Last weekend I undertook the baking project of making a GUMDROP FRUIT CAKE. I have so much to tell about this experience, I don’t even know where to begin. How did this come about? Well, my Mom has told me a few times about her friend Ruth that makes this cake for her family instead of the usual Christmas Fruit Cake and they love it. GUMDROPS IN CAKE? this sounded very intriguing to me.
Fast forward and I was trying to think of something I could bake for my kindergarten class as a treat before the Christmas holidays. My Mom passed on her friend’s recipe and I thought this seemed like the perfect cake for kids!
I mentioned to my friend that I was going to make this cake and she immediately told me that hearing about a gumdrop cake was like a trip back in time. She recalled that her Grandma used to make one every year.I had no idea that this was an “old” recipe (until of course I saw the ingredient measurements). I looked online for other Gumdrop cake recipes and I found several stories. Many families have fond memories of the Holiday Gumdrop cake.I find the stories of traditional recipes so interesting!
The most amazing thing is how much this cake looks like a fruitcake. It also smells like one too. I cut up slices and filled a container and the smell is wonderful, every time I lift the lid!
I set aside last Sunday afternoon to bake my cake. It was baked in a loaf pan so I was concerned that it may not be enough to feed 20 children and a few adults, so I made a 2nd loaf! The recipe said to bake it for an hour but it wasn’t done until 1& 1/2 hours. I have an issue with baking loaves – I seem to have the worst time getting them cooked through. I often opt to make muffins or mini loaves instead due to this baking stress I suffer from. The first loaf was really big in the pan so on the 2nd pan I made 1 loaf plus 2 mini loaves and cut back the cooking time a bit. My next problem came when I attempted to slice the loaf. After cooling all afternoon, it still felt warm inside and I had trouble cutting through. I waited until the next day for the 2nd cake and it cut much better.
I got mixed reviews from the very honest kindergartners!! Lots of children loved it, some apparently “HATE RAISINS” (and they got the “chat” about how they could express that in a more polite manner). A couple of children seemed to have a fear of the gumdrop and wouldn’t even taste it. Yes, they are a tough crowd of critiques.
In my opinion this fruitcake is way better than a REAL fruitcake! (sorry Mom) and it was a fun experience to make it and share it around. Most adults were quite intrigued by the idea of a gumdrop fruitcake!
My Mom’s friend was gracious enough to say I could share her family recipe. Thanks Ruth!
RECIPE (with my updated amount of ingredients since I am not good with a pound)
- 2 cups of raisins (boil them in water for 5 minutes and then drain them)
- 1 cup of applesauce
- 2 cups of Jumbo Gumdrops cut into quarters. ** Do not use the black ones
- 1 cup of butter
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups of all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. of salt
- 1 tsp. of baking soda (dissolved in 1 tbsp. of hot water)
- Cream the butter and sugar and add in the beaten eggs and only 1 cup of the flour gradually.
- Use the 2nd cup of flour to add to the gumdrops to coat them.
- Add the applesauce, raisins and remaining flour, salt and the gumdrops.
- Add the baking soda last.
- Stir and pour into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper.
- Bake at 350’F for an hour to an hour and a half.
- Let cool completely before slicing!!
Snow came to town last night and surprisingly (NOT) it was my Daughter’s travel day. She has had the worst luck in flying from Ontario, Canada to Kansas in the 2 years we have been here. Thankfully she got here fine and our drive through the blowy snow to the airport went okay too. ( I say our Canadian winter driving skills give us an edge over the locals) Now this morning I am up and there is a light covering of snow, which will look pretty when the sun comes up. I am dressed in my pyjamas and ready for the day. Yes, you heard that right! Today is our GRINCH feast and pyjama party in Kindergarten.
Thanks for stopping by and reading my Gumdrop cake story and enjoy this busy time of year!