2 hrs 30 mins, plus macerating and aging time (the latter optional)
Makes:2 (9-inch) loaves
White fruitcake, so named because it’s made with sugar as opposed to the more common molasses, has origins in the South. It also goes by “groom’s cake” because it was traditionally served to a groomsman before his wedding. Buttery and tender, this fruitcake has a texture more reminiscent of pound cake, but is studded with pineapple and cherries for a festive fruitcake touch.
Game plan: You have to let the fruit macerate for 24 hours before proceeding with the recipe, so factor that into your fruitcake-making plans.
We found this cake equally delicious eaten fresh or after it had aged. For the aged fruitcake, we felt the taste and texture were best after about a month, but the cake was still delicious (though quite boozy) up to 3 1/2 months.
1/4 cup Cointreau or other high-quality orange-flavored liqueur
For the cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
4 sticks (1 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs, at room temperature
Bourbon, for aging (optional)
For the fruit:
Combine all ingredients in a large container and stir to mix. Cover tightly and let macerate at room temperature for 24 hours.
For the cake:
Heat the oven to 300°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans with butter; set aside.
Combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger in a large bowl and whisk to aerate and break up any lumps; set aside.
Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix at medium-high speed until pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Add sugar and continue mixing until fluffy, about another 3 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time, letting each mix in fully before adding the next. Stop the mixer a few times to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and transfer the batter to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Fold in the macerated fruit until just incorporated. Divide the batter between the prepared pans.
Bake until the cakes are golden, set throughout, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 1/2 hours.
Let cool 30 minutes in the pans on a wire rack. Run a knife around the outside of each cake, turn them onto the rack, and let cool completely before slicing and eating, or aging.
To age the fruitcakes, store each at room temperature in an 11-by-7-by-3-inch plastic container with a tightfitting lid and brush with 1/4 cup bourbon every 10 days for up to 3 1/2 months.