Fruit cakes are longtime family tradition

Published 12:03 am Saturday, December 22, 2012

Hazel Jordan’s friends and church members will tell you that she is forever baking something good to share.

She bakes cookies to share at church every Wednesday night; knows which friend or neighbor wants a Lane cake; and for Thanksgiving and Christmas, she is in the fruit cake business. It’s a task that became hers after she married in 1949.

“I started trying with the fruit cake in 1950, I reckon,” she said. “I’ve been making fruitcakes ever since.”

Her mother-in-law taught her, she said, “because my mother was not very good at it.”

Jordan grew up working part time in the print shop where her father was employed, met her husband in the print shop, and spent her career at what became The Star-News. Cooking was something she fit around work and print schedules.

“My family loves to eat,” she said. “So I bake a lot.”

As she prepared to go to her daughter’s house for Christmas, she had baking to get done. She was also expected in Birmingham early.

“I didn’t teach my daughters about cooking because I don’t like to have people in the kitchen with me,” she said. “But they want me to teach them to make peanut brittle, so we’ll do that.”

Her fruitcake recipe follows:


Fruit Cake

1 pound nuts

1 pound currants

1 pound seedless raisings

½ pound citron

½ pound candied orange peel

1 pound candied cheeries

1 lb. candied pineapple

1 pound flour, sifted

1 pound light brown sugar

1 pound butter

9 eggs

¾ tsp. cloves

¾ tsp. nutmeg

¾ tsp. mace

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. soda

½ tsp. salt

¼ cup milk


Chop nut and fruits; dredge in half the flour. Cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Sift remaining flour and other dry ingredients together. Add milk and dry ingredients alternately to cake batter. Add nuts and fruits. Mix thoroughly.

Set oven at 275 degrees. Cook approximately four hours. Check after 2.5 hours.


Note: One pound of cake flour is 4 ¾ cups sifted flour; all purpose flour has four cups. To cut down on cost of fruits, you cn use three pounds of mixed fruit for the citron, orange peel, cherries and pineapple.