Rich Fruit Cake Recipe From Monticello

Monticello in Charlottesville, Va., shares a favorite fruit cake recipe from holiday season parties of the time. Enjoy its old-fashioned charm.
Monticello in the Snow

Monticello in the Snow

Photo courtesy of Monticello.

Similar Topics:

Recipe courtesy of Monticello.

No menus of dinners at Monticello have survived. Visitors to the President's House from 1801 to 1809 did provide some information on specific dishes. Monticello's Culinary Historian Leni Sorensen recommends Mary Randolph's The Virginia Housewife as the best source of recipes that most likely would have been served at Monticello. Mary Randolph was Thomas Jefferson's daughter Martha's sister-in-law. There was much contact between the Monticello family and Mrs. Randolph (in Richmond) in the ten years before Jefferson's death.


Have the following articles prepared before you begin the cake; four pounds of flour dried and sifted; four pounds of butter washed to free it from salt; two pounds of loaf sugar pounded, a quarter of a pound of mace, the same of nutmegs powdered; wash four pounds of currants clean, pick and dry them, blanch one pound of sweet almonds, and cut them in very thin slices, stone two pounds of raisins, cut them in two, and strew a little flour over, to prevent their sticking together, and two pounds of citron sliced thin; break thirty eggs, separating the yolks and whites.


Work the butter to a cream with your hand, put in, alternately flour, sugar, and the froth from both whites and yolks, which must be beaten separately, and only the froth put in. When all are mixed, and the cake looks very light, add the spice, with half a pint of brandy, the currants and almonds; butter the mold well, pour in part of the cake, strew over it some raisins and citron, do this until all is in: set it in a well heated oven, when it has risen, and the top is colored, cover it with paper; it will require three hours baking-it must be iced.

Next Up

Ginger Cake Recipe

For your next holiday party, make our festive ginger cake.

Brandied Christmas Fruit Cake

Make this fruit cake three months in advance, store it in several layers of baking parchment in an airtight tin and gradually soak it with brandy over a series of weeks to ensure it has a rich flavor.

Fruit and Nut Chocolate Brittle Recipe

This tasty treat is easy to make and can be customized to suit anyone's taste. Make multiple batches of white, milk and dark chocolate brittle with assorted fruit and nuts to surprise everyone on your gift list.

Cranberry-Maple Christmas Layer Cake Recipe

This decadent, cardamom-scented cake features a colorful surprise inside: cranberry-orange filling. A light-as-air maple frosting, sugared cranberries and a pecan garnish make this cake fit for a celebration.

Grandma Carr's Sugar Cookies

The historic Commodore Joshua Barney House shares a favorite cookie recipe for your next holiday party.

White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn Recipe

If you're expecting a house full of guests this holiday season, we've got the perfect crowd-pleasing treat that adds a seasonal touch to everyone's favorite snack.

Tasty Pecan Tassies Recipe

These tart-like goodies are the perfect mix of nuts and cookies. Make this traditional holiday treat with real maple syrup; you (and your guests) will love the homey taste.

Mincemeat Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

These flavorful cookies combine the wonderful tastes of fruit and spice. The robust mincemeat center is perfect with the sweetness of the cookie. Be sure to refrigerate before baking to prevent unwanted spreading of the dough in the oven

Plum Pudding Recipe

Make this decadent dessert for your next Christmas gathering.

Gingerbread House Cookies Recipe

Entertain restless children with this delicious, edible craft.


Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.