Fruit cake is known for its incredibly long shelf life, especially when compared to other types of cakes.
In fact, fruit cake can last up to a month outside the fridge if kept in optimal conditions away from sunlight, air, and moisture.
If you have some old fruit cake lying around and you don’t know what to do with it, this guide will have you covered with a wide range of ideas to reuse the leftovers!
Old fruit cake loses a lot of moisture and becomes quite dry and chewy. Here are 5 easy and quick ideas to enjoy it.
The first and simplest way to reuse old fruit cake is to simply restore it. This one is ideal if you like fruit cake but you can’t enjoy it when it’s dry and crumbly. Here’s how to do it:
- Using a toothpick or a skewer, poke multiple holes into the cake’s top and sides
- Put the cake in a suitable container that is barely larger than the cake
- Pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup of your choice of alcoholic drink on the cake (preferably the one you originally used), such as brandy, wine, rum, sherry, or bourbon.
- Cover the cake in a cheesecloth, and soak it with the same liquid you used
- Put the wrapped cake inside aluminum foil and keep it in a covered tin
- Allow it to sit overnight, and repeat as necessary before serving
- Brush the leftover fruit cake with some milk (preferred) or water. You can also poke multiple holes into the cake’s top and sides if it’s too thick.
- Pop the cake into a preheated oven at 350 °F (180 °C) for 7 to 12 minutes
- After taking it out, cover it with a clean towel and place it on a wire rack to cool down slowly.
If your fruitcake had a rum base, this idea would be perfect for it. In a large bowl, crumble the fruit cake into small pieces.
Add some rum to moisten the crumbles, but just enough to make them hold together. You can also add 1 to 2 tablespoons of melted butter to the mix.
Refrigerate the mix for 10 minutes, then take it out and roll it into equal-sized balls, then dip them in cocoa powder for a chocolatey flavor (optional).
You can easily turn fruit cake into bread pudding by cutting it into cubes and soaking it overnight in an eggnog mixture.
You can also follow this recipe that uses to make bread pudding. This one uses regular cakes, but you can also use it for fruit cakes with little to no adjustments.
Home parfaits and trifles are not only delicious, but they’re a great spot to reuse leftover cakes, including fruit cakes.
Cut the fruit cake into small cubes and soak them in fruit juice and brandy to make them soft and moist.
You can then layer these cubes with your choice of frozen fruits, nuts, custard, whipped cream, and ice cream.
Another excellent way to utilize old fruit cakes is to turn them into chocolate pops that you eat directly or use them to garnish cakes and ice cream.
Similar to rum balls, you’ll need to crumble the fruit cake into small pieces and moisten them with some melted butter, honey, and rum.
Roll the cake into small cubes, dip them into molten chocolate, then put them in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes to solidify.
Classic fruit cakes are soaked in alcoholic drinks. For that reason, they’re not suitable for children, especially those who are one year old or younger.
Even small amounts of alcohol at that age can interfere with children’s brain development and cause long-lasting effects, so it’s better to err on the side of caution and avoid it altogether.
As for non-alcoholic alternatives, you can feed them to a one-year-old in small amounts because they can be too dense and sweet.
According to the World Record Academy, the oldest known fruit cake is over 145 years old and is kept by Julie Ruttinger from Detroit’s outskirts. The cake was originally baked by Fidelia Ford in 1878.
There’s also a surviving fruit cake that was perfectly preserved for over 100 years in Antarctica, according to a report by Time magazine.
With that said, our guide about what to do with old fruit cake comes to an end. As you can see, you can restore dried fruit cake using a simple technique to enjoy its original flavor.
However, you can also repurpose dried fruit cake into a wide range of delicious recipes if you want to mix things up!
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.