The Secret Life of Fruit Cake

The fruit cakes a beating with Christmas time jokes, considered the gift that keeps on giving.  The fruitcake has an interesting and slightly fruit cakeunbelievable ancient history.

The earliest record of fruitcake goes back to Ancient Egypt, where a loaf was provided in tombs as an afterlife treat. Fruitcake did not become a common dessert until Roman times.

Roman Fruitcake included pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and barley mash. The ring-shaped loaf was often carried on the battlefield by Roman Soldiers, this battlefield tradition was also practiced by Crusaders during the Middle Ages.

Fruitcake became so popular (And if you can believe it, DECADENT.), it was once banned in Europe on the account of being “Sinfully rich.”

The anatomy of a fruitcake

The anatomy of a fruitcake

Fruitcakes are usually prepared one month to a year in advance of their consumption date. Bakers usually engage in “feeding” their cake (Pouring whiskey, brandy or rum over the loaf.) to enhance flavor. Nuts and fruits make up the bulk of the cake’s weight and vary from loaf to loaf. Once put into circulation as a Christmas gift, a fruitcake could be passed from one person to the next dozens of times.

Fruity Facts


  • The average fruitcake weighs two pounds.
  • Fruitcakes will last YEARS without spoiling.
  • Astronauts on Apollo 11 ate fruitcake with their second meal.
  • Claxton, Georgia is known as the Fruitcake Capital of the World.
  • According to Harper’s Index, 1991, the ratio of the density of the average fruitcake to the density of mahogany is 1:1.


Check out Julie Douglas’s Ultimate Guide to Fruitcake for more heavy fruitcake facts.


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