Dark Fruit Cake

This fruit cake has evolved over the years in Mexico to suit the ingredients readily available here. Some years, I can find only raisins and dates and some dried tropical fruits. Often there’s no citron. The nuts are sometimes only a few lowly pecans and almonds supplemented with pumpkin and sunflower seeds.  But the recipe is very forgiving and will handle all sorts of substitutions and adjustments to suit ingredient availability.

  • 1 cup mixed dried fruits (apricots, papaya, peaches, mango), cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup raisins, or 1/2 cup raisins and 1/2 cup currants
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup candied citron, cut, or other candied fruit
  • 4 oz. candied cherries, green and red, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped pecans, walnuts, almonds and/or hazelnuts
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 t allspice
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t cloves
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup molasses (or honey)
  • 1/2 cup milk

Cover mixed dried fruits, already cut, with boiling water. Let stand 2 hours. Drain. Mix and set aside the rest of the fruits and nuts. Sift together the flour, baking soda and spices. Beat the shortening with sugar. Stir in eggs, honey and milk. Add flour mixture, fruits and nuts.

Line 2 large loaf pans with foil. Fill pans and bake 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours at 300F. Remove from oven and cool.

Sprinkle with rum and wrap in a layer of waxed paper and then in foil. Store in fridge or cool area and sprinkle once a week with rum. Best if made at least a month, and up to 3 months, before eating.

For a vegan version, simply substitute almond or soy milk for regular milk and 1 T ground flax seeds soaked in 3 T water for 15 minutes for each egg. Use coconut oil in place of regular vegetable oil in either version for an extra taste treat.