This recipe contains enough batter to make 3 medium-sized cakes using 8×8-inch baking pans. Bake the cakes for longer if you’re using 2 larger 9×5-inch loaf pans. If you’re using 1 giant cake pan, your baking time could be closer to 2 hours.
1 ⅓ cups seedless raisins
1 ½ cups golden seedless raisins
1 cup prunes, chopped
1 ¼ cups dried cranberries
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
1 cup dried dates, chopped
1 heaping cup pecans, chopped
zest and juice of 1 orange
zest and juice of 1 lemon
¾ cup brandy, or your favorite liqueur, extra for feeding (optional)
1 cup salted butter, about 2 sticks, softened
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
¼ cup honey
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
5 medium eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup sour cream
- Prepare the ingredients by chopping the dried fruits and nuts. Grate the zest from the lemon and orange. Cut the lemon and orange in half and squeeze out the juice.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the dried fruits, nuts, orange zest and juice, lemon zest and juice, brandy, butter, brown sugar, and honey. When the mixture comes to a boil, turn the heat down to simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes. Then turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 300º F.
- Prepare your baking pans by lining them with parchment paper.
- Sift the dry ingredients (the flour, baking powder, and spices) into a large bowl. Stir the dry ingredients when sifting to ensure they are mixed evenly.
- Crack the eggs into another mixing bowl and discard the shells. Beat the eggs to combine the egg whites and yolks. Add the vanilla extract into the eggs. Stir to combine.
- Check the fruit and nut mixture has sufficiently cooled so that it won’t cook the raw eggs when you add them in. Stir in the sour cream and mix until combined. Stir in the raw eggs with vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
- Pour the fruit mixture into the flour mixture. Fold until fully combined. Dig into the bottom of the bowl when mixing to ensure there are no lingering pockets of flour. The cake batter will be relatively stiff and heavy.
- Divide the batter across the prepared baking pans. Level the top with your spatula to create a smoother surface.
- Bake in the preheated oven. Your baking time will vary depending on the size of your cake pans. Check the cakes after 45 minutes of baking with a cake tester (or toothpick). The tester should come out clean when the cakes are done. My cakes were done after 1 hour and 15 minutes using 7×7-inch cake pans. If you’re using bigger pans, test after 1 hour has passed. Check them every 10 minutes after the first test to prevent overbaking.
- Remove the cakes from the oven when the tester comes out clean.