Last updated on September 24th, 2023 at 01:32 pm
Many people all over Panama and the world enjoy eating a sweet treat called Panamanian Fruitcake. The cake is rich and flavorful, with a distinct aroma and texture thanks to the abundance of fruit and nuts used in its construction.
During the colonial era in Panama, European bakers transferred their fruitcake recipes to the native populace, beginning a long tradition of making and eating fruitcake throughout the country.
The cake is a staple during holiday celebrations and wedding receptions, when it serves as the showpiece. Also, many households prepare and share their own variations of this cake during the Christmas season.
The delicacy known as Panamanian fruitcake is a time-consuming and difficult confection to make. The cake is baked slowly at a moderate temperature to retain its moisture and flavor, and each ingredient is carefully picked and prepared. In spite of its many steps, the cake continues to be a staple of Panamanian food and culture.
3 Reasons People Love Panamanian Fruitcake
1. Delicious Flavor: One of the primary reasons people love Panamanian fruitcake is its delicious flavor. The combination of various fruits and nuts in the cake creates a unique and rich taste that is hard to resist. The blend of spices used in the cake also adds an extra dimension of flavor that is both warming and comforting.
2. Cultural Significance: Another reason people love Panamanian fruitcake is its cultural significance. The cake is an integral part of Panamanian culture and is often associated with celebrations and special occasions. Sharing the cake with loved ones during these times creates a sense of togetherness and community, which is a significant aspect of Panamanian culture.
3. Nostalgia and Tradition: For many Panamanians, eating fruitcake is a nostalgic experience that brings back fond memories of their childhood or of time spent with loved ones. The cake is deeply rooted in tradition and has been a part of Panamanian cuisine for centuries. As a result, it has become an essential part of the country’s food culture, and many people love it for the feelings of nostalgia and tradition it evokes.
How To Make Our Panamanian Fruitcake Recipe
Ingredients (Serves 8):
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tbsp dark rum
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup apricot jam
1 cup raisins
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup candied cherries, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C).
2. Grease and flour an 8-inch round cake pan
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt.
4. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
6. Stir in the rum, milk, and apricot jam.
7. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mixing until just combined.
8. Fold in the raisins, dried apricots, candied cherries, walnuts, and pecans.
9. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
10. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
11. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.
Nutritional Values for One Serving of Panamanian Fruitcake
Saturated Fat: 12g
Trans Fat: 0g
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes.
List of Pots, Pans and Cooking Equipment:
8-inch round cake pan
Mixing bowls (medium and large)
Hand mixer or stand mixer
Measuring cups and spoons
Best way to store Panamanian Fruitcake:
To store Panamanian Fruitcake, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in an airtight container. You can also store it in a resealable plastic bag. The cake can be kept at room temperature for up to two weeks or in the refrigerator for up to one month. If you want to keep it longer, you can freeze it for up to three months.
Possible Substitutions for Ingredients in Panamanian Fruitcake:
Dark rum can be substituted with apple cider or orange juice.
Milk can be substituted with almond milk or coconut milk.
Apricot jam can be substituted with peach or plum jam.
Raisins, dried apricots, candied cherries, walnuts, and pecans can be substituted with any combination of dried fruits and nuts of your choice.
Ingredients to Substitute for a Vegetarian version of Panamanian Fruitcake:
Use vegetable shortening or margarine instead of butter.
Replace eggs with a vegan egg substitute or use unsweetened applesauce as a binding agent.
Tips and Tricks for Easier Creation of Panamanian Fruitcake:
Soak the dried fruits in rum or orange juice for a few hours before adding them to the cake batter to make them plumper and juicier.
Use a food processor to chop the dried fruits and nuts quickly and uniformly.
Sift the dry ingredients to ensure even mixing and avoid lumps.
Grease and flour the cake pan thoroughly to prevent sticking.
Possible Side Dishes and Desserts to serve with Panamanian Fruitcake
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
Fresh fruits such as strawberries, kiwis, or mangoes
Hot beverages such as coffee or tea
How to Serve Panamanian Fruitcake
Allow the cake to cool completely before slicing it into even portions.
Serve the cake as is or with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Garnish with fresh fruits if desired.
Enjoy the cake with a hot beverage of your choice.
FAQs About Panamanian Fruitcake
1. Can I make the cake ahead of time?
Yes, you can make the cake ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator or freezer until you’re ready to serve it.
2. How long does the cake last?
The cake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
3. Can I omit the alcohol?
Yes, you can omit the alcohol or replace it with a non-alcoholic alternative such as apple cider or orange juice.
4. Can I use different fruits and nuts?
Yes, you can use any combination of dried fruits and nuts that you prefer. Just keep in mind that the texture and flavor of the cake may vary depending on the ingredients used.
5. Can I make a smaller or larger cake?
Yes, you can adjust the recipe to make a smaller or larger cake. Just keep in mind that the baking time may need to be adjusted accordingly.
For important events and holidays, nothing beats a slice of traditional Panamanian Fruitcake. Though time-consuming to make, the dense and moist cake bursting with different kinds of fruit and nuts is well worth the effort. It’s hard to resist the irresistible aroma and flavor created by the special blend of spices and ingredients. Anyone can bake a tasty Panamanian fruitcake to share with friends and family with just a few simple ingredients and some know-how in the kitchen.
- 8-inch round cake pan
- Mixing bowls (medium and large)
- Hand mixer or stand mixer
- Measuring cups and spoons
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 Tbsp dark rum
- ¼ cup milk
- ¼ cup apricot jam
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup dried apricots chopped
- ½ cup candied cherries chopped
- ½ cup walnuts chopped
- ½ cup pecans chopped
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C).
- Grease and flour an 8-inch round cake pan
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Stir in the rum, milk, and apricot jam.
- Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mixing until just combined.
- Fold in the raisins, dried apricots, candied cherries, walnuts, and pecans.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
- Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.
Tips and Tricks for Easier Creation of Panamanian Fruitcake▣ Soak the dried fruits in rum or orange juice for a few hours before adding them to the cake batter to make them plumper and juicier. ▣ Use a food processor to chop the dried fruits and nuts quickly and uniformly. ▣ Sift the dry ingredients to ensure even mixing and avoid lumps. ▣ Grease and flour the cake pan thoroughly to prevent sticking.
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