My grandmother grew up poor. But just as my buddy Christy Jordan would say, she was rich in every way that mattered. And my Nana’s story to me about her favorite Christmas was perfect evidence of that…
She was one of six children. Out of necessity, both her parents worked to make ends meet and she was raised by her older siblings, as was so common in those days. Her father was a night watchman at a saw mill and her mother worked at a plant nursery. When Christmas would roll around though, poverty took nothing away from them in the way of holiday magic and excitement.
Every year, each child would be presented with one toy, a homemade outfit, and a small assortment of fruit, nuts, and peppermint candies. And that was a big Christmas to them.
Each year it was always her father’s job to go out and hunt for the perfect Christmas tree. That was his big contribution to the celebration and he took great pride in presenting the perfect cedar tree for trimming. Of course, running down to the tree lot was out of the budget, so he would set out in the woods to track down a prime specimen.
One year in particular, he wasn’t able to find a cedar tree to suit. After hours of searching, in a last ditch effort to provide something, he cut down a holly bush he found. Back at home, feeling a little embarrassed with his haul, he set out to make the puny bush special.
Finding a can of silver paint, he painstakingly brushed every single prickly holly leaf with a shiny coat. They added the few ornaments they had and one small strand of bubble lights. The result, as my grandmother would put it, was the most beautiful, amazing Christmas tree she’s ever had.
It wasn’t about it being the perfect size or color, or even about it being a tree at all. The love he put into that tree made it beautiful. That tree went down in history with her and her family. And something that he thought inadequate, became the main focus of one of the most fond Christmases they ever shared.
Hearing my grandmother tell this story when I was a child, I remember trying to figure out how someone could be so excited about a silver bush and only one toy for Christmas. I mean she would reflect on Christmases past with the same starry-eyed look that I’m sure she had when they first happened.
Today, as an adult with my own child, I have a much better understanding of the importance of a simple, but impactful holiday.
So often we get caught up in the holiday season that we fail to realize the simple things that make it so special. We focus our attention on buying the best gifts and decorating the perfect tree, when the real importance of the holiday lies in sharing the time with our loved ones.
This holiday season, I hope that you’ll take the time to pay attention to the simple things. For one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.
This recipe is one of those simple things that have always made holidays special in our family. Every Christmas would find this on my grandmother’s table. And now, I get the opportunity to share her recipe with y’all.
It’s an old school recipe that often found the finished cake packed back into the graham cracker box and stored in the fridge. She’s made a few changes to the classic recipe over the years and we put it in a baking dish rather than back in the box, but it tastes just as amazing as always.
- 1 (14.4-ounce) box graham crackers
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 (10-ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained with juice reserved
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup firmly packed shredded sweetened coconut
- 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- Lightly spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Crush the graham crackers using a food processor or add them to a large ziptop bag and crush using a rolling pin. Coarsely chop the cherries.
- Combine crushed graham crackers, pecans, cherries, raisins, coconut, marshmallows, and sweetened condensed milk in a large bowl and mix well. Add reserved cherry juice by the tablespoonful until the mixture comes together, but isn't too soft. I usually add between 2 and 3 tablespoons.
- Turn out into the prepared dish and press flat with your hands. Cover and chill at least 6 hours, then cut into bars. Keep refrigerated.
If nutritional values are provided, they are an estimate and will vary depending on the brands used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, I recommend grabbing your favorite brands and plugging those ingredients into an online nutritional calculator.
Nice recipe and story. I made a variation using Nilla wafers for graham crackers, walnuts for pecans, mixed candied fruit cake fruit for raisins, and threw in a couple handfuls of bittersweet chocolate chips. Otherwise followed the core of your recipe. Chilling out now in the fridge.
Sure hope it was delicious!
Linda H Jackson
Made this morning, came together quickly. I made in a loaf pan lined foil, sprayed with nonstick spray. Delicious
So glad to hear it turned out great for you!
It wasn’t as gooey as I remember from my moms cake. But it tasted really wonderful Christmas’s like. Thanks for the recipe.
Glad you enjoyed it!
