Texas Fruitcake



As seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 279)… [A rewrite of her famous, self-published cookbook, Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; May 1983, 3rd Edition).]*

Legend has it that Puddin’ Hill has the best-darn fruitcake west of the Mississippi – and the recipe for it is a secret that has been closely guarded by a lady named Mary, and her family – who’ve made it, not just a tradition, but a reason for celebrating!


1 pound each: walnuts and dates

10-ounce package currants

20-ounce can pineapple chunks

2 jars (10-ounces each) red maraschino cherry

2 cups sugar, divided

1 cup all-purpose flour

6 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 ½ cups sugar

¼ pound (one stick) butter or margarine

1 teaspoon each: baking powder, salt, grated orange rind and lemon rind

½ teaspoon each: nutmeg and cinnamon

2 ounces brandy flavoring, or real brandy

1 cup all-purpose flour


Break up walnuts with hammer. Slice dates into 4 pieces each. Mix these with currants and set aside. Put pineapple and its juice with 1 cup of the sugar in a small sauce pan. In another small sauce pan, combine cherries with their juice and the other cup of sugar.

Let both pans simmer briskly, uncovered, about 30 minutes. Reserving the syrups, drain each. Set fruits aside to cool, spreading them out over lightly-oiled cookie sheets. Place cookie sheets of fruit in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes.

Remove [cookie sheets] to cool for 15 minutes. Combine [fruit] with the first cup of flour and walnut mixture in roasting pan. Coat every single dry particle of it with the flour.

Then beat remaining ingredients, as listed, with electric mix er on medium-high speed for 5 minutes.

Pack mixture evenly into bottom of 2 Pam-sprayed, 8-inch, square Pyrex baking dishes that have 2 layers of wax paper on bottom only.

Place dishes on cookie sheets to bake at 275°F for almost 2 hours or until toothpick inserted in center of each comes out clean.

Cool [cakes]. Cut each into 2 equal loaf-like pieces. Wrap each in a brandy-soaked cloth and then in plastic bags. Store at room temperature for 30 days to “ripen” before serving.

If you [want to] use the cakes right away, you can take the reserved syrup from the pineapple and cherries, which you set aside earlier, and combine them in a small sauce pan, until piping hot.

Remove from heat and measure the syrup. Add half as much whiskey, rum or brandy and brush the warm syrup over the cake-loaves before slicing to serve. Freezes well up to a year.

Makes 4 loaves (4 x 8” each). If prepared 30 days before serving, soak and re-soak cloth in liquor during that time, keeping them just dampened. Sealing cakes in air-tight containers – after wrapping in the cloths and in the plastic bags to keep them moist.


*Also see…

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Sweet Summertime

By TheRecipeDetective

Hi! I'm Laura Emerich and Gloria Pitzer, the ORIGINAL Secret Recipe Detective, is my mom. This website is lovingly dedicated to her memory and legacy.

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