This delectable fruitcake is what happens at my house when I decide to clean out the baking cupboard after Christmas baking.
So, if you’re reading this recipe post, then I guess I don’t have to ask the question about whether or not you like fruitcake or not. The real question to ask fruitcake lovers is whether they prefer a light fruitcake or dark and well spiced fruitcake.
I most often make my favourite recipe for an English style dark fruit cake which I have been making since I was a kid in the kitchen with my mother many years ago. Some people are not fond of the spices or of the dark rich molasses flavour of that cake and prefer more of an un-spiced pound cake with plenty of fruit and nuts added.
I personally have never met a fruitcake that I didn’t like and certainly have never turned my nose up at a slice, either light or dark. This recipe came about after finishing some other Christmas baking projects, when a few odds and ends in the baking cupboard needed to be used up.
I took stock of what I had and with about 2 1/2 pounds of dried and glacé fruit on hand, I decided that was an adequate amount to make a rather large fruitcake. (The cake batter weighed 7 pounds before baking)
The cake batter base was actually a sightly modified version of the Newfoundland favorite, Cherry Cake which is always incredibly popular at Christmas time, so I knew that would work. Some toasted Hazelnuts leftover from a recent batch of cookies and coconut leftover from the large number of Snowballs that we’ve made this year provided the other two key ingredients in what turned out to be a terrifically flavourful cake.
This is a cake that need not be made far in advance, even a couple of days ahead of time id fine but if you do make it ahead, be sure to soak it in some brandy or rum. I think Coconut rum is an interesting choice for this cake too. See the recipe for more details on how to do that.
Like this Hazelnut Coconut Fruitcake recipe?
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If you liked this recipe you many want to check out this great collection of No Bake Cookies that was incredibly popular during our last Holiday season.
- 1 ½ cups butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp coconut extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract optional
- 3 cups flour + 1/4 cup to dredge the fruit
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 cup undiluted evaporated milk
- 2 cups glacé cherries
- 3/4 cup glacé mixed citrus peel
- 1 cup chopped glacé pineapple
- 1 cup roughly chopped toasted hazelnuts
- 1 cup fine cut dried coconut
- 1 1/2 cups light or golden raisins
Cream together the butter and sugar well.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until light and fluffy.
Beat in the vanilla, coconut and almond extracts.
Sift together the flour and baking powder.
Fold dry ingredients into the creamed mixture alternately with the evaporated milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. As a general rule, I add the dry ingredients in 3 portions and the milk in 2 portions.
Toss all of the dried fruit with the 1/4 cup of flour and fold into the batter well along with the chopped nuts and the dried coconut.
Bake in greased and floured spring form pan, tube pan or loaf pans lined with parchment paper. Bake at 300 degrees F for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours depending upon the size of your pan. (See NOTE below.)
Baking times vary greatly on this recipe so rely on the toothpick test to ensure that it is properly baked. When a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, its done. Be careful not to go past this stage or the cake will be dry.
Let the cake cool in the pan/s for an hour before transferring it, right side up, to a wire rack to cool completely.
At this point, when cooled, you can poke small holes in the top and bottom of the cake with a fork and pour on 4 - 8 ounces of light rum, coconut rum or brandy; 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 or brandy if you like and wrap completely around the cake, then cover with several layers of plastic wrap and store in a COOL place for a couple of weeks at least.
Baking time is going to depend on the size and shape of pan that you use. I used a 10 inch spring form pan which takes the longest at about 2 1/2 hours. A large tube or funnel pan should take about a half hour or more less than that because of the shape. Watch it carefully after the first 1 1/2 hours of baking time and take it out of the oven only when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out completely clean.
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