Substitute Candied cherries for Marciano cherries that is possibly what you’re searching for
My Mom made no bake fruit cakes for Christmas, they were so delicious, she used candied mixed fruit in place of your cherries and dried or candied dates in place of raisins, no marshmallows were added but some of the ones she made for friends and family she would spike with a little brandy, I think or maybe it was rum. Not ours though to many kids in our house, so I don’t know how those tasted, or turned out. But ours disappeared very quickly. Thanks for sharing.
That sounds amazing and I love the idea of adding a little brandy!
Do you think we could add chocolate chips instead of the raisins?
Thank you for your time and reply
I think that would work perfectly and would be a delicious twist!
Great story! I will probably give the recipe 5 stars after I make it.
Hope it’ll turn out great for you!
now this is a fruitcake i can eat! i despise the traditional one. funny story-my ex-mother in law would get a fruitcake every year from someone she worked with. she knew i hated fruit cake, but every year she re-gifted it to me, never noticing if there was a gift tag on the bottom. after about 4 years of this, i guess i was just crabby one day, & i gave her the one back that had the gift tag. i never got a fruitcake again for christmas
This made me crack up! 🙂
Mary Alice Kenley
Stacy, you are an answer to prayer—this is almost identical to my Mom’s and we don’t have the recipe! Interestingly, the reason there is no sugar (except in the ingredients) is that this is a Depression-era recipe, and sugar was rationed. Thank you so much for this!
I’m so glad to hear this will be helpful! Those recipes that connect us to our past are the best! Hope it taste just the same as you remember it!
Can you omit marshmallows? My husband despises them.
Delicious thanks will definitely make it again
Glad to hear it!
Season’s eatings y’all! So glad to see your recipe for this iconic memory evoking icebox fruitcake. I always disliked traditional fruitcake even tho my grandmother was known far and wide ( in Columbia,SC) for her legendary & delicious ( to adults) heirloom recipe. Our entire family was involved in her massive fruitcake baking and gift giving process! My mom (the 1960’s rebel) rescued my tastebuds by making this icebox fruitcake and encouraging me to keep trying new things and recipes. This recipe is so good in all varieties, and loved reading the comments and memories of your other blog readers. Wishing all a merry Christmas! Thanks for your tasty and delicious recipes all through the year.
Thanks so much, Kim! Merry Christmas!!!
I haven’t tried the recipe yet, but it looks yummy and puts me in the mind of a recipe that my neighbor, dear sweet Mr. Beaty used to make and share with all the neighbors. I was the only one in my family that loved it, so I got to eat all of it. I looked for the recipe for years and even as Mrs. Beaty for the recipe, but she wasn’t sure what I was referring to so I never got that special recipe. I’m gonna try this and see if it is the recipe I remember. At any rate, I hope you won’t mind if I share your post about your grandma and grandpa’s Christmases. They obviously were so special and we all need to remember our roots, especially at Chrismas. I’ll definitely give you credit for the narrative.
Thanks so much, Carol! I’d love for you to share! And I hope this tastes, even a little, like Mr. Beaty’s for you!
My dad always made one with vanilla wafers, condensed milk, candied fruit, and pecans. I wish he was still here to make one. I am gonna give yours a try.
I wish he was, too, Deborah!
Quickest easiest icebox fruitcake ever clean up was a breeze my family loved it
Fantastic! So glad to hear y’all enjoy it!
Growing up my grandmother made this every Christmas for the family, friends and church members. She taught me how to make it and left me her recipe and now I am the one who makes it for the family. She made hers a little different than you though, in a few steps.
Grandma Baker’s Ice Box Fruit Cake
1 Box (14oz) Graham Crackers (crush in a freezer bag with rolling pin)
1 Bag (16oz) Chopped Pecans
1 Box (12oz) Seedless Raisins
1 Lrg Bag (7oz) Baker Angel Flake Coconut
1 Jar (10oz) Maraschino Cherries (Drained and cut in half, Save a table spoon of juice)
1 Can (14oz) Eagle Brand Condensed Milk
1 Bag (10oz) Large Marshmallows
In a very large bowl (I use the big silver baking bowls) add in the following in order and mix before adding each ingredient: Graham Crackers, Chopped Pecans, Raisins, Coconut and Cherries.
