These little beauties were designed to be baked in mini loaf pans (5.5 x 10 x 3 cm), but I have 2 sets of large muffin tins (same volume as the mini loaves), so what’s outlined below worked for 12 mini whiskey round cakes perfectly.  I found this recipe in Anna Olson’s ‘Back to Baking’, book and it’s been on my list to try at Christmas for a couple of years now…so glad I did – they were a hit!  Just plan ahead, it’s best to soak the fruit, nuts and spices in the whisky overnight – enjoy!

Whiskey Fruitcakes – makes 12 mini-fruitcakes or large muffins

2 c. raisins

1 c. EACH chopped dates, chopped dried apricots, chopped dried figs AND dried cranberries

1 c. EACH sliced almonds AND pecan halves

1 t. EACH cinnamon AND ground ginger

1/4 t. EACH ground cloves AND ground nutmeg

1 c. whisky (I used Alberta Premium) + extra for brushing

1 1/4 c. flour

1/2 t. EACH baking powder AND salt

1 whole orange, scrubbed – ends trimmed off, quartered and seeds removed, leave the peel on

1 c. dark brown sugar

4 eggs, room temperature

1 T. vanilla

Combine all 12 ingredients – raisins thru whiskey – in a large bowl, cover loosely and leave overnight so that the fruit soaks up all of the liquid.  Give the mix a stir when you think of it.

When you’re ready to get baking, preheat the oven to 300 and grease the pans/tins that you’re using, I used a bit of oil to keep these lactose-free.  Sprinkle the flour, baking soda and salt over the soaked fruit and stir until well combined.  Put the orange into your food processor with the brown sugar and blend, then add in the eggs and vanilla and blend again until all is pureed.  Pour the puree over the fruit, mix well, then spoon and pack the batter into your prepared tins.

Bake for about 35 minutes – I had 2 pans so I baked them 20 minutes, rotated the pans (on the same middle rack), then baked them for 15 more minutes.  These are very difficult to tell when they’re ready, but a cake tester inserted into the middle of one should come out clean.  Brush the fruitcakes with whiskey while still in their tins, then leave them in their tins until they cool completely.

Remove the cakes from the tins when cool, brush with whiskey 2 more times, allowing each application to soak in, then wrap them well to store.  Each cake should be left to sit for about 5 days before enjoying for optimum flavor.  They can be stored for up to a month, but I’ve also frozen a couple that I didn’t give away.  Merry Christmas!

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