit
Once completely cooled, wrap your Christmas fruitcake in liquor-soaked towels and then in plastic wrap or tin foil to preserve the flavor and moistness. Check on your fruitcake every week and brush it with liquor to keep it moist.
8. Freeze for the long-term
Christmas fruitcakes also freeze very well, but they should be made at least four weeks before freezing (bake in October or November).
9. Be creative
One of the best parts of a Christmas fruitcake is the freedom to be creative. Add whatever dried fruit and nuts you like and use whichever liquor is your favorite (or none at all). You can also use different shapes of pans; for instance, make fruitcake muffins or brownies as an alternative to round or rectangular-shaped cakes.
10. Make it a tradition
Having fun while baking a Christmas fruitcake can make it the best part of the Christmas season and may just become one of your favorite holiday traditions.
Next up…Classic Fruitcake recipe