Vi’s Fruitcake

This recipe was developed by my friend Judy Begley Trimarchi’s mother, Violet (Vi) Begley.

Don’t be afraid!

Yes, it’s fruitcake, but not the kind of fruitcake that your parents warned you about. This cake is full of raisins, dates, and walnuts with some candied fruit, held together by a moist spice cake flavored with molasses, apple jelly, coffee, cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves.

Try it, you will be surprised! When I was first offered a piece of this fruitcake, I was reluctant to try it, but I quickly changed my mind and ate two more pieces.

Servings: 48 cupcakes

1 cup shortening
2 cups brown sugar
6 eggs
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cloves
1 tsp nutmeg
¾ cup brewed coffee
½ cup apple jelly
½ cup molasses
1 lb raisins
½ lb currants
½ lb dates, chopped
½ lb nuts, coarsely chopped
1 lb candied fruit

  1. Cream shortening and sugar.
  2. Beat in eggs.
  3. In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt & spices.
  4. Stir in flour mixture alternately with liquids (coffee, jelly & molasses) until well combined.
  5. Stir in fruit and nuts.
  6. Pour into greased and floured loaf pans or lined cupcake pans, filling almost to the top.
  7. Bake at 300℉ until a toothpick comes out clean. Cupcakes about 25 minutes, 2″x 4″ loaf about 45-50 minutes.
  • You can substitute other dried fruit for any of those listed. This year we used dried pineapple & dried cherries instead of the candied fruit – yum!
  • You can substitute another mild-flavored jelly if you prefer.

Starlight Cakes

This recipe is from my friend Patty Davis Grigsby’s mother, Virginia Davis.  She made these beautiful, delicious cakes every Christmas.

Cake

3/4 cup shortening
1  1/2 cups sugar
1  1/2 tsp vanilla
2  1/4  cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
5 egg whites

  1. Heat oven to 375.
  2. Cream shortening and sugar.  Beat in vanilla.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Beat for 2 minutes after the last addition.
  5. Beat egg whites until stiff.  Fold into batter.
  6. Pour into a well-greased and floured 9×12 pan or in 2 1/2 to 3 inch individual cake molds.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes or until center springs back when touched.
  8. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan.
Icing

6 cups powdered sugar
1/3-1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt

  1. Add milk to powdered sugar until icing is a pouring consistency.
  2. Add vanilla and salt.
  3. Spoon over cakes until well coated.
  4. Decorate with silver metallic candy balls (dragées).
  • Virginia had cute star-shaped molds that she used for these cakes, making them especially beautiful.