Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Little apricot fruitcakes

It had been awhile since I made these little cakes for Christmas kitchen gifts, but this year seemed like the opportune time when I found a good buy on apricots at a local discount store.  At the same store, I found something I used to have -- food-safe holiday tissue paper and colored foil -- but that I have not seen in years, not even on the internet, and I've looked!  Finding those lovely wraps -- there was also a white tissue with blue snowflakes -- just confirmed to me that I should make the apricot cakes again.  In the above photo you see my cakes all wrapped up ready to give.  Here's the recipe:

1/2 cup water 

1/2 cup sugar
2 cups dried apricots, quartered
1 3/4 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder  

1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar

3 eggs 
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup raisins (either dark, golden, or a combination of both)
1 cup chopped dates
Grated rind of 1 orange

1/2 cup chopped walnuts   

1/2 cup slivered almonds

A day ahead, combine the water and 1/2 c. sugar in a small saucepan; bring to a boil and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat, pour over apricot pieces; stir and let stand, covered, in a cool place overnight. (I put them in the fridge.)

Next day, sift dry ingredients together onto wax paper, then return them to sifter and sift again. With electric beater, cream butter and 1 c. sugar until light. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each; beat in vanilla. Toss raisins, dates, orange rind and nuts with 2 Tablespoons of the flour mixture. Fold the flour, the fruits/nuts, and the apricots (lifted from their syrup with a slotted spoon) into the creamed mixture just until well distributed. 

Heat oven to 350ยบ. Turn batter into a well greased and floured tube or Bundt pan, or use smaller pans. I use about 9-10 small loaf pans. Bake tube or Bundt pan about 1 hour 15 minutes or until golden brown and beginning to pull away from sides of pan. (Obviously, bake smaller pans for a shorter time.  My small loaves take 35 to 40 minutes.) 
If using large pan, let cake cool in pan for about 30 minutes, then turn out on wire rack to finish 
cooling. For the small pans, let them cool 5 minutes or so before turning out on rack to finish cooling, as the cakes above are doing.  Those are Eggnog Logs in the background.

This wonderful recipe is from Cook & Tell December 1988.   I love to make this in little loaf pans to include in gift baskets for friends and neighbors.

If you enjoy apricots or a really tasty fruitcake (which most are not!),  I hope you'll give this recipe a try.  The little cakes are festive, but they would make nice kitchen gifts any time of year, not just at Christmas.


  1. YUMMY!! Thank you for sharing!
    Happy New Year,

  2. I hope you will enjoy these if you try them, Carla! They are a favorite of mine.

  3. Lovely recipe and I'm sure the gifts were very well received.

  4. Thanks, Lucie! Hope you enjoy the apricot cakes if you try them. Wish you lived closer ... I still have a couple of them in the freezer!


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