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Love or Hate? Join the Fruitcake debate!

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So, if we love fruit, and we love cake, why does everyone hate fruitcake? The butt of many holiday jokes, this dessert is rich with dried fruits, nuts, and history! It was introduced to the Americas by way of Europe in the 16th century.

This cake originated during lean times when people would not have access to fruits or desserts during the winter months. Instead, they would prepare fruitcakes in the summer months with dried or leftover fruit and stowed them away for the winter. These cakes were generally made with love since they were extremely labor-intensive; the process included shelling nuts and peeling fruits. Because of this, fruit cakes were held with high regard and eaten on special occasions.

Traditional fruitcake is not just a cake with fruit inside. The fruits and nuts used in fruitcakes have to be dried or soaked in sugar. Because of the sugar, fruitcake doesn't spoil for a long time. Some people will make a fruitcake every year that are meant to be eaten the next year. There are even some fruitcakes that are okay to eat after being kept for 25 years.

Can you make fruitcake healthy and taste good? The answer is yes!

We found this healthy fruitcake recipe that you and your guests will enjoy at any holiday gathering. Unlike traditional fruit cake, this recipe yields a tender loaf that is full of warm holiday spices and brandy-soaked dried fruit.

First, add 3 tbsp of chopped dried cranberries, 3 tbsp chopped dried blueberries, 3 tbsp chopped dried apricots, and 3 tbsp chopped dried pineapple into a plastic container with 9 tbsp of brandy. Seal the lid on top and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

Next, preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly coat a 9x5" loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk together 2 cups of whole wheat flour, 11/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 1/2 ground cinnamon, and 1/4 salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the 1 tbsp unsalted melted butter and one large egg. Stir in 2 tbsp of molasses and 1/2 cup of maple syrup. Next, alternate between adding the flour mixture and milk to the egg mixture, stirring just until it is incorporated. Then fold in the drained, dried fruit.

Finally, spread the batter into your pan and bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Give this recipe a try! We promise it will have you thinking of fruitcake in a different light. What to try something different? Check out this fruitcake cookie recipe!

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