No-Bake Festive Fruit Cake, 1953 – The Five Days of Vintage Fruit Cake

Posted on Dec 23 2013 - 5:17am by RetroRuth

This is it! The final day of The Five Days of Fruit Cake! And that is pretty funny, because we are ending this on a non-cake note.

Unless you consider an icebox cake a cake.


1.0 from 1 reviews
No-Bake Festive Fruit Cake
  • ½ cup PET evaporated milk
  • 16 marshmallows, finely cut
  • 3 T orange juice or alcoholic flavoring
  • 4 doz 2½ inch graham cracker squares, crushed
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp cloves
  • 1 cup seedless raisins, preferably ½ dark and ½ light
  • ½ cup dates, finely cut
  • ¾ cup walnuts, broken
  • ⅓ cup candied pineapple, cut
  • ⅓ cup candied cherries, finely cut
  • 2 T candied orange peel, finely cut
  1. Line with waxed paper the bottom of a 5 cup loaf or tube pan.
  2. Combine marshmallows, milk and flavoring in a bowl. Let stand until needed.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients and add milk mixture, mixing with spoon and then with hands until crumbs are moistened. Press firmly into pan, top with fruit and nuts.
  4. Cover tightly and chill two days before serving.


Festive Fruit Cake001 BHG Dec 1953


This one breaks all the rules with the addition of marshmallows, but I kind of liked it. After pounds of candied fruit, I was ready for a bit of a change.


Oh wait. There’s the fruit.


This ended up being a really interesting texture. I don’t know if I ended up adding enough graham crackers to the mix. I only had graham cracker crumbs so I had to guestimate how many to add (I added two cups, and probably could have added at least another one).


After the two day aging in the fridge, it actually turned into some kind of loaf.

A loaf which made Tom deeply suspicious.

Tom TastesIMG_4618



“It tastes like graham crackers. And sugar.”

The Verdict: Very Sweet

From The Tasting Notes:

The flavor of graham cracker is very strong. Not bad at all, and is actually pretty good, but it doesn’t taste like fruit cake. Tastes like a very sweet, very orange-y s’more, except without the chocolate. If we were going to make this again (which we might), we would cut back on the fruit and add lots of chocolate and make a s’more loaf!

*Note – I didn’t remember this until I had finished making it, but my friend Erica from Retro Recipe Attempts (who blogs here on Sundays and tests recipes) made this cake last December. Check out her review on her blog!

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (, No Pattern Required (, and I Ate The 80's (

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2 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. CAT December 23, 2013 at 9:48 am - Reply

    My question is, “After 5 days of making fruit cakes, did you have to remortgage your home to pay for all the expensive fruit??” Ha… I am a fruitcake lover myself, but I tell you, some of those recipes just looked gross!

    • dkzody December 23, 2013 at 7:46 pm - Reply

      I have to agree with you, Cat. I have an old recipe I use that makes 10 small loaves which I then age in brandy soaked cheesecloth. As we come up on Christmas Day, I have one cake still that has not been given away or eaten here at home. I made these in mid-November and people who don’t like fruitcake like them because they don’t have all the citron in them.

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