Prep 30 mins
Cook 2 hrs
If you're looking for a traditional fruit cake, one filled with citron, candied peel, and green cherries — click away from this page right now. But if you love banana bread, and coconut, and the moist, dense, heavy texture of a classic fruitcake, you'll enjoy this "tropical" version of a holiday classic. *NOTE: Coconut Milk Powder is NOT coconut milk! This is a very common ingredient in SouthEast Asian cooking so you can find it in the Asian aisle of a large grocery store.
- 3 cups finely diced dried pineapple
- 3⁄4 cup rum (apple juice, or water are also fine)
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 3⁄4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1⁄4 cup apricot jam (or orange marmalade)
- 1 ripe medium banana (peeled and mashed, about 1/2 cup)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3⁄4 teaspoon coconut, flavor (optional)
- 5 large eggs
- 3⁄4 cup coconut milk powder
- 3 3⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 cup milk
- 2 cups sweetened coconut (toasted in a 300 F oven for about 13 to 15 minutes, till light golden brown)
- 2 cups pecan halves
- 22 -30 candied red cherries, for garnish
- 1 cup sugar syrup (or simple syrup )
- 2 -4 tablespoons rum (brandy, or liqueur) (optional)
- The night before, combine the pineapple and rum in a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup. Cover with plastic wrap, and heat till the liquid starts to form tiny bubbles, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the microwave, and let rest overnight, covered.
- Preheat the oven to 300°F Lightly grease the loaf pans of your choice: two 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pans OR five 7" wooden bakers OR six 7" paper bake & give pans.
- To prepare the cake: In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, jam or marmalade, mashed banana, baking powder, salt, and coconut flavor.
- Beat in the eggs one at time.
- Whisk together the coconut milk powder and the flour. Stir the dry ingredients into the the wet ingredients alternately with the milk.
- Add the undrained pineapple, toasted coconut, and the pecans.
- Spoon the batter into the lightly greased baking pans, filling them three-quarters full. The small (7") paper pans will take about 430g batter (a generous 15 ounces). An 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" pan will take about 1290g (1 pound, 13 1/2 ounces).
- Bake the small cakes for about 60 minutes, the larger cake for about 90 to 95 minutes. When done, the cakes will be a light golden brown all over, and a paring knife inserted into the center will come out clean. The temperature at the center will be about 200°F The very center on top may still look a bit undone; that's OK.
- To make the glaze: stir together the simple syrup (sugar syrup) and liquor of your choice. Note: To make your own simple syrup, bring 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 cup water to a boil; simmer for 3 minutes, remove from the heat, and cool to room temperature.
- Remove the cakes from the oven. While still warm, brush with the glaze.
- When completely cooled, wrap well and let rest at least 24 hours before serving. Or store well-wrapped cake for up to a month, brushing with additional glaze weekly. Each time you brush the cakes, you'll use about half as much glaze as you did the first time.
- Yield: 5 or 6 small, or 2 large cakes.