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Mr. and Mrs. Maus's Fruitcake

This recipe was developed by Mr. and Mrs. Maus, Martha's childhood neighbors. For best results, they suggest using the best-quality candied fruits available and to use just enough cake batter to hold the fruit and nuts together.

  • Yield: Makes two 9-inch cakes


  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 12 large eggs
  • 6 pounds mixed candied fruits and fresh nuts, such as citron, lemon, and orange peel, and cherries, apricots, walnuts, and pecans
  • 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 2 tablespoons ground allspice
  • 1 cup apricot jam
  • 1/3 cup brandy
  • Whole dried apricots, for garnish
  • Pecan halves, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms of pans with waxed paper; butter paper, and dust with flour. Tap out excess, and set aside.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until pale. Add eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl at least twice. Batter should be fluffy. Stir in fruits, nuts, and molasses until blended.

  3. Sift flour and allspice into a medium bowl; stir mixture, 1 cup at a time, into batter.

  4. Spoon batter into prepared pans. Set pans in a larger baking pan filled with 1 1/2 to 2 inches of hot water. Bake until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Cool cakes in pans on a wire rack.

  5. Remove cakes from pans; peel off paper. Place apricot jam in a small saucepan. Add brandy; heat over low heat until mixture is warm and syrupy. Strain mixture through a fine sieve. Brush fruitcakes with glaze. Garnish cakes with dried apricots and pecan halves, and glaze again. Let glaze harden before wrapping fruitcakes in parchment paper.

Reviews Add a comment

  • Cat62549
    7 DEC, 2008
    Fantastic recipe. I've made it for years for Christmas. The closest to my mother's fruitcake. I soak the candied fruit in brandy for a day, drain then add to the batter. Pour the drained liquid on the cakes right out of the oven. Yum!!
  • mmsrjs
    4 JAN, 2008
    I bought a tin of fruitcake once and we all loved it. I will certainly try this recipe, but I thought you had to make them early and store for 2 or 3 months?
  • Critterfox
    4 JAN, 2008
    Csansivieri: Would you share your fruitcake recipe with me? Have been looking for a great one. Thanks, Critterfox
  • Csansivieri
    2 JAN, 2008
    I have a great receipe for fruitcake. I too don't understand why the "fruitcake" get such a bad rap. When I serve it a lot of people turn up their nose until I coax them to "try it". I make it every Christmas. Csansivieri
  • ritatimperman
    19 DEC, 2007
    I love fruit cake, always did, and will give this recipe a try.
  • animalloverjan
    18 DEC, 2007
    I never understood why people make jokes about fruitcakes and say they hate them. I grew up eating fruitcakes made by my grandmother and aunt and they were wonderful and tasted very good. I haven't made any for years but will try this recipe becausr it sounds wonderful.
  • MS11562197
    29 NOV, 2007
    My grandmother used to make fruitcake and this is the closest recipe to hers I have found...lots of nuts and fruit, not a ton of cake. Very delicious.
  • plumdave
    24 NOV, 2007
    Have made these 3 times with various changes, rum instead of brandy, Decorated with whole pecan halves and glazed pinapple. Always a hit with my fruitcake fanatical friends.