Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Mrs. Freeman's Pumpkin Fruitcake

Mrs. Freeman was a sweet lady who lived just across the fence from us when I was a child. In her upper 80's, she knew the names of all her neighbors. I loved to visit her and we would have long conversations as she poured jams and jellies into baby food jars. These would be gifts for neighbors along with the most delicious pumpkin fruitcake you ever put in your mouth. Each baked in a tomato soup can and wrapped in foil, then Christmas paper and ribbon- they were special gifts. I wish I had her recipe, but I was only 8 and didn't know the importance of such things! This one's from Taste of Home and I've made it many times. It's moist and delicious, filled with pecans and dates, raisins and cherries and none of that yucky citron that makes people hate fruitcake to begin with.

Pumpkin Fruitcake 
3/4 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup raisins
10 red candied cherries, chopped
1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon Spice Islands® pure vanilla extract
2 to 3 tablespoons milk
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs; mix well. Stir in pumpkin. Combine the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Fold in the pecans, dates, raisins and cherries.
Spoon into a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan. Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
For glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Drizzle over cake. Yield: 12 servings.
If you'd like to try baking in the cans, just like Mrs. Freeman... here's another recipe that would be great for gift giving, complete with directions for baking times in soup cans!

Walnut-Date Bread 
3/4 cup walnuts,finely chopped
1 cup sliced dates
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup boiling water
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups sifted flour
Combine nuts, dates,soda and salt in mixing bowl. Add shortening and boiling water. Let stand 15 minutes, stir to blend.
Beat eggs slightly, add vanilla. Sift in sugar and flour and stir until dry ingredients are moistened. (This is a very stiff mixture.) Add to date mixture, mixing until well blended.
Grease 4 soup cans (10 1/2 or 11 oz. size). Pour batter into cans,filling two thirds full. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake 350° for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 minutes longer or until center test done. Cool 15 minutes and remove from cans. Cool completely.

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold,
everything is softer and more beautiful."
Norman Vincent Peale


  1. I've never heard of pumpkin fruit cake but it sounds yummy! I've looked for a date bread recipe like this one. I'm definitely trying it. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Well, that recipe sound delicious!...:)JP

  3. Love your recollection of little old lady and, like OK Granny, I've never heard of a pumpkin fruitcake either.

  4. I am so sorry to hear about your parents health. That is so difficult. Mine passed away 15 and 20 years ago. May you be blessed with the strength you need to help where you can!

    I loved your story about your neighbor. I loved my elderly neighbors too. Wish I had learned more from them too. How fun that as you make the fruitcake you remember her in her kitchen. Food does create powerful memories doesn't it?

  5. I am the only person I know that loves fruitcake. I could eat one in it's entirety in a sitting. I had forgotten that ladies used to make them in tin cans!


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