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Best Fruitcake Mail Order?

I'm wanting to send a fruitcake to my brother who is ill. I've sent him cakes in the past Collin Street Bakery. I've never seen the product, and while he claims to like it, I'm wondering if I'm missing some other amazing mail order fruitcake.

All input is appreciated! TIA

(The last post I could find on this topic was from '00, so I'm looking for some recent experiences.)

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  1. I have a aunt and uncle that send me a fruitcake from Colin Street Bakery. It is a typical commercial fruitcake with plenty of cloyingly sweet glazed fruit, roasted pecans, and the a cake itself has the consistency of fresh concrete. I usually donate my cake to a free meal program where I volunteer, and I prefer to bake my own. There is a group of monks in Missouri/Kentucky that are supposed to produce a very fine product, but i don't have the name or contact information for them.

    IMVHO, most commercial fruitcakes are better used for doorstops and ridding homes of small insect infestations than for human consumption, but I am a professional baker and I have high standards when it comes to baked goods. There are some small local bakery's that make a great fruitcake, but beware any product that contains Technicolor glazed fruit as a garnish. fruitcake is not technically difficult to make, and the results will make you truly make you a connoisseur of this much maligned holiday tradition.

    Alton Brown has a very good fruitcake recipe on his site, and it accepts personal adjustments for taste very well. Distilled to its essence a fruitcake is little more than a spice cake with macerated dried fruit and nuts added. The best fruitcakes are aged for 30-45 days in a cool area, and spritzed with rum or brandy on a weekly basis.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Kelli2006

      I'm not entirely married to the fruitcake idea, but something *similar* to that -- I've sent him other cakes from Collins before (a pineapple pecan cake was one of them) - so something along those lines is what I'm looking for -- I thought if a good mail order fruitcake existed, that would be the ticket. Thanks for the tip on the monks...

      1. re: Kelli2006

        Panforte, an Italian variation on the fruit cake, is fabulous. I've had several from different places, all good.

      2. The monks are in Bardstown, Kentucky. They also do cheese.
        www.gethsemanifarms.org

        phone 800-549-0912

        1 Reply
        1. re: Janet

          Absolutely. Hands down the best I've ever had besides my mother's. The cheese is outstanding too, as is the Bourbon fudge.

        2. My father adores fruitcake and his absolute favorite (widely praised) comes handmade from the monks of Assumption Abbey in the Ozark region of my home state Missouri. Here's the link: http://www.trappistmonks.com/ or Toll Free: 1-888-738-0117
          Order directly from them to avoid the extreme markup of Williams Sonoma. Don't delay as they seem to run out every year.

          3 Replies
          1. re: wiggylove

            I had no idea that there were monks in both Missouri and Kentucky that sold fruitcakes. The Trappist monks in Missouri is the monastery that I was referring to, but the Kentucky monks appear to produce a very fine product as well. Janet and Wigglylove, I am surprised and very impressed with your search skills.

            1. re: Kelli2006

              We ordered from both sets of monks recently. Just got the Gethsemani and the good monks have found their way to corn syrup, food coloring, artificial flavors, preservatives and margarine. It tastes a little sweeter than I would like, and we are quite disappointed that they use these ingredients.

              Will report on the Assumption Abbey once we receive it.

            2. re: wiggylove

              I've been searching for that William Sonoma fruit cake with no success, I had lost hope until I search here!! Thank you! my hole family and myself adore that cake. Thankyou!!

            3. Dinkel's Bakery (dinkels.com) in Chicago makes excellent fruitcakes and stollen, which they sell in store as well as by mail or internet orders. The stollen, more Bavarian then Dresdner in style, would be a good alternative to fruitcake. I prefer the cinnamon stollen to the ones with powdered sugar.

              This bakery has been in the same family since it was started in 1922. I quit baking my own fruitcakes several years ago because it wasn't worth the effort relative to buying at Dinkel's. Ingredient quality is excellent including using real butter.

