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Max Ferguson’s Christmas cake

The Story

Heavy with sweet fruits and rich nuts, a good Christmas cake has just enough flour and eggs to bind everything together. A fruitcake recipe can be found in any respectable cookbook, but CBC Radio's Max Ferguson has one for Morningside listeners in 1977. When he previously broadcast the "strange" recipe, Ferguson says, it generated a lot of complaints. But this time he's got it right, giving out the ingredients and method with a few hilarious asides thrown in for good measure.

Medium: Radio
Program: Don Harron's Morningside
Broadcast Date: Dec. 1, 1977
Host: Max Ferguson
Duration: 4:37
Photo: CBC Still Photo Collection

Did You know?

The full recipe is as follows (metric conversions in parentheses):
• 1½ pounds (680 g) mixed salted nuts (no peanuts please)
• ½ pound (225 g) pitted dates
• 4 oz. (125 mL) red maraschino cherries
• 4 oz. (125 mL) green maraschino cherries
• ½ cup (125 mL) golden raisins
• 1 small can pineapple tidbits
• 4 oz. (125 mL) candied orange peel
• 8 oz. (250 mL) mixed candied peel
• ¾ cup (175 mL) flour
• ¾ cup (175 mL) sugar
• ½ teaspoon (2 mL) baking powder
• 3 eggs, beaten until frothy
• 1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla extract

1. Combine all fruits and nuts in a large bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, sugar and baking powder.
3. Add flour mixture to fruit mixture and combine using your hands until fruit is evenly coated.
4. Add eggs and vanilla and stir into a batter.
5. Pour batter into prepared loaf pans and bake at 300 F for 30 to 45 minutes, or until firm to the touch.


• For another take on fruitcake from CBC-TV's Midday, see the CBC Digital Archives clip The great dark vs. light fruitcake debate.


• Listen to the clip Stalin, Mao and your mother's fruitcake for tips from CBC's Kate Aitken on how to use up your leftover fruitcake.



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