We know what you are thinking- "Yuck, fruit cake!"
We started this experiment with the thought that this wasn't going to be a great recipe. It would be just ok because who actually like fruit cake?? After brainstorming different ways to make it desirable we came up with the most delicious and satisfying fruit cake you will ever eat!
We had rules: no fluorescent "fruit", it shouldn't be the same weight as a small child, and it didn't actually need to last a whole year in our pantry. We also looked up the history of a fruit cake and found it to be really interesting and enlightening. Our number one question was why would anyone intentionally NOT eat a cake for years?
Well come to find out, it symbolized harvest time and served as hope that the upcoming harvest would also be fruitful. You can read more about that here.
We decided to use a good amount of dried fruit and nuts, replaced some of the butter with applesauce, and used a good amount of vanilla, because vanilla is fabulous!
Our fruit cake is also portable. We would totally turn everything into a muffin if we had our way. Muffins just make life easier. We enjoyed ours (yes we had multiple) with egg nog but also plan to have one in the morning with tea. Yum!
You must give these a try. You can think of them as a granola bar, scone and muffin all in one. So good!
Fruit Cake Muffins
1/3 cup dried strawberries, chopped
1/3 cup dried papaya, chopped
1/3 cup dried figs, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup of Irish whiskey
1/2 cup toasted almonds, chopped
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped
1/2 cup cinnamon spiced pecans, chopped
1 stick of butter, softened
4 oz of cinnamon applesauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a muffin pan and set aside. Add the whiskey to a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add all the fruit and simmer about five minutes until the fruit starts to get plump (but not too plump). Spoon out the fruit and mix with the chopped nuts in a bowl. Set aside both the fruit and nut mixture and the whiskey. Cream the butter and sugar. Mix in the applesauce. Add the eggs and mix until incorporated. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, and orange zest. Mix in the flour and baking powder and mix until incorporated. Fold in the fruit and nuts. Fill the prepared muffin tin about two-thirds full for each muffin. Bake for 30 minutes, until the muffins are brown. Heat up the reserved whiskey and drizzle on each muffin. Store in an air tight container.