2 a rich cake containing dried fruit and nuts and citrus peel and so on
- Finnish: hedelmäkakku
- Finnish: hintti
Fruitcake (or fruit cake) is a cake made with chopped candied fruit and/or dried fruit, nuts and spices, and optionally soaked in spirits. In the United Kingdom certain rich versions may be iced and decorated. Fruitcakes are often served in the celebration of weddings and Christmas.
HistoryThe earliest recipe from ancient Rome lists pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and raisins that were mixed into barley mash.
In the Middle Ages, honey, spices, and preserved fruits were added and the name "fruitcake" was first used, from a combination of the words "fruit" (Latin: fructus, Old French: frui), and "cake" (Old Norse: kaka, Middle English: kechel).
Starting in the 16th century, inexpensive sugar from the American Colonies, and the discovery that high concentrations of sugar could preserve fruits, created an excess of candied fruit, thus making fruitcakes more affordable and popular Fruitcakes soon proliferated all over Europe, however recipes varied greatly in different countries and throughout the ages, depending on the available ingredients as well as in some instances on church regulations regarding the observance of fast (e.g. "Butterbrief").
In the 18th century in some areas in Europe, fruitcakes were made using nuts from the harvest for good luck in the following year. The cake was then saved and eaten before the harvest of the next year.
GermanyDresdner stollen is a fruitcake that originated in Dresden over 500 years ago. Traditional Stollen are made with yeast, water and flour, and usually succade, almonds, and spices such as cardamom and cinnamon. They are baked in a traditional form and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Stollen have a higher ratio of cake batter to fruit and nuts than American fruitcakes.
ItalyPanforte is a chewy, dense Tuscan fruitcake dating back to 13th century Siena. Panforte are stongly flavored with spices and baked in a shallow form.
In the United StatesTypical American fruitcakes are rich in fruit and nuts.
Mail-order fruitcakes in America began in 1913. Some well-known American bakers of fruitcake include Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, Texas, and The Claxton Bakery in Claxton, Georgia. Both Collin Street and Claxton are southern companies with access to cheap nuts, for which the expression "nutty as a fruitcake" was derived in 1935. It is derived from the expression "nutty as a fruitcake", which was first recorded in 1935. It can also be used as a derogatory term to imply that a person is homosexual.
- Many fruitcake recipes
- Easy to follow fruitcake recipe
- Stephen Malinowski's Fruit Cake Recipe (very dark, moist, no nuts or citron)
- A Caribbean Christmas inspires a unique fruitcake by Jacqueline Higuera McMahan, SF Chronicle, Wednesday, November 9, 2005
- A Fruitcake Soaked in Tropical Sun by JULIA MOSKIN; The New York Times; December 19, 2007
- Let them eat fruitcake: From joke to welcome treat? by Claiborne Thompson, The Hook, November 15, 2007
fruitcake in German: Früchtebrot
fruitcake in French: Beerawecka
fruitcake in Polish: Keks