Fruitcake, THE PERFECT GIFT FOR 2020

Real Estate Agent with eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) DRE# 00949880

      This may be hard to believe, but there are those that are not fans of fruitcakes.  I love all fruitcakes, even the store bought ones containing those mystery neon green and red tidbits so I will let the late, great Johnny Carson discuss the fruitcake's dark side.

      Johnny Carson was not a fan.  He recommended storing any gifted fruitcakes in a closet to re-gift the following Christmas.  Interestingly, this may not be a bad thing for real fruitcake aficionados.  Some (NOT ME) will not even contemplate eating a fruitcake less than three years old. Ha!  No food lasts three years in my house! The requisite three weeks for this recipe is hard enough to endure.

     Let's take a deep dive into the science of fruitcakes with Alton Brown.  After all, 2020 is all about the science and Brown's Free Range Fruitcake is his answer to just about every fruitcake critic.  It is GOOD EATS!

      Why is fruitcake this year's perfect gift?

     1.  The fruit is macerated in rum for 24 hours, tasty and useful, killing any dastardly germs.

                 Macerating fruitcake fruit

     Pro tip #1-do not allow self maceration by the chef the night before this step.  There will not be enough rum to properly soak the fruit!  But really, does the fruit need THAT much rum?

     2.  The finished cake is spritzed with brandy once it comes out of the oven and then every third day for the next three weeks. Safety first!  I have this great germ joke I'd like to tell right now, but, in good conscience, I don't want to spread it around!

             Spritzing the fruitcake with brandy

     (CAUTION-do not place spritzed cake near a candle or other open flame.  I may or may not have learned this the hard way given the positioning of the cake to my gas range top.)

     3.  The recipe can be tweaked as necessary.  Believe it or not, there are those that do not like raisins.  I know, I know, very strange!  How about substituting dried figs or dates for the raisins?  You don't like dried apricots, try dried peaches.  You don't like pecans, then substitute walnuts.  If you do not like brandy, try spritzing the cake with triple sec or, even better, Grand Marnier.  If you don't like dried cherries, forget it. I can't help you!

     4.   If the fruitcake beneficiary still does not like the cake, it can be placed in a dark corner of the closet for Christmas gift giving 2021. I do miss Johnny Carson!

  I give you the perfect ADULT Christmas gift for 2020!  I would love to hear your choice for this year's perfect gift below.

        Pro tip # 2-It is very difficult to tell when this cake is done.  My first experiment with this cake looked more like a chocolate lave cake when I cut into it.  The solution is to insert a meat thermometer into the center of the cake when it starts getting close to done.  When the thermometer reads 195-200 degrees, it is done. 

     Pro tip 2.  When measuring your flour, always work above the sink.  Again, I may or may not of learned this the hard way, but never, ever hold the flour canister and a nearly full cup of flour in the same hand as you tip the canister to get the last bit of flour out of the canister.  There is a good chance you will lose that cup of flour.  Ok, I admit it.  I do have personal experience with this one!  To borrow Martin Yan's tagline, If Ray can cook, you can too!

    The cake is good!  Many of my friends have been pleasantly surprised.  I do believe they are already looking forward to next year's fruitcake.  Don't tell anyone, but I have several already tucked away in a dark corner for next year!


Thank you Carol Williams and Anna Banana Kruchten CRS CRB, Phoenix Broker for this year's Christmas Challange  I LOVE CHRISTMAS!

Other Christmas Blogs 2020:

Mom's Christmas Cookies

A Fabulous Forties Christmas!

Posted by

             eXp Realty of California, Inc

Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI, e-Pro

Past Client Testimonials   

3412 Babson Drive

Elk Grove, CA 95758




Comments (46)

J Perrin Cornell
Coldwell Banker Cascade Real Estate - Wenatchee, WA

I heardthis story first hand from the participants and I am sure it was fruit cake and started at Christmas. However the paper says otherwise... what ever it was I think with the discussion of fruit cake and things you can do with one this is appropriate...(N.B. both participants have since passed so no way to know for sure)

A Battle For Years Now: Loser Takes The Cake

WENATCHEE - Old birthday cakes never die, they become birdbaths.

And, if you follow the saga of a cake bought by Dick Washut for Mike Ogan in the early 1980s, old birthday cakes get pulverized in a blender, stuffed inside colored condoms, pickled in a fruit jar, baked inside lasagne, encased in concrete and dropped by crane into the bottom of a swimming pool.

Then they become embedded in an office arboretum for use as a birdbath.

And this all happened to just one cake.

