After extensive research, ordering and tasting, we’ve found it: the most flavorful, delectable, all-around best fruit cake you can buy. Yes, that butt of every bad-holiday-gift joke does in fact have real fans—devotees who consume millions of pounds of the stuff each holiday season. And those fans play serious favorites.
Some fruit cakes do live down to their reputation as dry, dense, flavorless rings that could survive nuclear winter. But it’s their overachieving cousins we were interested in: incredible concoctions teeming with pecans and liqueur, candied cherries and raisins, that can make even haters give fruit cake another look.
Here at RedPlum Central we hit the phones and the Web, and infiltrated coffee klatches across the country (fine, around Boston), to discover the store-bought fruit cakes with the biggest buzz. We would decide once and for all: what’s the best fruit cake you can buy?
From this recon. our list of nominees was compiled. First came the presumptive finalists, Meryl-Streep-like favorites such as the beloved beauty from Old Cavendish. Next the indie, Hilary Swank-types, like the do-gooder cake from the nonprofit Women Helping Women. And finally the Marisa Tomei-types (think Costco's shiny happy entry) that no one takes seriously until they somehow steal an Oscar for their work in a frothy comedy.
Once our cakes had come in, flown in from around the country, we assembled thirty RedPlum staffers in a room, fruit cake lovers and non-fans alike. And we conducted an exhaustive, detailed, blind taste test of the ten fruit cakes thought to be the best on the market. We judged them on appearance, flavor, texture, aroma. There were cries of joy and shreiks of horror, and by the time each piece had been tasted, there was also a clear winner. Our tasters had found the best fruit cake you can buy!
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(Skip to the Winner.)