Fruitcake Ushers in Most Delicious Time of the Year

I haven’t posted in a month and my Irish guilt is gnawing at me! So it’s back to business this week as “that time of year” is fast approaching. I’ve already started plumping my fruit for the several varieties of fruitcake that I make, but not for this one because the fruit is boiled! I’ve had the recipe for many years and love it now as much as ever. The original recipe called for Bushmills, but you can substitute another brand. You’ll find this and other holiday recipes in my Favorite Flavors of Ireland cookbook, now BUY ONE GET ONE, and in my soon-to-be-released cookbook Teatime in Ireland. Visit for more details.

Bushmills Boiled Fruitcake

Makes 1 large or 4 to 5 small loaves.

This fruitcake is an interesting one because the dried and candied fruits are cooked with butter, brown sugar, and crushed pineapple before being mixed with the dry ingredients. The technique produces a very moist cake.

1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained

8 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar

2 cups golden raisins

1/2 cup candied cherries, chopped

1/2 cup candied mixed peel

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or Mixed Spice (See Note below.)

2 large eggs, beaten

2 to 3 tablespoons Bushmills Irish Whiskey


     1. In a large saucepan, combine the pineapple, butter, sugar, raisins, cherries, and mixed peel. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring continuously, for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.

     2. Preheat the oven to 325° F. Grease a 9-inch loaf pan or 4 to 5 (3-inch) mini loaf pans.

     3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Stir into fruit mixture and then stir in beaten eggs. Spoon batter into prepared pan(s) and bake large cake for 60-75 minutes (test with a skewer at 55 minutes), or mini loaves for 50 minutes.

     4. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Prick top of cake(s) in several places and drizzle with whiskey while still warm. Remove cake(s) from pan and let cool completely. Wrap cake(s) in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks or freeze.

Note: To make Mixed Spice, put 1 tbsp. coriander seeds, 1 crushed cinnamon stick, 1 tsp. whole cloves, and 1 tsp. allspice berries in a spice or coffee grinder. Process until finely ground. Add 1 tbsp. nutmeg and 2 tsp. ginger. Mix thoroughly by hand. Store in an airtight container.




Views: 517

Tags: Cooking, Desserts, Irish Kitchen, Irish cooking, Meals, Recipes

Comment by Barbara Minton on November 20, 2019 at 5:34am
I would be very interested in your upcoming book Teatime in Ireland!
Comment by Margaret M. Johnson on November 20, 2019 at 6:42am

Good morning Barbara. Thanks for your interest in my new book. The publisher has informed me that printing "is behind schedule" (even though I was promised delivery before Christmas), but if you'd like to place a pre-order on my site ---you'll be the first ----I'll send you two copies as a "thank you for waiting."  All the best, Margaret


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