It started out as a day-old lemon cake from a grocery-store bakery and now rests in the garden outside Washut's dental office here. Birds swim in the indented top section, dodging plastic flowers placed there last fall.

A patient brought the plastic flowers down, Washut said. "He thought it looked so terrible out there."

A cake encased in concrete and embedded in dirt sounds like a permanent fixture.

Wrong. This cake is still evolving. Mutating might be a better word.

Ten years or so ago, when Washut first gave the cake to Ogan, it was to get back at Ogan for what Washut considers years of abuse. To hear Washut tell the story, the abuse began with Washut's mother.

"When you've been born on April Fool's Day, you become paranoid," he said. "I will never forgive my mother for having me on April Fool's Day."

And then, there's Mike Ogan.

"He's a bad person," said Washut.

Washut and Ogan have known each other for years. They were even

neighbors for a while. Those were tough times, and Washut blames Ogan for much of the trouble. Ogan has pulled some fast ones on Washut.

"My house has been for sale twice at ridiculous prices. We've had people lined up to see it," said Washut. "I've had my picture in the paper for open houses, and had people show up."

So, in the early 1980s, on Sept. 20 - Ogan's birthday - Washut went after his revenge. He took the day-old lemon cake to Ogan's house and rang the bell.

"I was surprised to see him standing there, grinning," Ogan recalls. "He said, `I've got a cake for you.' And when I reached for it, he just dropped it and walked off.

"So I said, `Washut, I'm going to get even with you.' "

And the saga began:

Ogan scooped up the smashed cake and stuck it in the freezer. Next April 1, he hired UPS to deliver the mess back to Washut.

The next September, Washut stuck the cake in a used pizza box, drove over it with his pickup truck and delivered it, with the cake oozing out the sides of the box, to Ogan.

The next April, Ogan, who'd left the cake out to dry all winter, turned it to dust in his wife's blender. Then he stuffed the cake inside colored condoms and sent it back to Washut.

Washut smoked the condoms and returned them to Ogan as sausage. Ogan pickled the cake "sausages" in a big fruit jar - complete with bay leaves, dill and vinegar.

Washut packed the sausages in lasagne and sent them back to Ogan.

Ogan put the lasagne in his barbecue and cooked it on low for two days, until the whole mixture looked like solid charcoal.

Washut combined the charcoal lasagne with three packages of cake mix, cooked the goop in a big pan, covered it with candles and shipped it back to Ogan.

"By then, I'm running out of ideas," said Ogan. "I came down to my shop and made a cement form, 2 feet wide, 3 feet long and 1 foot high. I took a piece of safety glass and put the cake under it, then poured cement around it."

This new creation weighed 600 pounds. Ogan borrowed a forklift and delivered the cake to the front steps of Washut's office, where it sat for several months.

"It was a good conversation piece," said Washut. "People could look through the glass top and see the cake."

Ogan thought he'd won the war - until the next September.

"My wife and I came home from going out to dinner and I saw this boom truck driving by," Ogan said. "I didn't think too much about it until my wife said, `What are all the balloons doing in the swimming pool?' "

Washut had rented a crane and lifted the concrete cake - with balloons attached - over Ogan's garage and into his pool. The cake rested on the bottom. Only the balloons showed above the water.

"I had one major concern while putting it there," said Washut. "Mike had restored this antique car inside the garage and I envisioned all sorts of bad things happening with that crane."

Next, Ogan hired a crane - and we're talking $275 here, folks - to remove the cake and store it where Ogan could revamp it with a special stand attached to more concrete. Then Ogan hired a crane again, and he and his sons dug a big hole in Washut's office garden and lowered the cake into the ground.

"We poured concrete around it so it wouldn't move again," Ogan said. "It's a permanent fixture there."

Oh yeah? Just because three years have passed, Ogan should not think Washut has given up. He is entertaining several ideas and waiting for just the right time to spring it on Ogan.

Washut won't say when he'll do this dastardly deed but he promises one thing: "Whatever I do, it's going to be significant."

Dec 26, 2020 07:19 AM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Raymond,

Looks wonderful. For all those folks, who do not like fruitcake, donate it to your favorite through hiker or mountain climber. Excellent trail food!

Dec 26, 2020 07:53 AM
Raymond Henson, eXp Realty
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

It is funny that you mention that, Dörte Engel.  Alton Brown said the same thing!  I may try it one of these days.  We enjoy trail running!

J Perrin Cornell, that is hilarious and oh, so neighborly.  Ha!  Thank you for sharing the story.  

Dec 26, 2020 08:36 AM
Dorte Engel

Oh, ok. Did not finish that video, because it is long.

