Prep 20 mins
Cook 2 hrs
The groom’s cake is a dark, moist fruitcake that is steamed. It may be made months in advance and frozen. It is presented unfrosted and golden brown, but may be decorated with one long graceful sprig of the fresh herb rosemary, which symbolizes remembrance. There are two traditions associated with the groom’s cake. One is that it is cut into small squares, which are then individually wrapped to be given to each departing guest to take home. One slips the cake under his or her pillow that night in hopes of dreaming of the person he or she will marry. The other custom is to either freeze or preserve the groom’s cake—by regularly dousing it with brandy—until the first year anniversary celebration. The anniversary couple eat a piece and share the rest to celebrate. You will need a plain, round mold, 8 inches in diameter and 3 inches deep.
- 16 tablespoons butter, softened (2 sticks or 1 cup)
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 5 eggs
- 1⁄4 cup lemon juice
- 1⁄2 cup grape juice
- 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 1⁄2 cups raisins
- 1 1⁄2 cups chopped citron
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 1 1⁄2 cups coarsely chopped almonds
- Grease a round 8-inch pan, 3 inches deep. If you don’t have one, use any straight sided round mold at least 3 inches deep. Whatever you use, it must fit into the steamer pot.
- For the steamer, use a Dutch oven or a large pot with a cover; fill with approximately 2 1/2 inches of water. On the bottom of the pan put a small wire rack or Mason jar ring, which will lift the cake pan just enough to allow the water to circulate freely. Place over medium heat and let the water heat while you prepare the cake batter.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until it is smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is smooth and blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until light and fluffy.
- Stir the lemon juice and grape juice together in a small bowl.
- Combine the flour, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves, and stir them together with a fork or whisk.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter sugar mixture alternately with the combined juices in three parts, beating until smooth and blended after each addition. Stir in the lemon zest, raisins, citron, and almonds, and mix well.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Cover with a double thickness of foil, pressing it snugly all around the edges to seal. Set the pan on the rack or ring in the steamer, cover tightly, and let the cake steam for about 2 hours, checking occasionally to make sure the water hasn’t boiled away in the steamer and replenishing if necessary. After 1 1/2 hours insert a wooden skewer or broom straw in the center of the cake; if it comes out clean, the cake is done.
- Remove the cake from the steamer and let it rest uncovered for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely. Well wrapped, the cake will keep for about a week at room temperature. Freeze it if you are making it more than a week ahead of time.
- The Fannie Farmer Baking Book.