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Home » Fruitcake for Christmas – A Backyard Chicken Recipe

Fruitcake for Christmas – A Backyard Chicken Recipe

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decorated fruitcake with sugar cookie trees

One of the best parts of having backyard chickens is the eggs – eggs for days. Free eggs. Some people refer to their chickens as the only pet that pays rent. It’s funny but true. It’s easy to get in a rut with how you use your eggs so we thought you might like to try our Christmas Fruitcake!

Why Christmas fruit cake in September? The best fruitcakes are aged — it lets the fruit and the spices mature. So the best fruit cakes are made in October, wrapped, and left to mature until the special day!

What Is a Fruitcake?

Fruitcakes have been around since time immemorial. It’s made with candied fruit, nuts, sugar, and flour just to keep it together. Some people suggest serving it with a bit of sharp cheese to balance the sweetness.

The Romans ate fruit cake, as did people in Merry-Olde England. They make great presents, and they’re filling! That’s important for everyone on a budget. And who isn’t these days?

Fruitcake is also a traditional wedding cake in Britain. So now you have more than just Christmas as a reason to make this cake.

Either way, you’ll love this great dish you make with your farm-fresh eggs. How cool is that?

“Broken down into its parts, a good fruitcake contains ingredients that most people love: plump dates, candied cherries, almond extract, pecans, walnuts and sugar. And when it comes out of the oven, it is showered in whiskey.” NYTimes

Do People Really Not Like Fruitcake?

There is a joke that no one likes fruitcakes. Balderdash we say! (That’s British for nonsense!) We think it’s fake news that people don’t like fruitcakes. Johnny Carson made a joke on the Tonight Show years ago, and now everyone thinks it tastes bad. 

People, please! What would Joey say? Fruit: good! Sugar: good! Rum: good!

Fruitcake Recipe

This recipe feeds about 100 people, depending upon how you portion it. Joking! Okay, so fruitcake isn’t that filling, but one fruitcake will last you through the holiday season. That’s amazing value for the money!

Salt, sugar, and alcohol all taste amazing, right? They also serve a preservation function. This is why fruitcake is made with candied fruit (sugar preserves) and is doused and wrapped in alcohol-soaked paper (alcohol kills bacteria.) 

Fruitcake Ingredients

Fruit mixture

  • 500 grams raisins – 17 oz
  • 250 grams candied orange peel – 8 oz
  • 250 grams candied cherries  – 8 oz
  • 250 grams chopped dried dates  – 8 oz
  • 250 grams walnuts and almonds mixed  – 8 oz (if you have a nut allergy, switch out with more fruit)
  • 375 brown sugar  – 13 oz
  • 2 teaspoons Gingerbread spice mix (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves)
  • 1/2 cup dark rum  – 125 ml – 4 oz
  • 1/2 cup brandy or bourbon  – 125 ml – 4 oz
  • Alternatively 1 cup orange juice – 250 ml – 8 oz if you don’t want alcohol

Cake mixture

  • 375 grams flour  – 8 oz
  • 375 grams butter  – 8 oz
  • 375 brown sugar  – 8 oz
  • 6 backyard chicken eggs

You’ll need a 9-inch cake pan, baking paper, and some extra butter to grease your pan.

Fruitcake Process

You will need two steps for this recipe. Day 1 is to prepare your fruit mixture, and Day 2 is to bake your cake.

Step 1 Day 1: Mix the fruit mixture together with your spices, brown sugar, juice, and alcohol. Don’t let the kids near it! Let the mixture sit, well covered, for one week so the mixture can absorb the liquid. Mix during the week so the liquid is incorporated.

Step 2 Day 2: Heat your oven to 150 C / 300 F. No fan!

Place a pan of boiling water at the bottom of the oven. This will keep the oven moist and help avoid drying out the cake. Make sure this container is kept topped up with water so it doesn’t evaporate.

Step 3: Grease your cake pan with butter, and line the circumference and bottom with baking paper. This stops the edge from baking or overcooking. You will need another circle of baking paper for the top of the cake too.

Step 4: Making your cake

  • Cream butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs.
  • Sift the flour into this mixture bit by bit, stirring  – not beating – the mixture.
  • Add the fruit and nut mixture – stir until everything is mixed.
  • Place the cake batter into the pan.
  • Cover with a round of baking paper.
  • Bake for 2.5 to 3 hours. Check that with a long toothpick.

Step 5: Before serving the cake, we suggest spreading the cake’s surface with orange or apricot jam and then covering it with a layer of rolled-out marzipan. Some stores sell marzipan already rolled out.

Over the marzipan goes a layer of Royal Icing. When the icing is dry, we dust it with powdered sugar and decorate it.

Royal Icing Recipe

Here is a chance to use some more of your backyard chicken eggs! Royal Icing is the hard icing you often get on traditional wedding cakes. The icing, when hard, keeps air from drying out the cake.

Royal Icing Ingredients

Royal Icing Process

Step 1: Whisk the egg whites until they are lightly firm.

Step 2: Add the icing sugar, bit by bit, until incorporated.

Step 3: Add the lemon juice.

Step 4: Whisk until the icing is thick enough to spread.

Using a knife you can spread the icing over the marzipan of your cake. 

Et Voila! You have a lovely fruitcake for the season! Enjoy!