Ice Box Fruitcake...It's not what you are expecting!




Please don't read the word "Fruitcake" in this recipe and scoff it off.  To do so, you are missing a very delicious, rich to the point of extravagance, and delightful holiday treat.

My mother started me with making Ice Box Fruitcake when I was around 5 to 6 years old, and I've only missed a very few years in making it during the Holiday Season, So I decided that I would blog post it as my 50th Anniversary (or more) in preparing this Holiday Gem.

Over the years, I've tweeked the original recipe from time to time, and this one is genuinely mine, to the core, so when you make it and your holiday guests bow down to worship, think of me and smile.

It's a refrigerated product, and just from the picture of the ingredients below, how could it be anything by decadent.


Simple Ingredients list:  Graham Crackers, Vanilla Wafers, Coconut, Pecans, Raisins, Candied Cherries, & Condensed Milk


The Graham Crackers AND the Vanilla Wafers should be 'pounded to the pulp', or powder.  I use a food processor these days.  I remember when learning, in the day, they went onto a clean bath towel, then folded over and rolled with a rolling pin.  My how times have changed...





Same with the Vanilla Wafers.  With both the Graham Crackers and the Vanilla Wafers, you will need to 'manually pulverize' any stray pieces not caught by the food processor.






After the dry goods, add the pecans, the raisins, and the coconut to the mixing bowl.


After the dry goods, add the pecans, the raisins, and the coconut to the mixing bowl.


At this point, it's essential to to what I call a premix.  Mix well, separating all raisins, coconut, nuts, and working for a nice dry mix.
Now, we are down to the last ingredient before mixing with the milk.  You can see that I am wearing Nitril gloves, that's mainly for the next step.  Now, you want to dice both the red and green cherries into very small bits.  Translated "STICKY".  Oh, by the way, in over 50 years, I have tried just everything to avoid this manual step.  I even put them in a blender, a food processor, and an electric dicer.  All resulted in the total loss of those cherries.  Trust me here.  This is a manual dicing operation, and the most time consuming step in the entire process.



After adding the diced cherries, do one last premix to free up all of the cherry bits by separating them and coating with the cracker/wafer dust.

Pour in that first can of Condensed milk and start squeezing.  After thoroughly mixed, add the second can and continue mixing.


Finished product, ready to rest.


Press, Pack, and Seal for the overnight.





Remove from fridge after overnight visit.  Let rest for ~20 minutes, then unwrap and cut into 1 inch squares.
THIS is NOT the 'fruitcake' you envisioned.  ENJOY!






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 RECIPE





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INGREDIENTS


1 box graham crackers
1 box valilla wafers
1 c. sm. candied red cherries
1 c. sm. candied green cherries
1 lb. box dark raisins
1 (7 oz.) package Angel Flake coconut
3 cups pecans
2 cans Eagle Brand Condensed milk


Cut two pieces of aluminum foil approximately 30 inches long.  Use the narrow foil roll, as the wide rolls in single aren’t wide enough for the task.  Lay the two pieces of aluminum foil one over the other, with the waxed sides facing inward.  Pleat one long side so that when unfolded, you have a 30 inch double wide piece of foil.  Line a 9x11 inch dish with the foil, leaving the four sides up for sealing, and placing the waxed side inside the dish, to be next to the cake mixture.

Roll crackers and wafers to a powder (or process in food processor).  Chop pecans finely.  Add coconut, raisins, cookies and wafers to a large mixing bowl and mix well, separating coconut and raisin clumps.  Dice both red and green cherries, and then add them to the mixture, mixing again to separate all the small cherry pieces.  Add milk, one can at a time and mixing thoroughly after each can.  Pack mixture into dish and pack well, with entire dish at equal depth.  Cover cake with the aluminum foil and refrigerate in the dish overnight.  Cut into 1-inch cubes to serve. Cutting will be easier if you remove the cake from the refrigerator and remove wrapped cake from pan for approximately 20 minutes before cutting into cubes.  Will keep through entire Holiday Season if kept tightly sealed and refrigerated.

YIELD:  117 1 inch squares



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