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This recipe has been changed over the years to become a much requested gift during the holidays...friends come over and help with the prep just to be on the list to receive one...or 2.

>> If you do not have a heavy duty stand mixer, cut the recipe in half. The full recipe fills the large mixing bowl to the top and is very heavy to mix by hand.

>> Prepare at least 1 month prior to use. I usually bake mine just after Halloween.


  • 1 C dried cranberries
  • 2 lb raisins
  • 1 C dried cherries
  • Rum, about 2 cups
  • 2 C shortening
  • 2 C dark brown sugar
  • 4 C flour
  • 3 tsp mace
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Small pinch of salt
  • 7 eggs - separated
  • 2 T fruit juice
  • 2 T milk
  • 4 oz. dates -1/4” dice
  • 1 lb nutmeats - coarsely chopped
  • 1 lb candied fruit rind *(packaged or home made - recipe attached)*
  • For dredging:
  • 2 C flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • For "curing":
  • 1 (1.75L) bottle of good white rum. I use Baccardi


  • Heat cranberries, raisins and cherries with enough rum to cover completely.
  • Bring to a boil then lower heat to simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Drain cranberries, cherries and raisins, reserving liquid**
  • Spread on paper towels to help pull more moisture off.
  • Preheat oven to 275’
  • Lightly grease 8 (3x5) Reynolds aluminum loaf pans - spray is fine.
  • Cut a piece of Reynolds parchment paper to lay across the bottom and up the sides of each pan, leaving a tail on each side about an inch or so long.
  • This will insure the cakes come out without leaving fruit behind.
  • Mix flour and cinnamon for dredging.
  • Lightly coat raisins, cranberries, cherries, dates and citrus with mixture.
  • Put fruit in a colander and shake well to remove all excess flour.
  • Beat yolks till light and lemon colored and set aside.
  • Beat egg whites till stiff and dry and set aside.
  • Sift dry ingredients together, twice and set aside.
  • Cream shortening.
  • Add sugar gradually and beat for 5 min or till smooth and flluffy.
  • Add egg yolks and mix to blend well
  • Add egg whites and blend on low till just incorporated
  • Remove from mixer.
  • Fold in milk, juice, fruit and nuts
  • Last, mix in dry ingredients.
  • Beat mixture thoroughly.
  • Fill pans almost to top - Dip a spatula in rum and smooth the tops.
  • Bake approx. 3 hours.
  • Test for doneness with a toothpick.
  • For larger size pans - baking time increases to 3-4+ hours.
  • Leave loaves in pan to cool -
  • While still warm (not hot), pour ½ oz. rum over each cake.
  • Let sit overnight.
  • Second day - remove from pan, remove parchment, wrap in cheesecloth.
  • Wash and dry the aluminum pans then put the wrapped cake back into the clean foil pans.
  • Wrap pan in Reynolds parchment paper and fold to close. Poke a few holes with a knife to leave openings so liquid can evaporate.
  • Store in a cool place.
  • Third day - pour ½ oz. of rum on each cake - close loosely
  • Repeat rum every other week till 2 weeks before gift time.
  • Open covering entirely.
  • Remove cakes from pans.
  • Leave the cheesecloth wrappings.
  • Turn cakes every few days to distribute moisture and dry surface of cake.
  • For gifting, remove cheesecloth, put in a new pan and wrap in transparent colored plastic wrap.
  • *Use peel from orange, lemon, and grapefruit - 1/4" dice. Cover with water, bring to a boil. Drain and rinse in cold water. Return to pan, add sugar and water to cover (1 part sugar to 2 parts water). Bring to boil, then simmer on med-low till liquid is evaporated. Spread on parchment lined cookie sheet, separating the pieces to cool.*
  • **Take reserved liquid from fruit and use in cocktails OR simmer to reduce to a syrup…serve over ice cream, bread pudding, French toast…etc.**

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