Fruitcake became popular in Europe in the late 16th century, an ingenious idea resulting from imperialism’s influx of exotic fruits and cheap sugar.  The fruit was preserved by soaking it in concentrated sugar water.

What better way to eat candied fruit than wrapping it in cake?!

It’s unclear when someone had the brilliant idea to macerate the fruit and soak the cake in liquor, but surely no one put up much of an argument.

Always a fair man, during the holidays William Beekman would allow his servants to make products to sell in his mercantile and earn extra income.  His housekeeper, Generous, was well-known for her “spirited” fruitcakes.  She used only the best ingredients from the shelves of the mercantile, just like the version that we sell today.

Our version, made in the ovens of the Black Cat Bakery right in Sharon Springs, is a “generous” 1.5 lbs, and contains only the best assortment of fruits macerated in locally distilled spirits.

Each cake is hand-wrapped in brandy-soaked cheesecloth.  As the cake is consumed, keep the remainder wrapped and continue to brush the cloth with your own brandy or spirit of choice.  The flavors will continue to develop.  (You can try this technique with any fruitcake that finds its way to your doorstep)

NOTE:  The Generous Fruitcake is available in the Beekman 1802 Mercantile each year beginning Thanksgiving Day and is available for purchase until January 1.  To every thing there is a season…

To purchase, click here

We believe in sharing.  If you’d like to try our recipe yourself, click here


Leave a Reply

  • By: dena

    Will the recipe be available? Would love to make this on my own. TY

  • By: Peggy Sahl

    I'm sad, where is the friutcake? I have been waiting to order it. I checked Thanksgiving and now the day after and I still can't order it. It's not available when you "Click Here" to purchase.

    • By: Dr. Brent

      Hi, Peggy. Call the Mercantile for inquiries: 519 284 6039. You can also purchase at Williams-Sonoma online and at their larger stores nationwide

  • By: Diane

    Fruitcakes are soaking up some more Rum! Thank you for the recipe. My husband loves the cake! Have a joyous holiday filled with love and laughter! Looking forward to Season 2. Thank you for sharing so much of yourselves with us. You both inspire me to make life count. Diane M

  • By: Dave

    I made the fruit cakes over the weekend. Great flavor. I baked them in bundt pans. Makes a great presentation for a desert table or at an open house.

  • By: margaret thall

    We made 3 this am – made house smell really good – eating one as watch the giants play!

  • By: shannon

    HI guys!

    I made the fruitcake this weekend…loved it! I didn't have all the fruits in there that you did, but it was yummy! I am sending a loaf off to my sister in FL for a bit of old time Chrismtas cheer from New England. Thanks for the recipe. I am including a link on my blog to share your recipe with my readers.



  • By: Nancy Hill

    Here I go AGAIN…. this time I will not be so foolish to just order 1 …then have to reorder! 2 for me….then maybe a third later…..

  • By: Elena

    I hear it's great! I sent it to my mom for us to share during the holidays and she ate the whole thing before I even knew it arrived! I only wish she'd saved me some . . .

  • By: Phyllis

    Back in 1975, I made a fruit cake from a recipe out of a paperback called Edgar Cayce Cookbook.( or something like that) I used only dried fruit ,cherries, apricots, whatever fruit you like, raisins, pecans or ground up almonds ( soaked it in orange juice I think), but the different ingredient was carob powder. That turned out to be the best tasting fruitcake I ever ate EVER. A friend borrowed the cookbook and moved. Then she said she lost it! HA! You know who you are. I think I will try to recreate the cake this year, get those little loaf pans, and give it to a bunch of people who don't like fruit cake. Bye bye.

  • By: nancy hill

    I can testify! I usually hate fruitcake…. with that yellow candied stuff – blea! This Generous Fruitcake truly is the best… I am ordering my second one now – so I can take it on a trip to a Southern AZ Bed & Breakfast for Christmas.

  • By: Bill

    Please tell me you don't use candy fruit…that is not a real fruitcake–you need dried cherries, cranberries blueberries, yellow rasin, currents and etc.


    • By: Dr. Brent

      Where on earth would you get the idea that we use candied fruit? Blasphemy!! All of our fruits are macerated for days in locally-sourced apple jack.

  • By: nancy hill

    just received my fruitcake – too fabulous… It will clearly not last until Christmas… guess I better order another one.

  • By: weekendfarmer

    Hey Happy Thanksgiving! Whats on the menu today? I hope you have a warm fire, loads of friends and a big, long table full of treats. Enjoy the holidays!

  • By: Steve Momrow

    Delicious! But don't forget about "All About Eve" for a true holiday classic – or "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?"

Leave a Reply