Wow! Time flies when you’re having fun. Since December is National Fruit Cake Month, I thought this would be the perfect time to re-share my Veganified version of Aunt Dot’s Fruit Cake.
Plus, just for giggles, I wanted to share this short news segment about the history of the Fruit Cake. I actually had no idea there was an annual Fruit Cake toss, did you?! I know you’re just going to love this version of Fruit Cake and it won’t toss it anywhere except near your mouth.
Holiday Fruit Cake
Note: This is where the importance of Mis-en-place is hand in very handy. Prep each of the grouped ingredients separately so that when you finish with your mis-en-place, you have all your ingredients staged in 4 bowls. Once you finish that process, the mixing will be rather easy (and you will have a neat and clean kitchen workspace).
(use a large mixing bowl, as you will later be adding the ingredients from Bowls 2 and 3 to this bowl)
8 ounces Earth Balance, softened
1 cup Sucanat or other unrefined cane sugar or Coconut sugar
Put these ingredients in the food processor or blender and blend until they are homogenous:
¼ cup molasses (dark preferred)
1 ripe avocado (or ¼ cup avocado oil, but I prefer to use the actual avocado fruit)
¼ cup buttermilk*1
Mix these ingredient together using a wire whisk until well blended:
2-1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons Egg Replacer
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons each of these ground spices*2: cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice
(I actually use my 8-quart stock pot for this bowl because the last mixing step involves adding all the ingredients from Bowls 1-3 into this one)
½ pint brandy
8 ounces each of:
Candied orange peel
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Cream the ingredients in Bowl #1 until light and fluffy.
Add the ingredients from Bowl #2 into Bowl #1, and blend until well incorporated.
Add the flour/spice mixture from Bowl #4 into Bowl #1 and mix well.
Pour the batter into the fruit/nut mixture. Using a large wooden spoon (or clean hands), mix until evenly incorporated. You will have a very tight batter.
Scoop the batter into your prepared pans.
Bake for 3 hours total, as follows: 1 hour at 250 degrees, then another 2 hours at 225 degrees (if you are baking smaller fruitcakes rather than the 2 larger fruitcakes, I suggest reducing the temperature to 215 degrees instead of 225 degrees).
If baked in metal pans, allow to cool 15 minutes, the release them from the pans and allow to cool on wire racks. If baked in the paper pans, put them on wire racks. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
Once cooled completely, drizzle a couple tablespoons of brandy over each cake. Seal fruitcake and store at room temperature.
Every 2-3 days, repeat Step #9. Do this for several weeks, and you will be pleasantly rewarded for all your effort.
*1 Buttermilk: made by adding 1 tablespoon vinegar (I use an artisan black cherry infused balsamic vinegar, but any good balsamic vinegar would do) to ¼ cup canned whole coconut milk, stir, and let sit for a minimum of 10 minutes
*2 These spices are far superior when freshly ground. It can easily be done using an electric coffee grinder, preferably one with a burr mill, that you use expressly for grinding spices.
*3 Dates and figs are very sticky, and as such, can be rather tricky to chop. An easy way to get around this fact is to very lightly dust these fruits with a scant (and I do mean scant) amount of flour. Put them in the freezer for no more than 10 minutes. The coolness will inhibit their stickiness. A food processor will aid this process as well. Lightly dust the blade. In small batches, put the fruit (pitted, of course) in the food processor, and pulse until very coarsely chopped. There may still be a couple of larger pieces. Don’t try to break them down with the food processor. If you do, you will wind up chopping the other pieces too small; so take them out and just finish off their chopping with a knife. To separate the chopped fruit, again dust them every so scantily with a touch a flour and toss to coat, which will release them from each other.
*4 If you are using metal pans, you will want to prepare them by greasing and flouring them. I prefer to purchase the paper baking pans. You can buy them rather inexpensively, and many of them are quite decorative. The fruitcakes would stay in them rather than taking them out of the metal pans.
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.