In a double broiler add in the condensed milk, cherry juice and marshmallows. When marshmallows have melted down add into your dry mixture slowly adding a bit than mixing and then adding a bit. (My hubby usually does this part for me and puts on disposable gloves)
Take 2 loaf pans and line with wax paper. Place mixture into loaf pans and pack down. Can add whole pecans and some cherry halves for decoration on top. Fold top of wax paper down and cover with tin foil and put in frig to set.
When ready to serve just pull out using wax paper and cut into slices!!!! You can also put it into little single loaf pans, or boxes from dollar store just put in wax paper first so no sticking!! Keep in frig when not serving.
Thanks so much for sharing your version, Valerie!
My mother makes this every Christmas but just a bit differently. No Eagle Brand, instead she melts the marshmallows and that makes it stick together. Graham crackers, maraschino cherries, marshmallows, nuts and a bit of butter to help the marshmallows melt. That’s all and she reserves a bit of crumbs to roll the log in and then wraps it in waxed paper and refrigerates it. Cutting off the thinnest slice possible is key to great taste. The thicker pieces don’t taste quite as good. She has made double batches, lined a loaf pan with waxed paper that overhangs the pan, then pressed it into the pan. Lift it out with the waxed paper and then slice it.
Sounds great! Thanks for sharing!
It looks like some of the readers make a version without coconut. Would this version do well without it? Is there something that could be substituted?
I think it should work just fine without the coconut! Enjoy!
Delores A Leedy
My Second Grade Teacher, Mrs. Molly Smith, Clanton Elementary School, Clanton, Alabama, brought all the ingredients to our classroom, Feb 1952 and we made this cake for one of our classmate’s Dad who was in the Korean War, and we mailed it to him. I have always wondered how it was when he received it without refrigeration. I had printed the recipe in my second-grade printing and my Mom kept it and made it every year at Christmas. It was always my favorite fruitcake. Mrs. Smith’s version was a little different. She used vanilla wafers crushed and candied cherries, red and green, candied pineapple, and dates and coconut.
What a wonderful memory, Delores! Thank you for sharing!!
My Grandmother made “Fruit Roll”. Used Graham crackers, chopped red and green candied cherries and mini coloured marshmallows with Condensed milk and pecans. Roll into logs. Wrap in wax paper. Store in refrigerator. Slice to serve. So good! I’ve used vanilla wafers also.
Yum! Sounds super similar to this one!
Thanks for sharing both your grandma’s story and the recipe. I never tasted such a fruitcake but it looks so good that I will make it. Unfortunately I’ll have to leave out the raisins :(. I love them but they do not love me. Maybe I’ll trade them for dates or some candied fruit. Thanks again and may the Season be a happy one.
I’m not a big raisin fan either. I often swap them out for dried cranberries and really like that.
This is similar to the one my momma use to make. It’s still a favorite and I love it.
It’s certainly a holiday tradition at our house! 🙂
THANKS FOR SHARING. MY MOM’S RECIPE ALSO HAD DATES AND CANDIED FRUIT. I DO STILL HAVE HER RECIPE IN HER HANDWRITING. IT’S SO GOOD TO BRING BACK THE MEMORIES ESPECIALLY AT CHRISTMAS TIME. I’M HOPING TO MAKE IT THIS YEAR. THANKS!1
What a treasure! Hope you do get a chance to make it! Merry Christmas!
My grandmother made this “ fruitcake “ every year and I have wonderful memories of making it with her. I would sneak bites straight from the spoon while we were making it. It tastes better and better the longer it “ sits “ in the fridge if you can wait that long 🙂
The only difference in her recipe is that she used a package of coconut bar cookies from the dollar store.
Thank you so much for posting this recipe and reminding us all that often it’s the most simple things that mean the most.
Thank YOU, Savannah! Merry Christmas!
Stacey: This sounds great, and I would like to try it, but I can’t have nuts. Could I just leave them out, or should I add more fruit to compensate, or would it work with pistachios or pistachios and sunflower seeds maybe, do you think?
I think pistachios would work, but you could also just leave them out. It should be fine either way.
