Do you know anyone who actually likes fruitcake? I know exactly two people and they are Granny and my mom/intern. In fact our mom asks for a fruitcake every year for Christmas and because no one else is willing to even try this dessert pariah seasonal treasure, she gets it all to herself. I’m sure there are other fruitcake fans out there, but either I’ve never met them or they are in a secret society that doesn’t talk about their fruitcake affinity. So when I set out to make Sugarplum Bread and noticed that the star ingredient is *gasp* fruitcake mix, I nearly tossed it aside.
No one is more surprised than I am that I LOVED baking this bread. It made me feel like I was living in the poem, The Night Before Christmas. It makes two loaves of bread, so there is plenty to share with your extended family when they show up on Christmas Day. And despite that one off-putting ingredient, it is actually most delicious!
This recipe is not for the faint of heart. There is a total of 3 hours needed to let the dough rise, so if you have plans, cancel them. The good news however is that this bread recipe seems complex, yet is easy to follow even for a fairly novice baker like myself.
If you belong to that secret underground society of people who love fruitcake, you would love this bread. And if you, like me, think fruitcake seems like something that someone in a Charles Dickens novel would regift, you still will really love Sugarplum Bread! Serve it on Christmas morning toasted with some butter and coffee and Yule be starting your Christmas off in a most merry and delicious way (see what I did there?).
Sugarplum Bread is a seasonal sweet bread that is a perfect Christmas breakfast addition. Whether or not you like fruitcake, you'll love this bread.
- 5 1/4 c all purpose flour (separated)
- 2 pkgs active dry yeast
- 1/2 t ground nutmeg
- 1 1/3 c milk
- 1/2 c sugar
- 1/4 c butter
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 t vanilla
- 1 c raisins
- 1 c fruitcake mix (I found this in my grocery store in the holiday section)
- 1 c confectioners sugar
- 1/4 c milk for the icing
In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 c flour, yeast and nutmeg. In a medium saucepan over medium low heat, combine milk, sugar and butter stirring constantly until warm and butter has just melted.
Add wet mixture to the dry mixture. Add eggs and vanilla and beat at low speed for 1/2 minute, scraping bowl constantly. Beat for 3 minutes on high speed.
By hand, stir in raisins, fruit cake mix and enough flour to make a soft dough (approximately 3 - 3 1/4 c).
Once dough comes together, knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth (5-8 minutes). Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Turn once to coat the dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1 hour).
Punch down and divide dough into 2 halves. Shape into 2 balls and place on a greased baking sheet and pat tops to flatten slightly. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1 hour, 45 minutes).
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Remove from baking sheet and cool on a rack.
Drizzle with icing (icing: combine 1 c sifted confectioners sugar with 1/4 t vanilla. Add 3-4 T milk added one at a time until a drizzling consistency is reached).