Dec 26, 2020 09:11 AM
Raymond Henson, eXp Realty

Yes it is too long, Dörte Engel.  I could not figure out how to post the short one with only the instructions for the fuitcake.

Dec 26, 2020 02:07 PM
Raymond Henson, eXp Realty
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

faye schubert, it is great to meet a fruitcake fan!  Merry Christmas.

Joan Cox, my dad used to tell me if you do not like something, it was not prepared properly.  I bet you would like my fruitcake!  Note-Mary Margaret still is NOT a fan of my fruitcake! I made her cranberry bread, peanut butter fudge and haystacks!  Variety is the spice of life!

Dec 26, 2020 08:41 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Raymond, LOL - thinking I would love cranberry bread.  I made pizzelles and the chocolate chip cookies Roy had posted.  Still have too many left.....

Dec 26, 2020 08:43 AM
Raymond Henson, eXp Realty

Sounds delicious, Joan Cox 

Dec 26, 2020 02:21 PM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI  Never have been a fan of fruitcake  sorry 

Dec 26, 2020 10:54 AM
Raymond Henson, eXp Realty
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

My wife is with you, Hannah Williams.  She likes the lemon bars and the peanut butter fudge.  There is always plenty of choices at Christmas time. 

Dec 26, 2020 02:24 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


The Johnny Carson video was hilarious, athough I suppose it could be offensive to a fruitcake afficionado, which I am not!


Dec 26, 2020 04:17 PM
Raymond Henson, eXp Realty
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Hi Jeff Dowler, CRS, He did another skit where he had some heavy equipment bring in a fruitcake and sit it on his desk.  Of course, the desk collapsed.  I just could not find that video.  I miss his form of comedy.

Dec 26, 2020 04:22 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Raymond  Merry Christmas to you as well stay tuned for my Panatone Post:))Endre

Dec 26, 2020 10:23 PM
AndreaBFerreira CRS - SRS - CLHMS
Keyes Co. - Davie, FL
Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County in FL

Fruit cake is one if my favorite holiday tradition! I loved your post. 
thus remind me my grandmother and all her memories.

 Thank you for sharing. Happy holidays 

Dec 27, 2020 02:02 AM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great job on the feature this week...well deserved!

Dec 27, 2020 07:04 AM
Raymond Henson, eXp Realty
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Endre Barath, Jr., I am looking forward to your Panatone post.  I am sure it will be a good one!

Thank you AndreaBFerreira CRS - SRS - CLHMS, I am glad you enjoyed the post and it made you remember some fond memories of your grandmother.

Dec 27, 2020 07:18 AM
Raymond Henson, eXp Realty
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Thank you very much, Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®.  I was surprised, for sure.  

Dec 27, 2020 07:20 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Raymond,
I've never met a fruitcake I like but the rum part is appealing. I would certainly try your and I do like your tips... especially the one about how to tell when it's done. Maybe that is the big trick into it not being hard as a rock.

Dec 27, 2020 08:38 AM
Raymond Henson, eXp Realty
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Hi Carol Williams, I have tried that trick twice, once for the fruitcake and once for some cranberry bread that I made.  Each time they came out just about perfect.  I was pretty surprised that a meat thermometer works on bread and fruitcake.  I just tried my fruitcake yesterday.   It was good.  I will make it again.  Thank you for stopping by and hope you had a great Christmas!

Dec 27, 2020 08:06 PM
Jana Holmstrup
Jana Holmstrup - CCO - Kings Mortgage Services, Inc. - Visalia, CA

This would have been a perfect gift for 2020!  Just wish you had been featured last week....

Dec 28, 2020 06:52 PM
Raymond Henson, eXp Realty
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Thank you Jana Holmstrup.  I had the idea for the post a few weeks ago.  It took me that long to decide it was worthy of posting.  I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

Dec 28, 2020 08:23 PM
Anne Corbin
Long and Foster - Lake Anna - Spotsylvania, VA
Serving Lake Anna & Central Virginia

When I was a young girl, my grandfather worked for Hostess Bakery. At Christmas time, he would bring home a couple of tins of their amazing fruitcake. I don't know if it was sold in stores; something in my old memory seems to think it wasn't. But it was the ONLY fruitcake I ever found that was actually a cake, moist and sweet, with the added fruits and nuts. Sure do wish I could have another slice of it. 

Dec 29, 2020 06:16 AM
Raymond Henson, eXp Realty
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

It does sound good, Anne Corbin.  It is nice to have such great memories. 

Dec 29, 2020 09:36 AM