New-Fangled Fruitcake

The way a fruitcake ought to be!  Studded with dried cherries, chocolate, nuts and rum - and frosted with white chocolate-cream cheese frosting.  Our family tradition for more than 15 years.



2 cups flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

2 tablespoons rum

2 tablespoons milk

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans

1/3 cup chopped dried dates

1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


5 ounces white chocolate pieces or chips

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, salted

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Pecan halves and dried cranberries or cherries for garnish


Make cake:  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Butter and flour a 9 1/2" x 5 1/2" loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.  In another bowl, beat together eggs, rum and milk.  In food processor, beat butter until creamy.  With processor running, slowly add sugar, occasionally scraping bowl.  When all the sugar has been added, process two minutes more.  Add egg mixture and beat one minute.  Add flour mixture a third at a time until thoroughly mixed.  Using the pulse button, quickly fold in pecans, dates, cranberries and chocolate chips.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.  Bake one hour and ten minutes, or until golden.  Cool cake in pan ten minutes, then remove from pan and finish cooling on a wire rack.

Make frosting:  IN the top of a double boiler over hot, not boiling water (or in the microwave), melt white chocolate.  Set aside.  In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese by hand until smooth.  Mix in butter, lemon juice and the melted chocolate.  Generously frost top of cake, letting frosting ooze down the sides.  Garnish with nuts and dried fruit.  Serves 10.