I was talking to a friend today about the holidays. He said this is the third year he and his wife have slowed down and done things the olden way.
“It was getting too hectic,’ he sighed, “we wanted to stop the madness and start spending the season on all the things it’s supposed to be.”
This change in perspective has turned their season into something more than shopping and frantically wrapping piles of gifts no one needs anyway. Now, they choose a few traditions and celebrate the original simplicity of Christmas–the sort of celebration written about in classic literature like Little Women and A Christmas Carol.
For them, this means bringing back basic traditions: baking classic treats together, sipping hot toddies, singing carols around the family piano. Talking to this friend made me want to do the same thing in my home this year. It made me want to introduce my kids to the simple pleasures of homemade wassail and slices of fruitcake. But, the ideal isn’t always easy to introduce kids to. They’d pick pizza and sugar cookies any day of the year over traditional Christmas favorites.
To make these classics more accessible, I decided to revamp one of the all-time unfavorites.
Fruit cake has become it’s own sort of joke in the holiday food sphere, but it can be a fun, vibrant way to stir up a batch of the traditional. In this recipe, I’ve pulled together some of fruits kids will actually eat (pineapple, colored marachino cherries) and baked them into an easy, muffin-like cake that’s as fun to make as it is to nibble on.
Whether you’re celebrating Christmas the classic way, or just looking for a fun new tradition, give this Kid-Friendly Fruit Cake a try! It’ll make your kitchen smell like Christmas, and warm your belly with delight!
Kid-Friendly Fruit Cake
Makes 6 mini loaves.
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 2/3 cup crushed pineapple, undrained
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 cup red maraschino cherries
- 1/4 cup green maraschino cherries
- 2 tablespoons prepared vanilla icing
In a large bowl, beat together the butter, egg, sugar, flour, pineapple, and pumpkin pie spice. Chop half of the green and red cherries and fold into the batter.
Spoon batter into six mini paper loaf pans, or three mini aluminum pans. Top with the remaining cherries sliced in half. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F for 9-12 minutes, or until the muffins spring back when touch lightly in the center.
Place icing in a small ziptop baggie. Microwave until melted, then snip the corner from the baggie and drizzle a small bit of icing over the tops of each fruitcake. Serve and enjoy!