[Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories] Fruitcake!?

Welcome to MyNeChimKi’s Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories! Thanks to Geneabloggers for developing these fantastic prompts for some holiday spirited blogging. Over the next month we’ll be blogging about some of our fondest Christmas memories.

Today’s topic: Fruitcake — Friend or Foe?

I’ll be honest, the likes of fruitcake has never graced my lips. I’m not exactly sure why, but I’ll take a wild guess and surmise that it probably has to do with how picky I was as a kid. Then, and still now, I believed that the only appropriate dessert was one that contained chocolate… lots and lots of chocolate, and strictly nothing else. I think that pretty much leaves out fruitcake.

My only experience with fruitcake what-so-ever was a choir song by the same name that I sang my freshman year in high school. It was interactive to say the least. Our rendition at the Loudoun County High School was punctuated with each section of vocal parts tossing various ingredients to fruitcake in the air while we merrily sung along. That is literally my only experience “making” fruitcake.

However, on both sides of my mother’s family there are handed down recipes for fruitcake. Apparently it hasn’t been an age old tradition of thinking fruitcake is a foe! Today I will share with you my Great-Grandmother America (Compton) Tommey’s recipe:

Egless [sic] Fruit Cake
Original Recipe from World War One

2-Cups Sugar
1- Cup butter or marjorine [sic], melted
2-Cups butter milk
2-Teaspoons Soda
4½-Cups flour

1-Teaspoon of each: – cinnamon, cloves, all spice and nutmeg

(I usually leave out the allspice makes it so dark.  Also I add 2 eggs and ½ cup apple sauce.  Can add any fruit you like.)

Preparation: – In a large bowl mix well all dry ingredients, except raisins & nuts, add last, roll them in ½ cup of above flour befor adding. Stir into dry mixture, butter milk then shortening, whatever, last stir in raisins and nuts which have been rolled in the flour. This is to keep them from all coming to the top of batter. Always stir never beat. Makes stiff batter. Makes four (4) layers, 8″ or 9″ pans bake until done. test when toothpick comes out clean, from test in center of pan.
Let cool in pan as breaks easily while hot.

“Iceing” [sic]

2 cups sugar
¾ cups butter or (marjorine [sic])
¾ cups sweet milk
½ cup molasses (sorghum) (I use dark Karo)

Boil or cook in large skillet until forms soft ball. Remove from stove, add one (1) teaspoon, or more if like, vanilla flavoring. Beat until cool enough to ice cool cake, between layers and all over. Place cold cake in airtight container. Bake 2-4 weeks before eating, longer the better. Pour grape juice on cake at intervals to…

Sadly, the rest of the recipe is cut off, so I suppose we’ll never know what the grape juice is for. I’m guessing it’s to keep it moist. I’d also venture that the grape juice maybe a substitute for wine in some other recipes. But the Tommeys were good Southern Baptists… or “teetotalers” as I have heard them referred to on more than on occasion! 🙂

America Ann (Compton) Tommey, age unknown

America (Compton) Tommy's Fruitcake recipe, in her own hand


  1. Maybe the grape juice fermented after time, and the fruit cake ended up being something a Southern Baptist could eat, enjoy a little buzz, and not feel guilty about?

    Mom’s family was Southern Baptist, too, so we didn’t have an ‘spirits’ around our house, either. And seldom any fruitcake, either.
    .-= Sherry Kline´s last blog ..SNGF – My Santa Genealogy Wish List =-.

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