The not a fruitcake fruitcake

When I was in high school I remember baking with a friend at the holidays.  Her mother made this amazing bourbon pecan cake.  It looks like a fruitcake but I don’t like fruitcake and I adored this cake.  The mother did not like to share recipes but I begged and pleaded and she finally shared with me.  I made it for a while and then I stopped making it and then a couple of years ago, I made it again.  The people who love it ( including as a few examples – me, my parents, my neighbor Sherry, our friends Christie and Kevin, and my friend Kathy who had some for the first time last night and is I believe baking it today) really love it.  It is not a cheap thing to make and it is a bit of a pain greasing the foil pans and then greasing the wax paper but the result is so sublime that it is worth the trouble.  My 35(ish) year old handwritten copy of the recipe says it makes 8 2 cup foil pan loaves.  I usually halve the recipe – this year I accidentally bought too many candied cherries so I made 3/4 of the recipe (a terrific test of old math skills) and it made 5 loaves.

Bourbon pecan cake

  • 2 cups candied cherries
  • 2 cups white raisins
  • 2 cups bourbon (I use good bourbon)
  • 2 cups softened butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 8 eggs separated
  • 5 cups flour
  • 4 cups pecan halves
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powsder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp nutmeg

Combine cherries, raisins and bourbon in a large bowl.  Cover and let stand overnight.  Drain fruit and reserve bourbon.

Grease 8 2 cup foil loaf pans (I have also made it in the mini loaf pans – greasing is more of a nuisance but it is a nice size for gifting.  I have also mixed and made some large and some small.)  Line pans with wax paper and grease wax paper.  (I have been tempted to omit this step but my copy says this must be done and I am too much of a rule follower to risk it.)

Toss pecans with 1/2 cup of the flour (this keeps them from sinking in the batter).

Sift remaining flour with baking powder, salt and nutmeg.

Mix butter, sugar and egg yolks in a mixer.

Beat egg whites until stiff.

Fold egg whites and flour mixture into butter mixture alternating between the two.  Stir in fruit and pecans.

Fill each pan about 3/4 full.  Bake at 250 for 3 hours.  Check with a toothpick to make sure cakes are done.  Allow to cool in pans for 2 – 3 hours and then pour reserved bourbon over cakes.  Keep refrigerated.


Not a fruitcake!

Not a fruitcake!


About emenuplan
I love to cook and love to eat. I work full time and have a family so managing good meals during the week requires organization. I'm hoping to share my weekly menu plans and recipes to make things a little easier for those who want to follow along.

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