Yum Peaceful Cooking: The Unbaked Fruit Cake

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Unbaked Fruit Cake

What is it? right? I knooow....it's looks are...undefining (if you're being nice). It's not meat. It's not bread....no veggies...no appealing color to draw you in. But if this was on your buffet table, people would be asking....

"What is this?"

Especially cuz it's on the dessert end of the table.

I had this at Grandmother Upton's one year. It was waaaaaay back when I was in jr. high school and the family had flown to Alabama for Christmas. I loved it.

Fast forward about 20 yrs or so and once again the family (only this time it was my own little family) was flying to Alabama for Christmas. It was the first time I'd had Christmas with my mom, dad, brother, sisters and all the rest of the family since I was 18 and I was looking forward to it. My mom, sisters and I were on the phone a lot...preparing ahead for the feast. I was going through cookbooks and pulling out recipes to bring with me. One of the recipes I came across in some holiday cookbook I had sounded good and I thought I'd give it try once we were at our destination.....and I did. It smelled and tasted very familiar though, but I couldn't put my finger on it. I think it was my dad that figured it out. It reminded us both of Grandmother Upton's Unbaked Fruit Cake, only we couldn't remember what it was called...and this recipe from the book was different.

Last year I called grandmother up to ask her for her recipe. Which was pretty funny cuz I didn't know what to call it. And she didn't know what I was talking about. All I could remember was something about oranges and nuts and it was brown.  About a week later I got a note in the mail from her with the recipe I was craving....

Unbaked Fruit Cake

1 box of graham cracker crumbs
1 quart pecans (chopped, whole, whatever you want)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
"enough fresh orange juice to moisten good"
Raisins (I added about 7 oz)

Combine all the ingredients, adding the orange juice a small amount at a time. You want the orange juice to bind everything together. But...if you add too much, no worries just add more graham cracker crumbs. It's not an exact science.

She went on to explain that you could add anything you wanted to. I've seen other recipes that called for all sorts of candied fruit. If you like it...add it (I'm not a candied fruit fan). I've also seen recipes that required you to melt marshmallows. But that defeats the name of the recipe in my book, that requires some kind of cooking, right?

Anyways....smash it all into a pan (I used 2 very small bread pans) and chill.

It's sticky and a little gooey and ooooh so good. Just a little will do ya.

And the best part is.....it has no resemblance to "the" fruit cake, what so ever.


  1. That look crazy, weird and delicious!! Love it :D Hope your Thanksgiving was awesome :)

  2. Looks tasty! I love those grandma kind of recipes. They are the best!

  3. I've never seen anything like this! It does sound so strange but so yummy! I love everything in it. And condensed milk is so rich.

  4. ummm I'm a visual?? Don't think I could! LOL

  5. Heather - crazy weird is right! LOL

    Cathy - tasty.....thats another one of those words LMAO!!! but ya grandma recipes are great. (I'm totally cracking up)

    Reeni - yes, if you break it down by the ingredients...then the "cook" can see past the weirdness hahaha

    Tango - I guess you don't eat oatmeal either, right? I mean...a bowl of that stuff (if you had never tasted it) is pretty unappealing, visually. LOL

  6. I would eat this ... sounds like a great combination

  7. WOW...what a simple dessert and so easy! The same thing happens to me when I call my Mom for a recipe. I try to explain the taste the best I can and then a few days later here comes the recipe from Mom. My Mom used to retype her recipes and send them on but now she just sends the original recipe card so they are in her handwriting which I treasure!

  8. OK, That is just about the oddest thing I have seen... Don't get me wrong, I would eat it, cause curiosity is killing me... But it's still odd... LOL

  9. Oh I love your grandma... 'enough juice to moisten good' so so sweet.

  10. Ok, that's some weird looking stuff. But I would totally eat it, it sounds awesome!

  11. Sometimes simple is the best and I love inherited recipes!

  12. That looks delicious! I love condensed milk :)


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