Monday, December 22, 2008

An Icebox Fruitcake recipe

For those raised up in the South, you're probably familiar with what an "icebox" is. If you're not ... well ... it's an early refrigerator. Ran on ice. If you can call it running. It actually just sat there. An icebox was an insulated chest or cabinet that contained ice, and kept the contents cool. You'd restock it when the ice melted down. You've probably seen one. Ever watch The Honeymooners? The Kramdens had one. After refrigeration came affordable for many folks, the phrase "icebox" stayed around for a while. My grandmother (father's mother) often called her refrigerator "the icebox" until she died (a decade and a half ago). So, now that you know what an "icebox" is -- if you didn't already know, that is -- you'll understand better the name "icebox fruitcake." It's fruitcake insofar as it's very similar in appearance to traditional fruitcake. But it won't keep. Traditional fruitcake can be kept around 40 years or more. Or so it seems. Not so with icebox fruitcake. You need to eat it, or, like your --or my -- grandmother might say, "put it in the icebox." The Wife's grandmother actually is the source of this icebox fruitcake recipe. I don't like fruitcake. I like this. Ingredients
  • One box (approx. 12 oz.) of vanilla wafers
  • One pound of candied cherries (red and/or green)
  • One can (approx. 14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk (do not use evaporated milk)
  • One cup raisins
  • One cup coconut
  • One cup pecans, chopped.
  1. Finely crush vanilla wafers.
  2. In a large bowl, add the vanilla wafers and sweetened condensed milk.
  3. Hand mix until wafers are moistened.
  4. Add remaining ingredients.
  5. Mix well by hand.
  6. Press mixture into a buttered tube pan. Alternately, press into cupcake pan for individual-size cakes.
  7. Cover.
  8. Refrigerate overnight, or until firm.
It will spoil if you don't refrigerate it (or "put it in the icebox"). Keep in mind, there are many varieties of icebox fruitcake recipes. This is but one. Feel free to expand on it in any way (graham crackers, adult beverages, etc.). If you've never experienced an icebox fruitcake, you don't know what you're missing. If this recipe turns out to be your first ... well, you're welcome.


  1. Hey! We were JUST talking about this last night at my in-laws house. My sister-in-law brought it up but I had never heard of it before. I sent her your link on this. :-)

  2. My sis-in-law sent this to me and I'm so happy to have it. My grandmother made this and it was my favorite as a child. My mom and I knew the ingredients but not the quantities - thank you for posting it - now I'll make it for my daughter but with one tiny addition. My grandmother also added tiny marshmallows. Try it some time and thanks again.

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Basil! We loved the icebox fruitcake - we'll add it to our list for next year's gifting season!

  4. Merry Christmas hugs and wishes to you and the Mrs.


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