Advent Joy: Gift of Tradition & Fruitcake Recipe (Luke 1:46-56)

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…” -Luke 1:46

Songs connect with a deeper part of ourselves. Familiar melodies and lyrics memorized long ago can stir a well of emotion in us with just a few notes. The familiar words of Mary’s song recorded in the gospel of Luke speak not only to her personal present experience, but connect her and her community to the rich tradition of faithfulness and provision while proclaiming the hope and vision for justice in God’s coming reign. 

Just like the strains of music, so too, flavors and spices can call forth memories, connecting us with our families and traditions. A few years ago, my father reminisced about the fruit cake his mother made for Christmases he experienced as a boy. 

At first, I turned my nose up at the idea of making a fruit cake (all the cultural jokes and such); this was not a treat that had made it into our contemporary family tradition. But as the days drew towards our Christmas meal, I thought it would be a special gift to surprise my dad with a taste from his childhood. 

While my first few attempts didn’t quite hit the mark, this combination is emerging as a newly beloved tradition for our family.

Family Favorite Fruitcake

Coarsely chop fruit

  • 2 c. dates
  • 1 1/4c. candied pineapple
  • 1 1/4c. candied cherries
  • 1/2c. candied orange peel

In a bowl mix together:

  • 2 c. flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt

Toss with chopped fruit until pieces are evenly coated. 

In a(nother) bowl mix together:

  • 2 eggs
  • ½ c. sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract

Beat until eggs are frothy. Then pour over fruit mixture. 

Fold in:

  • 3 ¾c. Chopped walnuts (or any combination of your favorite nuts)

Pack firmly into a greased 9in springform pan.

Bake at 275F for an hour and a half. 

Let stand for 5-10 min on a cooling rack before releasing the sides of the pan

While still warm, brush cake with corn syrup.

Cool completely and enjoy (can be stored in the fridge or freezer for up to two months).


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