The Syrup Step You Can't Miss When Making Fruitcake

Fruitcake topped with icing
Fruitcake topped with icing - Sarsmis/Getty Images

One of the most controversial dishes of the holiday season is the fruitcake. The dessert — made from dried fruits, nuts, and a little bit of alcohol baked into a bready base — takes on a semi-sweet flavor. Despite its poor reputation, there are plenty of ways to enhance the flavor of this treat. Adding spices, changing up the fruits and nuts, or even adjusting the batter of the cake to make it a little sweeter can all improve the dessert.

Once the fruitcake is baked, there's one extra step that could make it taste even better. Simply make a syrup using sugar, water, and a flavorful beverage like alcohol or juice, then brush it over the cake once it's out of the oven. Allowing the cake to rest after it's been soaked in the syrup will ensure that the syrup imparts its flavors and moistens the cake.

Depending on what beverage you use to make the syrup, it could even add in a little extra flavor to the dessert, making this prep step one you should never skip for the best results.

Read more: Cake Hacks Every Baker Will Wish They Knew Sooner

Different Drinks Can Change The Flavor

Bowl and spoonful of golden syrup
Bowl and spoonful of golden syrup - Bhofack2/Getty Images

To make a cake soaking syrup, you'll want to first decide which flavors you want to incorporate into the dessert. If you want to add a little bit of liquor to the mix, rum and whiskey can both complement the taste of the fruitcake. However, you'll want to pay attention to the specific flavor notes of the drinks. While some whiskeys can be sweet and fruity, others may be a little smoky or spicy. Rum is often a little sweeter, with hints of vanilla, cinnamon, or coconut.

If you want to omit the alcohol entirely, there are still a few different beverages that will work just as well. You could brew up a cup of Earl Gray tea, or grab a carton of your favorite fruit juice. No matter what your drink of choice is, you'll want to dilute it a little bit. Mix equal amounts of the beverage with some water, then continue making the rest of the syrup.

How To Add Syrup To The Cake

Slices of fruitcake
Slices of fruitcake - Alesia.Bierliezova/Shutterstock

Once your liquid is ready, you'll want to add in the sugar. Make sure you maintain a ratio of ⅓ cup sugar to ⅔ cup liquid. Mix the sugar into the liquid and allow it to dissolve. While mixing, you can optionally add in some other flavors, too. A little bit of lemon juice could add some slight acidity, while some ginger or vanilla bean could give the flavor some warmth.

When the simple syrup is ready, it can be brushed onto the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. You'll want to saturate the surface of the cake, but be cautious not to completely soak the dessert. Then, allow the cake to cool, and set it aside to store for a few days. Letting the cake rest will allow the syrup time to thoroughly soak into the cake, adding flavor and moisture to the dessert.

If you're looking for a way to amplify your fruitcake, try mixing up a sweet syrup to soak it in. The added flavor and improved texture of the cake just might make fruitcake cynics go back to try a second slice.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.