RECIPE WEDNESDAY: Try something new for Christmas – this is an old Alabama Fruit cake which features watermelon preserves


1924 recipe from Alabama Extension Service

  • 1 lb. butter
  • ¾ lb. sugar
  • 9 eggs
  • 1 lb. flour
  • 2 tbsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. mace
  • 1 ½ lbs. watermelon preserves
  • 1 ½ lbs. preserved figs
  • ½ c. grape juice
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • 2 lbs. raisins
  • 1 lb. pecans

Cream butter, add sugar gradually. Add well-beaten eggs. Mix and sift dry materials. Drain and cut fruit into medium-sized pieces. Add one-half dry materials to the sugar and butter mixture and one-half to the fruit. Combine these mixtures and add grape juice.

To cook in steam pressure cooker: Cake mixture may be cooked in any desired size cans. One pound of the cake mixture cooked in No. 2 tin cans makes a nice size cake for a gift. Grease the cans and cut paper for the bottom. Fill about three-fourths full of mixture. Tie paper over top to keep out moisture. Put info cooker and steam one-half hour without clamping the cover. Fasten the cooker and close pet cock. Cook one hour at 12 lbs pressure. Remove from cooker and put into a slow oven one-half hour or until dried.

Instant Pot IP-DUO Plus60 9-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker, 6 Qt



VINEGAR OF THE FOUR THIEVES: Recipes & curious tips from the past

  • Have you heard excessive brain labor causes baldness or the cure for wrinkles is a tepid bath in bran?
  • Do you want to know Thomas Jefferson’s recipe for Vinegar of the Four Thieves or how to make Ox Tail Soup?
  • Have you ever had ‘blueberry pickles’, ‘batallia pie’ or ‘snow birds’? You will learn all this and more in “Vinegar of the Four Thieves.”

Our ancestors had to be resilient when they faced obstacles in daily life, from dealing with pests, medical emergencies, caring for clothing and cleaning shortcuts. Almost everything they used in daily life was homemade. Some ideas were great but some were very strange.

This book is a collection of household tips, medical cures, clothing care and old recipes from the 1800’s and 1900’s. Many of the tips, such as the household cleaners, cooking tips and ways to control pests, still work and are helpful in today’s ‘green’ environment while others such as ‘how to cure a dog of eating eggs’ will make you laugh. Either way, this book will help you appreciate the difficult life your grandparents endured. With Bonus: First two chapters of novel Ribbon of Love

About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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  1. Jeannie Ramsey Webb

    Estelle Jammes look at this???

  2. Estelle Jammes
  3. Regina Mooney

    Yukk..Fruit Cake!! I won’t be trying it.

    1. Capria Woodson-Tabor

      If you have the opportunity, try Jamaican fruit cake (aka rum cake to Americans) or black cake. Most West Indian/Caribbean restaurants will sell one or both.

    2. Krissie Elaine N

      I agree … Fruit Cake ??? Oh no,not me !!

  4. Yvita Luckie

    Do you have the recipe for watermelon perserves? Mom had a really good recipe but it has been lost. Thanks.

    1. Mary Teague Howard

      Go under pinterest,there are water Mellon perserves recipes. My mother use to make it and it was so good.

    2. Lauren Smith Hanley

      I can see if Aunt Julia McQuaig might have Grandma’s.

  5. Frances Simmons Hughes

    I would love to try this but my fig tree died…have no source for fig preserves or watermelon preserves.

    1. Julie Dodd

      Durbin Farms just off I-65N in Clayton sells delicious fig preserves.

  6. Sarah Dixon

    Watermelon preserves..never seen them in fruitcake.

  7. Thressa Giles Wood

    Many years ago I came across the Alabama Fruitcake recipe. I had my preserved figs, but I had to wait until the next summer to make watermelon preserves for this recipe. I finally got to made the cake, but although it was good, it didn’t taste any different from the fruitcakes that I made with bought ingredients, and it was far more work!!

  8. Nancy Rives Cooper

    That looks like my grandmother.

  9. Wallace Sears

    This reminds me of the Truman Capote story “A Christmas Memory”. His elderly cousin (named Sook we learn from other stories) makes fruitcakes to send out for the Holiday, including one to President Roosevelt.

  10. Wallace Sears

    This reminds me of the Truman Capote story “A Christmas Memory”. His elderly cousin (named Sook we learn from other stories) makes fruitcakes to send out for the Holiday, including one to President Roosevelt.

  11. Norma Christopher

    My Daddy loved fruitcake, but I had to make a special version for him every Christmas. 2 cups pecans, dates, raisins, cherries and pineapple. He didn’t like Citron or orange/lemon peel which are in most commercial recipes. Maybe your recipe is similar to what he remembered from his Alabama childhood.

    1. Vainglorious Putrump

      They are a pain in the ass to make. Can’t start too early.

  12. Martha Pugh

    My mom cooked hers in pressure cooker! She used candied cheeries & pineapple instead of preserves. Was yummy!

  13. Emily McDaniel

    Ok…I don’t like getting political, but Roy Moore is Alabama fruitcake. Just sayin

    1. Frank Owen

      You go girls! Fruitcake with plenty of nuts!

  14. Randy Hardeman

    That’s gotta be better than the one we were discussing,,, like I said, the one we were talking about would survive a nuclear attack. LMAO.

  15. Trae Chambers

    Where’s the rum I thought you put rum in fruit cake

    1. Christie Papiani

      Lol, not in Alabama….that would be a sin!!!!

  16. Paul Shell

    Definitely needs some whiskey added and I’d use something besides the watermelon preserves.

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