Stollen, panettone, and fruitcake are longstanding Christmas traditions that are worth revisiting. These rich cakes and breads are densely packed with dried and candied fruit and nuts, and often bathed in a sweet glaze or soaked with rum or whiskey. Nobody will be making fruitcake jokes when they taste these Italian, German, Polish, and American Christmas breads and cakes, which make wonderful hostess gifts or Christmas breakfasts.
Golden raisins, dried cranberries, candied orange and lemon peel, and dark-chocolate-covered almonds fill surprisingly light cake layers made from almond flour and egg whites. The rich frosting is perfectly complemented by a garnish of sugared lemon zest.
These delicious alcohol-spiked cakes from food writer Melissa Clark are lighter and sweeter than the typical fruitcake. A rich blend of dried fruit, candied citrus peel, and ginger requires a two-week maceration in a liberal amount of dark rum and port before the cakes are baked. Once cooled, the cakes need to ripen for at least three days and up to one month.
Miniature fruitcakes hold a treasure trove of brandy-soaked dried fruit and walnuts, with just enough cake batter to bind them together. You can choose any combination of dried fruit you like for this recipe, including apples, pears, apricots, raisins, cherries, and cranberries. Once the cakes are baked, they're brushed with more brandy, and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month.
Dried figs, dates, candied citrus peel, walnuts, pistachios, and bittersweet chocolate form this Christmas roll -- no cake batter required. This cinnamon-spiced fruitcake is brushed with brandy, rolled up in rice paper, and aged for at least a month before serving.
A yeast starter made with Granny Smith apples and sparkling water provides the leavening for this elaborate panettone. The dough is made in two phases, with 15 hours of rising time in between. The bread is topped with ground almonds, hazelnuts, pearl sugar, and maizena (or cornstarch) just before baking, forming a sweet, shiny crust on top.
Buttery, egg-enriched cake filled with candied citrus peel, fresh lemon and orange zest, and almonds is baked in tea loaf pans and doused with sherry every week for a month before serving. For the candied citrus zest, choose grapefruit, orange, lemon, tangerine, or a combination of all four.
A honey-caramel mixture, rather than cake batter, is what unites the bounty of fruit and nuts in this Italian Christmas treat. Almonds, hazelnuts, candied orange peel, dried apricots, and figs are packed into every bite of this panforte, and nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and freshly ground pepper add a warm, spicy touch.
Armagnac-soaked dried pears, apples, pineapple, and raisins mingle with almonds, candied ginger, and fresh lemon zest in this rich, buttery cake. Rolled fondant forms a snowy coating over the cake, and fondant snowflake cutouts decorated with royal icing create a magical, wintry finish.
This buttery wreath-shaped stollen is filled with orange juice-soaked golden raisins, Cognac-soaked dried currants, almonds, candied citron, dried apricots, and lemon zest. The stollen can be stored, tightly wrapped, for up to three days. Dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving.
This nutmeg-scented Bundt cake is lighter in texture, and quicker to make, than traditional fruitcake, but it still has those classic fruitcake flavors. Brandy, pecans, and raisins fill the moist cake, and a glaze of confectioners' sugar and orange juice is drizzled over the top.
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