My Mother’s “Past Perfect” Fruitcake

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield:


    or More Servings.

Appears in

Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking

Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1987

  • About


  • 4 cups shelled pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups whole candied cherries
  • 5 slices candied pineapple, each slice cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 cup flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • teaspoon salt, if desired
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
  • Butter the bottom and sides of an 8-cup cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper cut to fit neatly. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the pecans, cherries, and pineapple pieces.
  • Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a sifter, and sift the mixture over the pecans and fruits.
  • Combine the eggs, sugar, and vanilla in another bowl and beat well. Pour this over the pecan-and-fruit mixture and beat with a wooden spoon to blend thoroughly.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake 1½ hours. Set the pan in a larger pan and pour boiling water around it. Continue baking 15 minutes longer.
  • Let cool on a rack, then slice and serve. Or wrap the fruitcake in several layers of cheesecloth and store in a cool place.