Stacey: Holly Angell’s tip about melting the marshmallows in the Sweetened Condensed Milk really appealed to me as I only had regular size marshmallows, and didn’t feel like cutting them up along with everything else I was chopping up. She is right-it sets up fast, fast, fast, and required a finishing trowel and leaning on it with all of my shoulder muscles and weight to even everything up in the pan. (I also had thoughts of making the marshmallows invisible, as my niece hates them, but even if I used Nilla Wafers instead of the Graham Crackers she hates, she also hates raisins. So she’s not going to touch them with a barge pole anyway, so I might as well please myself.)
I used a mix of several kinds of dried cherries, raisins, Zante Currants, Golden Raisins, Craisins, 1/2 cup of chopped pistachios-I had to shell them, and that’s all I wanted to do-the coconut, a bit of dried pear, persimmon, and a bit of pineapple juice for the liquid. I had all of this stuff, and wanted to use it, and so the only thing I had to buy was the can of SCM. I also weighed out the correct amount of Graham Crackers from a Family Size box, many of which were broken and pretty unusable for some recipes.
At first, it was a bit like a bar of bendable taffy. Just finished, it was pretty sweet, but that evened itself out by the next day. Even as candy it was pretty good-kind of reminiscent of a See’s Candy Fruit and Nut, without the dark chocolate. I tried to keep the same ratios, and don’t know whether I have succeeded or not, but just over a week in, I think the graham crackers are starting to assert themselves. It’s more cake-like and really good.
I had never heard of this, but it sounded good, especially since it doesn’t have any mystery fruits in it, and from all of the comments, seems to be pretty flexible for making it to your own tastes. I wanted you all to know that even with my major tinkering, it came out very well. Of course, never having had it, I don’t know if there’s a texture difference between your recipe and mine. I am looking forward to seeing how it’s going to change as it ages. I will make this again, and someday, I will stick pretty close to the cherry-raisin-mini-marshmallow version, still without the pecans that I can’t have, but I know that they would be good in this.
Thanks for the recipe and Merry Christmas to you and yours and all your blog readers.
So glad it turned out great for you! I love hearing everyone’s variations! Merry Christmas!
Love love all your recipes. What can I substitute the cherries for? Sorry to ask( bugs me at times when people ask this) just can not eat them!!
You can just leave them out, or feel free to add dried cranberries or even dried pineapple in its place. You can always use some orange or pineapple juice as the cherry liquid, too.
My grandmother made a version of this cake every Christmas. I am 74 and continue the tradition by making it with my great-granddaughter for the wonderful taste and to extend a memory for my family. The recipe is slightly different from the one above. It’s easy to remember, though.
Back in the days when graham crackers and raisins came in one pound boxes and marshmallows came in one pound bags, it didn’t require any calculations. My grandmother’s recipe is one pound each of marshmallows (melted), pecans, raisins, crushed graham crackers and one can of sweetened condensed milk (such as Eagle Brand). Mix together fast, fast, fast. It will be very hot, so take care.
I carefully microwave the marshmallows and sweetened condensed milk together. In the past scorching was always a possibility unless melting the mixture over a hot water bath.
My grandmother wrapped it in wax paper and packed the cake in the graham cracker box. I put the modern version in a loaf pan wrapped in parchment paper. Nothing has changed except for that. Refrigerate until it is gone. Memories for generations….
Thanks so much for sharing your version, Holly!
My grandmother, Arline Grace made this every year…. She passed in 2004, and I tried and tried before she did to replicate her recipe w/her. No matter how many times I tried since then on my own, mine always came out too wet. Your recipe is close enough to hers, that I can’t wait to try it. My kin comes from Eastern North Carolina, and we all fondly remember having this every Christmas. Grandma would make it around Thanksgiving and put it in a sponge cake mold (with a hole in the center). Her secret was to put a shot glass of bourbon in the hole in the center, wrap it tightly, let it sit in the frig and “cure” until Christmas. It would set up and have the aroma of the bourbon in it w/o actually pouring the bourbon over it (not that that would be a bad thing either!). She used candied fruit in hers as well, but that was my least favorite part. I love that this doesn’t have that, and can’t wait to make it for my family this year!
