Category: Recipes

Christmas fruitcake cupcakes

This is my fantastic old recipe for the Best Christmas Fruitcake Ever, but in a new form. Fruitcake cupcakes!

It’s always so popular, so sweet and moist, that even though the recipe makes 5 small loaves, it’s never enough to give a nice looking piece to the number of people I want to share it with.

So this year I tried baking it in muffin cups–with some success.  I immediately discovered that if it’s not a loaf, you’ll want to cut the cherries into smaller pieces. (When you slice the loaf the cherries automatically get sliced.) That left me digging the cherries out of the batter–well, you get the picture. The alternative would be to put in a lot more cherries! I’ll leave that decision to you.

I started with the tiny muffin/ cupcake tins, 1 1/2 inches in diameter, and saw right away that the fruit mix was too coarse for that size–and that you’d want to do something about that before mixing into the batter. (see above) Also, they baked too fast and got very crispy on the top. Basically little rocks. Most of those went into the compost. 🙁

Regular sized muffin tins worked well though, but I would still recommend cutting up the cherries. I tried putting a half a candied cherry on top but most of them sank into the mix.

Other than that, they were very successful! 🙂

This recipe is so moist (it’s the jam and pineapple) that you really don’t have to wrap the cakes cloths soaked in brandy, or fruit juice, or, my favorite, Fireball. So I’m not planning on wrapping the cupcakes. (Although I will wrap the loaves in brandy soaked cloths, and foil, and put them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator until Christmas.)

But I would suggest baking them in paper or, even better, foil lined muffin cups (they might stick to paper) since they get slightly candied on top and stick to the tins. I didn’t do that and had to cut them out of the tins.

And only bake for one hour thirty minutes, checking occasionally from one hour on.

Get The Best Christmas Fruitcake Ever recipe HERE.

It’s a great recipe, nothing like the dry cakes you buy in the supermarket. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

PS _ The winner of the print copy of The Good Neighbor in November’s Facebook sweepstakes was Teresa Byrd! Congratulations Teresa!

Watch for next month’s contest when you’ll be able to enter in comments on the blog post too.

 

Cherry Cake

I had a house full this week, my niece, her partner and their 5 children visiting and, it being cherry season here in BC, I took the opportunity to make my favorite Cherry Cake. It’s sort of like the French Clafoutis but the beaten egg whites make it more of a cake, less pie. And the almond extract makes it smell amazing!

We’ve been lucky to have a prolific cherry tree for many years and I make this cake form either fresh or frozen cherries.  Best eaten the first day – as if you could resist!

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Print Recipe
Cherry Cake
A light un-iced cherry cake bursting with juicy cherries.
Cuisine Sweet Treats
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
pieces
Ingredients
Cuisine Sweet Treats
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
pieces
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Wash and pit cherries.
  2. Separate eggs and set yolks aside. Beat egg whites until stiff. Set aside in another bowl.
  3. Cream butter. Add the sugar. Add egg yolks and almond extract and beat vigorously.
  4. Mix in flour and salt.
  5. Butter mixture will be quite stiff. Add a bit of the egg whites to soften, then fold egg whites into butter mixture. Do not over blend.
  6. Butter 9" X 9" baking pan (or slightly larger) and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Pour in batter and stud with drained cherries.
  7. Bake at 375° F. for 30 minutes. Cool and sprinkle with icing sugar to decorate if you wish.
  8. Enjoy.

Long Weekend Rhubarb Cake

It doesn’t feel like a summer long weekend to me without the rhubarb coffee cake my mother-in-law Betty always served at the cottage.

The Canadian and American July long weekends fall just a few days apart; July 1, Canada Day, the big 150 this year, and the Fourth of July. If your house is like ours, people are coming and going all weekend. We spent Canada Day at my sister-in-law’s lake house this year, and I brought the rhubarb cake as a tribute to Betty.

Sweet, not too rhubarb-y, it’s perfect anytime when you have a houseful.

Have a wonderful holiday!


Print Recipe
Rhubarb Coffee Cake
Everyone loves this sweet coffee cake.
Cuisine Sweet Treats
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
13 x 9 pan
Ingredients
Cuisine Sweet Treats
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
13 x 9 pan
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. - cream butter and sugar
  2. - beat in eggs and vanilla
  3. - sift together flour, salt and soda and add to creamed mixture alternating with buttermilk
  4. - toss rhubarb with 1 tsp flour and mix in by hand.
  5. - pour into buttered 13 x 9 pan
  6. - Mix butter, cinnamon & brown sugar and sprinkle on top of cake
  7. - bake for 45 minutes.

