Growing up in Nutley, New Jersey, Martha used to help her neighbors Mr. and Mrs. Maus, who owned a bakery, make these delicious, buttery cakes filled with nuts and candied fruits. Read more about Martha's history with this dessert here.




  • Heat oven to 275 degrees. Butter five 6-by-2-inch round cake pans. Butter five strips of 18-by-3-inch parchment paper to form a collar for each pan.

  • Cream butter and 2 cups sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time. Mix in molasses and 2 cups of candied fruit, blending well. Remove batter to a large bowl and add one-quarter of the nuts. Sift in flour and allspice 1 cup at a time, mixing well between additions. Add remaining candied fruit and nuts, stirring with a spoon. Divide batter evenly among pans; bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 3 to 3 1/2 hours. While still warm, brush with 1/3 cup brandy mixed with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Let cool on wire rack.

  • Gently remove cakes from pans and remove paper collars. Decorate cakes with glaceed fruits and candied cherries and kumquats. Heat apricot jam and remaining 1/3 cup brandy in a small saucepan over medium heat. Strain and brush over fruits to hold in place.