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National Fruitcake Day is December 27, a day to celebrate every eccentric person you know. Wait! That’s not right. It’s a day for lovers of fruitcake to rejoice in the delights of the world’s most misunderstood fruit. A fruitcake is a boozy, chewy, rich amalgam of dried fruit, nuts, and sugar, saturated with your favorite alcohol, most commonly brandy or bourbon. That produces a dense, sweet, and textured treat generally served around the holidays. Fruitcakes have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs, so you know that the tradition is steeped in history as well as booze.
Are you “nutty as a fruitcake?” Find out in our fun-filled page of fruitcake trivia celebrating National Fruitcake Day.
National Fruitcake Day timeline
The earliest documented recipe for fruitcake in ancient Rome consisted of ingredients like pomegranate seeds, raisins, and pine nuts, mixed with barley.
Fruitcake made with sugar and butter was banned for some time in Europe because it was too rich and tasty.
The humble loaf also appeared in pop culture like in Truman Capote's book "A Christmas Memory," in which young Capote's eccentric cousin would bake fruitcake when, according to her, it was proper "fruitcake weather."
Shortly after National Fruitcake Day is Fruitcake Toss Day - created to get rid of leftover Christmas fruitcake.
National Fruitcake Day Activities
Have a fruitcake party
Since the ingredients of fruitcake vary widely, have a party where each guest makes his or her own version of the treat! You can even hold a contest for the best version—winner earns everlasting glory.
Give the gift of fruitcakes
Fruitcakes are a traditional gift, and mailorder fruitcakes have been around since the early 1900s. So take a note from your ancestors and order a tasty, quality fruitcake available through the mail to gift to your friends.
Make your own fruitcake
You can keep the tradition alive by creating your own fruitcake. If you don’t have a family recipe, adapt a recipe from a popular cookbook. All the ingredients can be purchased, but why not make it a family tradition to dry your own fruit? Not only will your fruitcake taste better, but it will be healthier and better for you. Toast some fresh nuts, use honey instead of sugar, and use top-shelf booze to make a real fruitcake lover’s fruitcake.
Why We Love National Fruitcake Day
Christmas is right around the corner
Fruitcakes are traditionally associated with the arrival of winter, when heavier desserts (and food in general) are served. Their popularity grew before refrigeration allowed an easy way to keep food fresh, so other means of preservation had to be devised. Pouring alcohol over them until no more could be absorbed was one way to preserve them for months, because it was believed they got better with age.
You can use any ingredients to make them
An early recipe from Rome lists pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and raisins as fruitcake's main ingredients, but any extra fruit you have lying around is fair game for this all-encompassing dessert.
Fruitcake is consumed in different forms around the world, and we mean all over. It's served in America, the Bahamas, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Germany and Ireland, among other places.
National Fruitcake Day dates