Choose an old fashioned Light Christmas Cake recipe from Grandma's recipe box. These fruit cakes with their lighter, more delicate textures are so moist and delicious, especially so for anyone who doesn't care for a heavier, darker fruit cake.
Make a light fruit cake for the Holidays or for a homemade treat that can be enjoyed year-round. Frosted or non frosted, they taste naturally fruity and especially good.
Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (1920s)
1 cup butter, 2 cups sugar, 6 eggs, 1/2 cup milk, 3-1/2 cups flour, 3 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 pound seeded raisins, 1/2 pound seedless raisins, 1/2 pound dates, 1/2 pound almonds, 1/2 cup citron peel thinly sliced. Mix and bake in a slow oven (250°F).
4 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 pound each of crystallized orange peel, lemon peel, pineapple, and red cherries, finely cut
1 pound blanched almonds, finely cut
1 cup butter or other shortening
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound sultana raisins
1/2 pound citron peel, finely cut
1 tablespoon lemon juice
10 egg whites, stiffly beaten
Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder, soda, salt, and sift together three times. Sift 1 cup of this flour mixture over fruit and nuts; mix thoroughly.
Cream shortening thoroughly, add sugar gradually, and cream together until light and fluffy.
Add remaining flour mixture to creamed mixture, a small amount at a time. Beat after each additional until smooth. Add lemon juice, fruits and nuts.
Fold in egg whites. Pour into a paper-lined tube pan or small bread pans. Bake in a slow oven, 250°F, 2-1/2 hours, then increase to 300°F, for 15 minutes.
This light Christmas cake recipe makes a fruit cake of particularly fine texture. Only the whites of the eggs are used, but if you make a dark fruit cake at the same time, you can use the yolks of the eggs in the dark cake.
For instance, substitute 2 egg yolks for a whole egg in any recipe for dark fruit cake and add 1/2 tablespoonful of water to every 2 yolks. This substitution would not be satisfactory in a cake where lightness is desired, but it gives a good rich fruit cake.
One and a half cups white sugar, 1/2 pound butter, 4 eggs beaten light, 3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 pound white raisins, 1/2 pound citron peel, 1/2 pound candied cherries, 1/2 pound blanched almonds. Lemon flavoring to suit. Bake in a slow oven (250°F) about 2 hours in paper-lined tins.
Cream 1 cup of butter with 1 of sugar, add 5 drops of oil of cinnamon, 2 of oil of cloves, and 3 of nutmeg, 5 beaten egg yolks, the grated peel of 1 lemon and 1 orange, 1 tablespoon vanilla, 1/4 cup of brandy, and 1-3/4 cups of flour sifted with 1 teaspoon of baking powder.
Add the beaten egg whites. Dredge with flour 1/2 cup of seeded and chopped raisins, 1/2 cup of currants, 1/2 cup of shredded almonds, and 1 cup of sultana raisins.
Add the fruit, turn into paper-lined and buttered tube pan, spread a concentrically positioned layer of blanched almonds on top, brush with slightly beaten egg white, dust with salt.
Bake in a slow oven (325°F) 45 minutes. This cake will keep for weeks. —One Hundred Picnic Suggestions (1915)
1 pound butter
1 pound sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour
1 pound candied pineapple
1/2 pound candied cherries, half red and half green
1/4 pound citron
1 package white raisins
1 cup chopped Brazil nuts
1 cup chopped walnuts
—Yuletide Favorites 1950s
Two and one-half pounds icing sugar (sifted), 4 egg whites (large), juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon glycerine, 1 tiny drop blue coloring to make the icing snowy white.
Place egg whites in a bowl and add sugar very gradually, beating continually until all sugar is added, then add lemon juice, beat again.
Add glycerine and blue coloring and continue beating until very smooth. Don't skimp on the beating.
This Royal Icing will be quite hard on the outside, but will not break or crumble when cut, and is perfect for cake decorating purposes. It will make any cake appear extra special.
Let's face it, not everyone likes the rich taste of dark fruitcakes. Comedians even joke about them, calling them boat anchors and doorstops.
However, I often wonder whether those who joke have ever tasted a genuine Old Fashioned Christmas Cake like Grandma's.
However, to be fair, while some enjoy the taste of fruit and almonds, they simply prefer a more delicate, lighter texture and flavor in their fruit cakes.
If that describes you, the good news is, you can have your cake and eat it too. Choose a Light Christmas Cake recipe from Grandma's favorites, and the result will please almost everybody.
Say, why not give your friends and family a choice this Christmas season? You can make both a light AND a dark fruitcake.