What sweet memories! I sure hope you’ll enjoy this!!
My mama made this icebox fruit cake also , but she used vanilla wafers she would mix it all up and keep the paper that the wafers were in and put the cake back in the box wrapped in the paper and would tie the box lid and wrap the string around the box to keep it closed , then put it in the freezer , it was so good , she has been gone now for 15 years . The last time I ate this cake was one she made , haven’t had it since , but Lord willing I’m going to make one this year , sweet memories , hope you have a Blessed Christmas .
Love how food does that to us! I sure hope you’ll give this a try and that it’ll bring a little of her back to you.
My mother made this every Christmas, she passed in 1977, my siblings n I could only remember parts of the recipe. I loved this cake so my Mom would freeze small squares for me so I could have all year. Its a little sticky when thawed but tastes great so I want to thank you for this recipe I’ll will be making it this it will be like she’s back home for this Christmas of 2018. She’s always in my heart.
What a sweet memory! I sure hope it brings a little of her back to you. 🙂
I am so happy to see your recipe for Icebox fruitcake and read your sweet story of your Grandmother’s childhood Christmas memories. My dad was born in 1920 and it sounds like he and your grandmother would have a lot in common. His family were hard working farmers in rural Maryland. He’s been gone for about 10 years now but your grandmother’s story of the icebox fruitcake reminded me of a recurring conversation my dad and I would have almost every Christmas. He would tell me how his grandmother used to make fruitcake out of crushed graham crackers and that they didn’t need to be baked. She would mix the graham crackers with raisins and some other ingredients and press the mixture into coffee cans she had saved throughout the year. He always said he wished he had paid more attention when she was making them when he was a child because he said they were the best fruitcakes he had tasted in his entire life. He’d make my mouth water describing how no store bought or homemade baked fruitcake even came close. A few times he and I searched through old cookbooks but we could never find a recipe that didn’t require baking. We even asked his brothers and sisters but they couldn’t remember the ingredients either. It seems my great grandma used to shoo the little ones out of the kitchen to keep their fingers out of the cakes. So sadly Dad passed before we found a recipe. I had forgotten all about it until I came across your story and recipe today. I know Christmas is over 10 weeks away but I printed a copy of your recipe and it is taped to my fridge. Thanks so much for not only sharing your recipe and memories of your Grandmother, but also bringing back a lovely memory I had forgotten of my Dad.
This. This right here is why I LOVE doing what I do. Thanks so much for sharing your story with us. I hope this brings even a little of both of them back to you. 🙂
Thank you for sharing this! This is the only fruitcake I grew up with. And as my birthday is Dec 26, this was my birthday cake as well. Mama didn’t use marshmallows though, but she did add green cherries to it. Mama has been gone for almost 8 years now and I haven’t had this cake since. Now I can make it for my family. Thank you so much! Merry Christmas to you and yours!!
Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday!!
My mom made this when I was growing up. Back then graham crackers did not come packed in separate sleeves. There was one wax paper type sleeve. She would carefully open them and after mixing the ingredients she packed it back in the original paper inside the graham cracker box. I still make these and it brings back so many wonderful memories. Thanks for sharing!!!
Thanks for sharing your memories of this special recipe, Sandy!
This is the way Mother “repackaged” her Ice-Box Fruit cakes.
And now I know what juice to add to make it all pack together.
Im going to do it for my grandkids along with good stories of Christmases
Brings back lots of memories.
Thanks for sharing.
Glad I could do that, Delora! 🙂
Thanks Stacey for sharing the fruitcake recipe, Im going to use it for Christmas! Hope you will have a very Merry Christmas 2016!! Frances Propst
I sure hope you’ll enjoy!!
This sounds like something my mom made and shaped it into a log. My question is: I do not like biting into a marshmallow so was wondering if melting the marshmallows and adding them with the condensed milk would work or would it just be too sticky?
I’ve not tried that, but I think it’s worth a try.
I am looking forward to trying your icebox fruit cake since its my husband favorite fruitcake. thanks for making so easy!
I sure hope he’ll enjoy it!
