• Gary Corcoran

Dark Fruit Cake

Updated: Feb 27, 2021

This was a very popular cake in Newfoundland households at Christmas time in yesteryears. Sadly, it’s becoming a lost art these days.

Dark Fruit Cake

Preheat oven: 250 degrees F (convection)


3 cups mixed candied peel

5 cups raisins

2 cups red candied cherries, halved

2 cups green candied cherries, halved

2 cups chopped pecans

1 ¼ cups dark rum

1 cup butter

2 ½ cups dark brown sugar

¾ cup cooking molasses

5 large eggs

1 T vanilla

½ cup orange juice

3 ½ cups flour

1 t baking powder

½ t salt

2 t cinnamon

1 t nutmeg

1 t allspice

1 t ground cloves

Combine fruit and nuts in a large bowl. Pour the rum over the fruit and marinate for 24 hours or overnight. Stir often. Butter and line one large round cake pan (9-inch springform pan at least 3 inches deep) and two loaf pans with parchment paper or brown paper.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F on convection heat.

Drain the rum from the fruit and reserve. Add ½ cup of flour to the fruit. This is a necessary step as it helps keep the fruit suspended in the cake. Mix thoroughly.

Cream butter, sugar and molasses together. Add eggs one at a time and continue beating. Stir in the vanilla, the reserved rum liquid and the orange juice.

Add the baking powder and the spices to the flour. Stir to combine. Add dry ingredients in batches to egg mixture and stir to combine. Now add to the fruit mixture. Using your hands, fold everything together.

Turn into prepared pans, smoothing out the top and using convection heat, bake for 3 hours or until a cake tester comes out clean.

When cakes are cooled, you can brush the top and sides with a little black rum. The more times you brush the cake, the more flavour you will develop.

Let age 2 - 3 weeks before cutting.

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