Noel Bell Fruit Cake

Noel Bell Fruit Cake

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground mace

½ teaspoon ground cloves

¾ cup butter

¾ cup firmly packed, light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1-1 pound can apricot halves, drained and chopped

¼ cup Irish whiskey

2 cups seedless raisins

8 ounces mixed, chopped candied fruits

1 ½ cups chopped pecans

8 ounces red candied cherries, halved

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Grease a 9-inch x 5-inch x 3-inch loaf pan.

1. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, mace and cloves onto wax paper.

2. Cream the butter with the brown sugar in a large bowl until fluffy and light; beat in the eggs, one at a time; stir in the apricots and whiskey. Stir in flour mixture until blended, the raisins, mixed fruits, pecans and cherries. Spoon into the prepared pan and spread the top to even out.

3. Bake for 2 hours, or until a wooden pick inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Loosen the cooled cake around the edges with a knife; turn out onto the rack.

4. Wrap the cake tightly and store several days to 2 months to mellow the flavors.

Source: Family Circle Cooking, Rockville House Publishers, Inc., 1972

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