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.

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Amish Friendship Bread

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
5 oz pkg instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup Amish Friendship Bread Starter
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Lightly grease 2 large loaf pans. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  3. Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pudding mix.  Make a well in the center.
  4. Add Amish Friendship Bread Starter, oil, milk, eggs and vanilla; mix well.
  5. Stir in nuts.
  6. Pour batter into pans.
  7. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top.
  8. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean, about 1 hour.

Variations:

  • Lower fat: substitute ½ cup oil and ½ cup applesauce for 1 cup oil.
  • Apple Cinnamon: add 2 apples. peeled, cored and finely chopped when you add the nuts.
  • Banana Nut: reduce cinnamon to 1/2 tsp and add 3 large ripe bananas, mashed.
  • Chocolate: substitute chocolate pudding mix and “flour” the pans with cocoa – omit cinnamon or leave it in for a Mexican chocolate flavor, omit nuts if desired.
  • Lemon Poppy Seed: substitute lemon pudding mix, reduce cinnamon to 1/2 tsp, omit nuts and add 2 Tbsp poppy seeds.
  • Muffins: pour into greased muffin tins and reduce the baking time to 23-25 minutes.
  • Pistachio: substitute pistachio pudding mix and pistachios.
  • Raisin or Date: add 1 cup raisins or dates.