              We buy from the store because it is less than three miles from our home. When my parents were still alive, we routinely had Dinkel's send them a fruit cake and stollen combo every Christmas. Service was alway excellent. They only ship certain days of the week so baked goods are not in transit over the weekend.

              1. I like the Assumption Abbey fruitcakes mentioned above. I'm not a huge fan of fruitcake, but this one is the best I've had.

                1. If you make your own, it's easy, cheaper, and more delicious, since you can pick and choose the fruit and nuts you prefer. It's the simplest of cakes to make, and pretty foolproof. You can play with any recipe by adding jams and freeze-dried espresso (my fave additions besides dried figs and cranberries) for moisture and flavor. Then I drown them in rum or brandy and wrap them for a month - heaven! Hmm...it's about time to go to the store...

                  1. Everyone I know who HATES fruitcake, loves the ones from the monks in Berryville, Va. I love em too, though I don't like the chocolate covered fruitcake slices.

                    Thanks,

                    Kevin

                    http://www.monasteryfruitcake.org/

                    1. The best fruitcake I've ever tasted was from Women Helping Other Women in North Carolina. An Australian friend of mine--a softball coach--gave one to us last year called Crandao (sp??), and it was unbelievable. I can't find any mail order info online right now, but I'll check with aforementioned friend and post my findings.

                      4 Replies
                        1. re: mamaciita

                          WHO Women makes the very best all natural fruitcakes in world. No additives, fillers or preservatives. Just simply delicious. Their Chocolate Berries has put a new meanings
                          to fruitcake. Oh My Gosh this is a dream come true for chocolate lovers all over the world.

                          1. re: mjames

                            I live in California, and WHO Women fruitcake was written up in our local paper as being
                            good,,,,SOO, me, being the crazy fruitcake lover that I am (but must be high quality) I ordered some immediately to be sent to our family Xmas this year in Georgetown. I ordered the Berries, Cherries and Nuts cake and the Apricot Cranberry Cake. Both were DELICIOUS! Full of dried fruits and nuts, just "real" stuff. I wanted to take some leftovers back home to California, but my daughter wouldn't let me, she wanted to keep it all. She had even made fruitcake this year, but it wasn't nearly as good as the WHO cake. Another bonus: their prices are pretty cheap for such high quality. I would rather have these cakes than a scone or breakfast pastry any day! I will be ordering these every year! PS., don't think they had any booze in them.

                          2. re: mamaciita

                            This really is the best! I helped some of their staff demo the product when they first started. I recently saw them at a made in NC event and they had expanded to a number of non-seasonal items. Everything I sampled was excellent!

                            They have really done a lot of good. Their location is a small area, so they have a sizable impact.

                          3. www.bienfaitcakes.com in Greensboro, VT. Made with love, profits go to charity.

                            1. Hello - I have HATED Fruitcake all my life UNTIL I tried a Quality fruitcake at a snooty party a few years ago. It's one of those situations where you simply "get what you pay for". The ingredients of a quality cake are very expensive - candied fruits, nuts, and BOOZE! After attempting to make them one year and seeing the cost of the ingredients, it is cheaper and SAFER to buy them from a great source. I love the MONKS OF THE ABBEY Fruitcakes available sometimes at Williams Sonoma, the Collins Street Bakery is Amazing too. I also have recently found RALPHS MARKET sells a 1 pound cake for under $10.00 packaged as "Grandma's bake shoppe" - made by the Beatrice Bakery Company that is excellent as well and perfect for your personal guilty pleasure and small enough that you won't be tempted to eat a 3 pound cake over the holidays on your own! lol. If you haven't personally tried one of these AMAZING delectables - than the Fruitcake joke is on YOU! FYI - Costco sells a 3 lb cake for $13.00. Two years ago - they weren't bad if you were taking it to a "pot luck", but last year they were awful. I can't say this year because I just didn't want to take the chance. This year - I'm going with what I know. Grandma's will do unitl I get my COLLINS Street Bakery fruitcake in the mail! Good luck and GOOD EATIN'!