I know the word fruitcake turns a lot of people off. It used to turn me off! That's why doling it out in smaller donut-shaped cakes as opposed to a big brick is a kind gesture. But it just so happens that these super-boozy fruitcakes are delicious. I found just the right recipe, messed with it just a little bit, and now these things are headed in some Christmas packages to the East Coast, and to all of our holiday parties, and right into my own mouth. AND, this is donut pan idea no. 60! Five dozen donut pan ideas in the can! So that means another giveaway. That's coming up this week, but for now, boozy fruitcake donuts!
I adapted this recipe by Alton Brown, which yields 18 fruitcake donuts. You can use his dried fruit measurements, but I found a mixed fruit bag at the grocery store that was a major shortcut in my dried fruit ingredient assembly (see below).
To make the donuts, you will need two bags dried berry blend (containing golden raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries and dried blueberries, yielding 1 1/4 c. each bag), 1/2 c. dried apricots, grated zest of one lemon and one orange (chop instead of grate for a more traditional fruitcake flavor), 1/4 c. candied ginger, 1 c. gold rum, 1 c. sugar, 1 1/4 stick (5 oz.) unsalted butter, 1 c. unfiltered apple juice, 1/4 tsp. ground cloves, 1/4 tsp. ground allspice, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1 tsp. ground ginger, 1 3/4 c. all purpose flour, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. baking powder, 2 eggs, 1/2 c. toasted pecan pieces and 1/2 c. to 1 c. brandy for basting the cakes.
You will also need a pastry brush, baking spray for the pans and a pastry bag with no tip for filling the pans.
That tea towel is another beautiful design by my friend Anna Branning of Dutch Door Press, by the way!
Add to a non-reactive bowl with the 2 1/2 c. total dried berry and golden raisin mix.
Grate (or coarsely chop) the zest of the lemon and orange.
Add the zest to the bowl and mix to combine thoroughly. Add the 1 c. of rum and mix again until all of the fruit is soaking in rum. Cover the bowl loosely with a piece of wax paper with a small plate over it to hold it down and let macerate overnight.
When you are ready to bake the next day, preheat your oven to 325º. Pour the fruit and rum mixture into a non-reactive pot. Add in the butter, sugar, spices and apple juice, and bring to a boil, stirring often to make sure the butter melts. Reduce the head and simmer for 10 minutes.
After you are done simmering the fruit, pour the mixture back into the bowl it came from and let cool for 15-20 minutes. While it is cooling, you can spray your pans with baking spray and prepare your dry ingredients.
To prepare the dry ingredients, just add the salt, baking powder and baking soda to the flour and whisk together.
Combine the dry mixture into the fruit mixture quickly with a wooden spoon. Add the two eggs one at a time until completely incorporated into the batter, then stir in the pecan bits.
Fill your pastry bag (with no tip) with the batter and pipe into the prepared donut pans. I had exactly enough for 18 donuts. Perfect!
Set them in the 325º oven to bake. Mine baked perfectly in 33 minutes. Watch yours and remove from oven when set up and golden, with a toothpick coming out clean after insertion.
Set the pans on wire racks and quickly brush a liberal dose of brandy onto each donut. Contrary to the original recipe, you want to get the cakes out of the donut pans within the first ten minutes or so. Wait until they are firm enough to handle, but not so long that the sugars from the fruit cool and crystalize to the sides of the pans or they won't be easy to remove. Pry with a butter knife gently if you've waited too long and they are being stubborn. Set the fruitcake donuts in one layer on a baking sheet.
While they are lined up on the pan, baste lightly with brandy again.
From here, store them in a air-tight container and baste them every two to three days with brandy as they become dry. You can keep that up for two weeks if you really want to get boozy about it.
Wrap 'em up and give them to your loved ones! These will change the way they feel about fruitcake, I promise! Merry merry! xo