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.