Pumpkin Fruitcake

Recipe From: Greene on Greens, Bert Greene 1984


1 cup seedless raisins*
1/4 cup plus 3 tbs dark rum**
1 cup pitted dates, roughly chopped
3 1/2 cups flour
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup pureed cooked pumpkin (or pure canned)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 cup walnuts, chopped
finely slivered peel of 1 orange***
finely slivered peel of 1 lemon***
1/2 cup orange juice
Confectioners' sugar


Place raisins in bowl and add the 1/4 cup rum. Cover and let stand several hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 325F. Butter and flour a 9 cup bundt or tube pan (or 3 medium loaf pans). Set aside. Sprinkle the dates with 1 tbs of the flour. Set that aside.

Beat the butter in a large bowl of an electric mixer until light. Slowly beat in 2 cups of the sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Beat in the pumpkin, cinnamon and ginger.

Sift the remaining flour with the baking powder and salt. Combine the baking soda and buttermilk. Using a wooden spoon, stir the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture in three parts, alternating with thirds of the buttermilk mixture. Stir in the reserved raisins and rum. Stir in the dates, walnuts, orange peel and lemon peel.

Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 1/4 hours. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Unmold.

Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1 cup sugar with the remaining 3 tbs rum and the orange juice. (I found it was easier to warm these ingredients over low heat while stirring, until the sugar was dissolved) Brush this over the cake until it is moist but not wet. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar before serving. Serves 8-10

*I used a mixture of regular and golden raisins. This amount could be increased by at least half, although I would not increase the amount of liquor.

**I don't keep rum around the house usually, so I used brandy.

** Didn't have a lemon first time out so I used 2 oranges. I peeled the oranges with a very sharp knife and cut up the peel. Then I carefully juiced them and got my orange juice! Based on this I would do the same if I was using both fruits.

SOURCE: Greene on Greens, Bert Greene 1984. He writes:

"This pumpkin fruitcake is designed for those who eschew fruitcake in any form. It is tender, nutty and only vaguely scented with rum and spice. Parenthetically, it keeps wonderfully well -- if you can keep your hands off it. I cannot!"

Servings - --
PreHeat - 325°
Prep Time -
Cooking Time - 1 1/4 hrs