St. Nicholas Dried-Fruit Cake

Notes: Bake this cake at least 1 day or up to 2 months ahead; cool and wrap in cheesecloth or a thin towel saturated with orange-flavor liqueur. Chill airtight, and about every 10 days, moisten cloth with more liqueur. Serve thin slices of cake plain, with vanilla ice cream topped with rum-plumped raisins, or with rum-raisin ice cream. Wrap and continue to age extra cake.
Makes 1 cake; about 25 servings


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About 1 cup (1/2 lb.) butter or margarine, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
6 large eggs
1/4 cup molasses
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 pound (2 2/3 cups) dried apricots
1/2 pound (2 cups) pecan halves
1/2 pound dried lightly sweetened pineapple
1/2 pound (2 cups) dried sweetened cranberries
1/2 pound (2 cups) dried cherries or blueberries
1/2 cup apricot jam
2 tablespoons orange-flavor liqueur


1. Lightly butter a 5- by 9-inch loaf pan. Line with cooking parchment.

2. In a bowl with a mixer, beat 1 cup butter with sugar until fluffy.

3. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until well blended. Beat in molasses.

4. Mix flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, and allspice. Add to egg mixture; beat just until blended.

5. Set aside 6 to 8 apricots, 10 to 12 pecan halves, and 1 pineapple ring.

6. Cut remaining pineapple into 3/4-inch pieces and add to batter along with the remaining apricots and pecans and the cranberries and cherries. Stir until well mixed.

7. Scrape batter into parchment-lined pan, pressing firmly to eliminate air pockets; spread top level.

8. Bake in a 275° oven until cake is firm in center when touched, about 3 hours. If it browns too rapidly, drape with foil.

9. Cool in pan on rack at least 2 1/2 hours. Lift out cake; peel off parchment.

10. Mix apricot jam with liqueur and brush over top of cake. Decoratively arrange reserved apricots, pecans, and pineapple in apricot glaze; brush more apricot jam mixture over fruit. Wrap airtight and chill at least 1 day.

Nutritional analysis per 3 ounces.

Created date

October 2003

Nutritional Information

Calories 351
Caloriesfromfat 38 %
Protein 3.6 g
Fat 15 g
Satfat 5.5 g
Carbohydrate 54 g
Fiber 2.8 g
Sodium 105 mg
Cholesterol 71 mg