Jo Lynn Bozer
Some of my best childhood memories were spent in the kitchen with my granny watching her make this recipe. I actually teared up in the excitement of reading all the comments and finally finding the gold. She was a special little lady and the stories she would share as she worked her magic, adding her special little touches brings such joy. I do remember her using orange juice instead of the cherry juice and adding orange zest so orange is a great addition. I have searched so many fruitcake recipes and none compare to this one. Thank you for posting and bringing back a little bit of and old fashioned Christmas to pass on to the family. .
I love the way that food connects us to our past like that. Thanks so much for sharing your memories of your granny!
We grew up poor too. We would even make our own ornaments for the tree or bush, which ever Dad would bring home. Your story and recipe brought back fond memories! Thank you , for your story and sharing! I will definitely be making this for Christmas. God Bless and have a very Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas, Vicki! Thanks for sharing your sweet memories.
Kentucky Lady 717
Thanks for posting this fruitcake recipe, I hope to make it soon. Never heard of it but looks like a lot of others have and also have made it….so glad to get this and try my luck……new to your blog and am enjoying it…..Merry Christmas to you and your family…..
Welcome! I sure hope you’ll enjoy this recipe. Merry Christmas!!
Stacy, I can’t thank you enough!!! My Mum used to make this every Christmas when I was young.
I have tried to recreate this confection over the past couple of years, more for sentimental value than anything, since my Mum passed away a few years ago. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a recipe that comes close to the original until this one!
It is perfect! Brings back warm memories of sitting in front of the franklin stove on snowy evenings with this tasty treat and steaming mugs of hot chocolate and coffee.
Thank you again, and all the best to you and your family for the Christmas Season and 2015!
Thanks so much, Lloyd! Merry Christmas!!
EXCELLENT article! Thank you for it!
I also make this cake except I use Nilla Wafers and the raisins have to be the golden ones. Plus no coconut. My grandmother used to say that the dark raisins looked like flies in the cake. She also baked a fruitcake and put it in a tin. From Thanksgiving until Christmas she would open it up and pour a tablespoon of Scuppernog wine that she made over the top. It was the best.
I AM A WEIGHT WATCHER. ANY IDEA WHAT THE NUTRICINAL FACTS ARE?
I WOULD HAVE TO INCLUDE THE POINT VALUE IF I MADE IT. THANKS
I’m sorry, I don’t keep up with any of that info.
Best fruitcake ever .No cooking Merry Christmas.
I want to make this for Christmas. How do you think it will be using cinnamon graham crackers?
I’ve never tried it that way but I think it would work beautifully! Enjoy!
My memory of Christmas was of my siblings and I going to my grandparents’ farm and getting a tree on the land. When my children were grown, I remember my daughter and her new husband going to the same place and getting the tree. It kind of looked like a “Charley Brown tree” but when it was decorated, it was beautiful. It came from the heart and was a treasured part of our Christmas.
I lost both my husband and youngest son this year. They were the most amazing people and I was so very lucky to have them in my life. It won’t be a very merry Christmas but I’m going to try to remember the true meaning of it. My other two children live far away and we won’t be able to be together but we will certainly keep in touch and remember the good days together.
Please treasure who you have in your lives – they can be lost so fast!
What a sweet memory! Those will be the ones to keep in your heart during this very difficult time. I wish you much peace and love this holiday season. I’ll be praying for you.
My Tennessee mother-in-law shared a recipe that is similar with me years ago. Her recipe had candied fruitcake mix in place of the raisins, cherries, coconut, and marshmallow. I make her version every Christmas and it is my favorite fruitcake. It keeps well in the refrigerator or freezer so I can have a piece throughout the year. Thanks for sharing your version of the recipe
You are so welcome!
I just came across your blog and when I read your Christmas tree story, what memories it brought back of MY childhood!. My grandparents were in the same situation as yours. My parents and I lived at their place a lot as I was growing up and back in the 1950s and 60s, we never had store-bought trees, we always went out into the pastures to “pick” a Christmas tree. I can still remember how sticky-sharp the needles were and how sticky the sap was!! We decorated them with anything we could find as we had very few ornaments. I know we had the holly bushes too. My brother and I got the one gift and we always had the fruit with walnuts and almonds, and the big thing in our home was a box of chocolate-covered cherries every Christmas!! My grandmother ALWAYS saved the wrapping paper and it WAS used the next year, it might have to be IRONED (LOL) but it was reused!!! Beautiful memories of a very special childhood – I loved my grandparents dearly, I miss them and those simple country Christmas’ to this day! Thank you for bringing all that back for me!