Raspberry & White Chocolate Macarons

Last week I was channeling Louise, the pastry chef in Home for Christmas as I made a ridiculously fancy but really quite easy to make batch of Raspberry and White Chocolate Macarons. People often ask if my characters are like me, or me them, and I always say no but, the truth is, there is a bit of me in most of them.

My editor Stephanie Webb is hosting a tea the next day (she’s a Brit) to celebrate the birthday of a mutual friend. “A good excuse to air out the linen,” she said. She’s done it before and it’s lots of fun. She made fancy party sandwiches and little cakes – scones last time if I remember correctly. But when I saw her last week I heard myself say, “I’ll bring a plate of fancy cookies.”

Fancy, because anything she made for this event was bound to be fancy, but any one who knows me well knows that Oatmeal Chocolate Chip, or Children’s Delight is my normal baking style. Something hearty with a little food value. I  used to cut the amount of sugar in half and until my kids refused to eat my cookies. Now I rarely make cookies at all, but these macarons caught my eye in a flier in the paper and strangely, I had just cleaned out the baking cupboard and knew I had all the ingredients: white chocolate, ground almonds, raspberry freezer jam (the best!).

The macarons were much easier than I anticipated. Not really  a trick at all. I made the macarons the day before while watching the World Figure Skating Championships on TV (Yay Canada!) and made the filling Sunday morning before the party.

They were such a hit, I thought I’d put the recipe here to give you time to make them for a special Easter dinner treat.

Louise would be proud.

Get the recipe HERE

Let me know how they turn out.

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Best Christmas Fruitcake Ever

First, I want to thank everyone who came to the facebook launch of Home for Christmas, the last of this first batch of Fortune Bay books. (Don’t worry, there should be another one coming out next summer, 2017. Join my mailing list for news of new books.)

It was great to hang out with some readers who are quickly becoming friends, and to meet so many new potential readers from as far away as  South Africa, Holland, New Zealand and Australia!

I promised to put up my recipe for fruit cake – guaranteed to turn skeptics into fans. So here it is.

The secret is the strawberry jam, kirsch brandy, pineapple step.
It still tastes like fruit cake, just moist and fruity and good.

I got this recipe from my mother-in-law, who originally found it in the Toronto Star many years ago. Apparently it was sent in by a reader from Winchester Ontario which, coincidentally is where my sister lives. I love when synchronicity happens!

There are quite a few steps, but worth the trouble. It doesn’t really take that long and you end up with fruitcake to eat and give away.

My recipe says “make in late October”, so I better get at it!

Judy

Print Recipe
Best Christmas Fruitcake Ever
Guaranteed to turn skeptics into fans. The secret is the strawberry jam, kirsch brandy, pineapple step. It still tastes like fruit cake, just moist and fruity and good. Originally called "Willis Fruit Cake".
Prep Time 2 days
Cook Time 2 hr 20 min.
Passive Time 2 months
Servings
mini-loafs
Ingredients
Day 1, Group 2
Day 2, Group 3
Prep Time 2 days
Cook Time 2 hr 20 min.
Passive Time 2 months
Servings
mini-loafs
Ingredients
Day 1, Group 2
Day 2, Group 3
Instructions
Day 1, Group 1
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl, cover with plastic and leave at room temperature overnight.
Day 1, Group 2
  1. Simmer pineapple and sugar for 45 minutes, stirring frequently. Cool and stir in brandy. Refrigerate overnight.
Day 2, Group 3
  1. Pre-heat oven to 275°.
  2. Mix dry ingredients.
  3. In a very large bowl, toss fruit and nuts in 1/2 cup of dry ingredients.
  4. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time.
  5. Stir in dry ingredients alternating with pineapple mixture. Combine lightly between additions.
  6. Pour over flour-coated fruit and nuts mixture. Mix well.
  7. Pour into prepared pans. (I line mine with parchment paper.) Put in preheated oven with a baking dish of water to keep loaves from drying out.
  8. Bake at 275° for 2 hr and 20 min.
  9. Cool. Wrap in brandy soaked cloths (or rum, Fireball or fruit juice). Wrap with foil and store at room temperature in a cool room.
  10. Douse periodically with brandy or juices as the cloth dries out.
  11. Enjoy at Christmas and beyond.