Don't like fruitcake... then you haven't tried this one! David Lebovitz's recipe will turn your world upside down, one bite and you'll un-do years of prejudiced ideas about the citron laden loaf that no one likes! You can omit the liquor and just soak the cherries in juice, the whole idea is to plump them up!
If chocolate is not your thing, Mrs. Freeman's Pumpkin Fruitcake is a moist and delicious fruitcake filled with pecans and dates, raisins and cherries. Mrs. Freeman was a sweet lady who lived just across the fence from us when I was a child. In her upper 80's, she knew the names of all her neighbors. I loved to visit her and we would have long conversations as she poured jams and jellies into baby food jars. These would be gifts for neighbors along with the most delicious pumpkin fruitcake you ever put in your mouth. Each baked in a tomato soup can, she'd slide them out and wrap in foil, then Christmas paper and curly ribbon- they were special gifts from the ♥
Chocolate Cherry Fruitcake~Just click on the title to print!
Makes 2 loaf-sized cakes
Adapted from Ready for Dessert by David Lebovitz
1 1/2 cups dried cherries, well-chopped
1/4 cup plus 6 tablespoon rum, whiskey, or amaretto (I used rum)
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
10 tablespoons butter (salted or unsalted), at room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt (I used buttermilk)
1 cup walnuts, pecans, or almonds, toasted and finely-chopped
3/4 cup chocolate chips
A day or so before you make the cake, toss the cherries in ¼ cup of liquor to soften... or if you're the impatient baker like me, just bring the rum to a boil, add the dried cherries and cover for about an hour to plump them!
To bake the cakes, grease two 9-inch loaf pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper or dust with cocoa powder. Preheat the oven to 350F. Sift together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, or by hand, beat the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Stir together the eggs and yolk with the vanilla, then dribble them in while beating. Mix in one-third of the flour/cocoa mixture, then half of the yogurt or buttermilk. Then mix in another third of the dry ingredients, then the rest of the yogurt. Finally add the remaining dry ingredients, and gently stir in the nuts, chocolate chips and cherries. (Which should have absorbed all the liquid. If not, add that as well.) Divide and smooth the batter into the two prepared loaf pans and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let stand on the counter top for about 15 minutes. With a skewer, poke 50 holes in the cake and spoon 3 tablespoons of liquor over each cake. Let cool. These cakes will last, well-wrapped, for about a week. If you want a really boozy cake, you can brush with additional liquor every few days before serving. They can also be frozen, although if you choose that route, don’t add liquor to them. You can rewarm them once they’re thawed and add it later.