Thanks for sharing your memories with us, Linda!
This is the only fruitcake that I have ever liked. When I was growing up, Mother made one every year for Christmas. After I married, Mother always made at least two ice box fruitcakes…one to be shared at Christmas and one for me to take home and enjoy.
e have such fond memories of this dessert, too!
Thank you for sharing your recipe. Mum and I had purchased an organization’s cookbook .We made this for years. Suddenly she moved and we could not find the book . I can hardly wait to surprise her with this on Christmas day . We always found when it was prepared a few weeks early and refrigerated the flavors really mellow together.
I’m so glad you found it! Wishing you lots of joy this Christmas!
Merry Christmas to you and yours as well.
I grew up with this fruitcake at Christmas. The only difference I can see is we always used dates in ours & no coconut. It wouldn’t be Christmas for my grown kids without this fruitcake. Grandma & mamma made theirs in loaf pans. I have started putting mine in mini cupcake pans. With a cherry on top of each one they are so pretty on a cookie tray.
Great idea! Thanks for sharing!
My mother-in-law used to make fruitcake cookies that were yummy, but she past on a year ago, so I might try to do something fruitcakey this Christmas! In her honor! I’ll try yours! I have to say that even though I grew up with being happy with a baby doll or a painted bike to ride to school, in the last several years, our decorations have grown into all of the rooms. Different trees in our 7 room cabin in the woods!
A few years ago, while others were talking, and my husband was sharing the Christmas Story about Jesus to the grandgirls, I was standing at the door with my father-in-law and I joked that the food was ready and here he and I was. The food ready, the table set, waiting………………………..!!!
I went to telling him that I found his old metal tent revival chairs in the shed and painted them brown, so I would have the same chairs to go around the table. I told him that as I sprayed each one, I started praying and wondering who sat in them, young or old, and did they get saved??? He said….”And Billy Graham could have sat in one”!!!! I just about went into shock!!! I think I asked, “What”??? He said that Billy Graham’s Crusade happened to be in the same area in South Texas as he was with his tent ministry and they needed to borrow some of his chairs. Wow!!! There was 12 chairs., 11 of us and one for Jesus and the best gift I received was a story of an humble Christian man that could have sat in one of our chairs, some 40 years ago!!! “Jesus is the Reason”!!!
God Bless Y’all this 2013 Christmas!!!
What an amazing story! Thanks for sharing!
My mother used to make this when we were growing up. She lined the graham cracker box with foil, and packed the mixture back into the box. We always kept this refrigerated.
This is the way I made my fruit cake back in the 60’s & 70’s, but can’t find my recipe. I know I used candied fruit, dates, pecans and eagle
Brand milk & maybe more, mixed it up then put it back in the foil lined graham cracker box refrigerated at least 1 month. DELICIOUS
Does anyone have this recipe?
sounds good, and my gifts come from the kitchen. do you think it will work with cinnamon graham crackers?
I’ve never tried it with cinnamon graham crackers, but it sounds good to me! If you try it, please let me know. I’d love to hear how they turn out!
I just tried the cinnamon graham crackers and it is delicious! Necessity being the mother of invention, I used what I had, which was walnuts and dried cranberries.
Since I will be giving some as gifts, is this something that has to be kept refridgerated?
Thank you so much for sharing!
Wonderful! I’m so glad it turned out well! We always keep our refrigerated.
Dried cranberries? Terrif !!! One question: Did you experience dried fruits – cranberries or raisins – absorbing moisture from the cake And if so, did you pre-soak them? Or is this only a problem with baked fruitcake?
I love fruitcake, thanks for sharing 🙂
Anyone who loves fruitcake is automatically on the of my prayer list and Santa’s NICE list.
