Ultimate Nut Fruitcake – using 5 different delicious nuts! This recipe uses hazelnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts and pecans in the cake and is topped by a sweet almond marzipan layer in the ultimate fruitcake for those who can’t get enough of crunchy nuts.
What makes the Ultimate Nut Fruitcake? That’s easy; plenty of crunchy nuts and a lot of different types of them. I’ve used 4 different types in this recipe plus a homemade almond marzipan layer to complete this cake to nutty perfection. You can, of course, substitute any nuts you like but always toast them first to get the best crunchy flavour out of them.
I had only myself in mind when developing this recipe based upon my very popular Old English Fruitcake, but it will appeal to nut lovers everywhere. This one relies on a cooked date base and simplifies the recipe a little but still has great, well spiced flavour to compliment all those nuts.
I chose not to soak this cake in rum, brandy or whiskey like I usually do for fruitcakes. The reason was to maintain as much of the crunchiness of the nuts for as long as possible in the cake. You can of course do a soaking of your favourite spirit if you prefer, just use the instructions included in my recipe for Bourbon Apple Fruitcake.
Since this was going to be a specialty fruitcake and because it was going to include a layer of Homemade Marzipan I also decided to cover the entire cake in a layer of fondant icing. This is a traditional thing to do in the UK and you can always buy the fondant to roll out but you can also make an easy marshmallow fondant and flavour that with almond extract.
If you are a lover of all sorts of crunchy nuts, like me, I know you will return to this recipe year after year. Enjoy!
You can also find the recipe for the Easy Marshmallow Fondant here.
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- 12 oz dates chopped, about 3 cups, by weight
- 3 cups raisins
- ¾ cup butter
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- ¾ cup molasses
- ½ cup coffee liqueur or ½ cup strong black coffee
- 2 tsp allspice
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp powdered ginger
- 1 tsp cloves
- 2 tsp nutmeg
- Zest and juice of 2 oranges
- 3 eggs lightly beaten
- 3 tbsp cocoa
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ cup ground hazelnuts or almonds
- 8 oz glace cherries
- 8 oz candied citrus peel or mixed place fruit if you prefer
- 3/4 cup toasted pecans roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup toasted walnuts roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup toasted hazelnuts roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup toasted macadamia nuts roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup toasted almonds roughly chopped
Lightly grease and line a 10 inch springform pan with parchment paper.
In a large saucepan melt the butter over medium heat and add the raisins, dates, brown sugar, molasses, spices, coffee liqueur (or coffee) and the orange zest and juice.
Bring to a gentle boil and very slowly simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool for 30-45 minutes.
When cool stir in the beaten eggs.
Sift together, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda.
Add the ground nuts to the sifted flour mixture and fold through the boiled mixture.
Fold in cherries, citrus peel and all of the nuts.
Pour into prepared baking pan. You can decorate the top with additional nuts, cherries etc., if you like.
Bake at 300 degrees F for up to 2 hours or longer depending upon the size of your pan. Mine took the full two hours in a 10 inch spring form pan.The cake should feel firm to the touch at the center and a wooden toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean. The cake should be cooled completely in the pan on a wire rack before removing.
At this point you can poke small holes in the top and bottom of the cake with a fork and pour on 4 ounces of dark rum or your favorite whiskey, half on the top, wait ten minutes, then flip it over and pour the remaining half on the bottom.
Soak several layers of cheesecloth in additional rum if you like and wrap completely around the cake, then cover with several layers of plastic wrap and store in a COOL place.
When serving, you can add a layer of marzipan or if you have decorated the top with fruit and nuts, brush with a simple glaze of equal parts water and sugar boiled together for about 10-15 minutes.