Bettina’s Christmas Cake

As I had a lot of fruit leftover from my first Christmas cake, I decided to make a second one.  Admittedly, this was partly to use the painstakingly prepped pans!  I flipped through a few books, and found A Butterless-Eggless-Milkless Cake in A Thousand Ways to Please a Family With Bettina’s Best Recipes.  It seemed interesting, so I gave it a try.

The replacement bottom for my smallest cake pan. I love how people made do and got creative.

The instructions are a bit different from fruit cakes I’ve made in the past, and called for boiling the fruit with some water, fat and sugar for 5 minutes before cooling it and adding the dry ingredients.  This sure made my kitchen smell amazing!  I used the 2 smaller pans from my old square cake pan set.  I found the set for I think fifty cents at a charity junk sale, and I’ve had a fair bit of use from them.  One thing I find neat is that the former owner must have lost the bottom of the smallest pan, and improvised a new one.

This is a nice, easy to make recipe.  I substituted peel, currants, and some chopped cherries for some of the raisins, and left out the nuts, since my hand is still sore where I pinched it in the nut cracker cracking pecans for the last fruit cake.  I don’t know if it ages as well as Bettina claims, since we started this one right away, but I can tell you it’s delicious.

A Butterless-Eggless-Milkless Cake

One cup brown sugar

One-half cup fat

Two cups raisins

One-half teaspoon salt

One cup water

Two teaspoons cinnamon

One-half teaspoon cloves

One-half teaspoon mace

One-fourth teaspoon nutmeg

One teaspoon soda

One teaspoon baking powder

One Teaspoon vanilla

Two cups flour

One-half cup nut-meats

Place the sugar, fat, raisins, water, salt and spices in a stew kettle and cook slowly, stirring constantly, for five minutes.  Cool, add all the rest of the ingredients, and beat for two minutes.  Fill a loaf-cake pan, lined with waxed paper, half full, and bake in a moderately slow oven for fifty minutes.

This is a very popular cake.  It is easy to make, and keeps moist a long time.


    • Yes, mace seems to have gone out of fashion. I didn’t have any so used allspice instead. I used margerine for the fat since it seemed like cheating to use butter in a butter-less cake! I know that chicken fat was often used in baking, but I’m not sure how you’d ever save enough chicken fat!

      Liked by 1 person

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