Thank you, Michael! I make a fruitcake every year and my co-workers ask me to make it in the summer too.
My Granny also made an Icebox Fruitcake, but it was made with Nilla Wafers. After she mixed it up, she would roll it into logs, put it it the bag that the Nilla Wafers came in and would store it in the freezer – the only fruitcake I eat!
MY MOM ALWAYS MAKES THIS FRUITCAKE EVERY CHRISTMAS FOR AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER. WE STILL LOVE IT. MY SIBLINGS I HAVE 4 STILL REQUEST IT EVERY YEAR. IM A SOUTHERNER TOO.
Thank you for sharing this sweet memory and the reminder of what is really important and meaningful! This recipe sounds so good!
Merry Christmas, Tina!
I remember when I was a junior in high school and went out shirt sleeved into the woods to ge a Christmas tree. A yearly ritual except for the dress. will not say how many years ago that was.
thanks for this recipe. It is similar to one I had years ago and have since lost. Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas to you, too!
This is.a great recipe it’s my favorite, have made this every Christmas for many years, all the family love it.
This sounds so much like a cake my grandmother made years ago. Unfortunately I never got the recipe and didn’t trust my memory to try to make it. I am going to try this, by the way, she did make hers in loaf pans.
Thank you, Charlotte. I’m gonna give it a try. 😉
Okay, you went and got me misty. The Christmases you described sound like ours when I was growing up: something to wear, one gift (if it was a prosperous year), and “goodie bags.” And I’m not old enough to be your grandmother! 🙂
I’ll definitely have to try this unfruitcakey fruitcake. Do you think it would set up all right if I put it in small loaf pans?
Thanks so much and Merry Christmas!
Jackie, I think it will set up perfectly in small loaf pans. Thanks for sharing. Enjoy!
I would line your pan with parchment paper.
Parchment paper sticks to this recipe. Wax paper is best. We always used Nillla Waffers, cut the box on the front to make a “pan w/ lid,” and lined the box with wax paper…. The average family didn’t not have enough cake or bar pans.
I will be making these for sure, but I wondered could you add a few orange shaving or a bit of candied fruit, or would it change the taste too much?
No, I think it would be delish to add either or both.
Fay T. Moore
I tried that one time, and it took away from the taste of the other ingredients. That simple list of ingredients combined gives it a unique taste. The only difference in my old family recipe was that we used vanilla wafers crushed rather than graham crackers. The taste of this treat will surprise you at how good it is!
I have made the fruitcake mixture, then rolled teaspoons of it into balls and rolled it in shredded coconut and chill. Made a much-requested treat!
Great idea, Fay!
It all sounds terrific ! Just remember that orange, though a great flavor is a strong one, so go a little easy first time you use it.
If you wanna make it taste like shit you could add candied fruit or orange shavings
You have a dirty mouth. There are several recipes that call for candied fruit (old time recipes) that are delicious ????everyone has their own preferences.
julia h –
I will be making mine in cupcake tins and then warming them slightly and topping with a dollap of whip cream ….. yummy!
So much for cookies for Santa !
Many years ago an elderly aunt made these no-bake fruitcakes. She used small paper boxes lined with foil. The boxes were like the ones bank checks are mailed in. The size was perfect for small gifts. She just pressed the mixture into the little boxes and refrigerated them, carefully wrapping with foil.
My mom would substitute dates for the raisins.I remember this with very happy memories
It sure has fond memories for me too, Donna!
This is my favorite fruitcake in the whole world. I lost the recipe a while back. I am so happen to have found it again. I will be making this on the weekend. Thanks so much. I love your recipes.
Thanks so much, Vicki! Hope you’ll enjoy!
This is ~very~ similar to my family’s recipe. We use candied pineapple and cherries along with the maraschino cherries. And, yes! it will be wonderful in mini loaf pans. When my grandmother was still alive, we’d make it up and put it in smaller pans because she, my mom, and I are the only ones who eat it. It is the one thing we make at Christmas and I’ve yet to figure out how to half/third/quarter the recipe since no one else wants to eat it with my mom and me. So, we usually try and freeze it and keep it for at least a month after we make it.
Love this! Thanks for sharing, Cristen!