This recipe is a family tradition that dates back to the depression years when people could not afford the luxury of a traditional fruitcake at Christmas.
My grandmother baked this cake for my dad for his birthday when he was a boy, he is now 87. I was so excited when I found the recipe, it is meant to be heavy and a bit dry. To avoid that if you wrap the cake and let it sit for 7 days as suggested, it will be more moist. I think the addition of pecans would be good. Grandma Julie made an icing as such. I bake the cake in a bundt pan and cover it with the following: Use a heavy skillet (I use an iron skillet) Melt 1 stick of butter or margarine to a bubble-y state, stirring, add brown sugar approx 1#, mix well-cook till bubble-ing, it will be like a heavy caramel with a fudge like texture. Add 2-3 Tablespoons of milk or cream. Stir well to mix, remove from heat and quickly spoon/drizzle over the decorative side of the bundt cake. This will dry and crack as you slice the cake, but oh so good. It also helps hold the moisture in. Either wrap in plastic wrap or foil for the 7 seven day period. I hope this is helpful to someone. I lowered the oven temp and checked with toothpick till it came out clean or with dry like crumbs on it. Dad says it is as "Good as Mom's" and that is good enough for me. - 06 Dec 2002 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)
Cooking time at start of recipe contradicts the cooking time given at the end of the recipe. Does not take long to cook - 4o minutes for 18 person size. Found the mixture very dry - 'batter' is normally a liquid consistency. Very tasty. - 18 Jul 2001 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)