White Mystery Fruit Cake – The Five Days of Vintage Fruit Cake

Posted on Dec 20 2013 - 5:16am by RetroRuth

Welcome to Day Two of the Five Days of Fruit Cake! There are many, many reasons why I picked today’s fruit cake for testing. The first reason is because it has the name “mystery” in the title. Whenever recipes have the word “mystery” or “surprise” in the title, I can’t help making them.


The second reason I chose this recipe is that I found it to be very similar to the modern recipe to make cake pops! I was interested to see what a whole, molded cake would taste like.

1.0 from 1 reviews
White Mystery Fruit Cake
  • White cake mix, prepared and cooled
  • 1 cup each of candied pineapple, lemon peel, orange peel and citron, cut up
  • 1 cup whole red cherries
  • 1½ cup white seedless raisins
  • 1 cup coconut, cut up
  • 4½ cups blanched almonds, cut
  • 1 box fluffy white frosting mix or 1 can fluffy white frosting
  1. Crumble cooled cake into a very large bowl. Add fruit and frosting to crumbled cake and mix.
  2. Pack tightly into a foil-lined 10 inch tube pan or two loaf pans. Cover cake with foil and chill in refrigerator at least 24 hours. Cake should be kept refrigerated.
  3. Slice with a sharp knife.


White Mystery Fruitcake001 BHG Dec 1958


At first, it seemed like this actually might work. The mixed fruit and nuts looked quite pretty.


However, you can see my tactical error in the background of this photo.


For some reason, I added TWO cans of frosting to this mix instead of one. I think it was because the original recipe calls for a boxed frosting mix which isn’t made anymore. I tried to find Jiffy’s white frosting mix for a substitute, but I couldn’t find that either. So, I decided just to sub canned frosting for the mix. But when I went to add the frosting, one can didn’t look like enough. And then I got to wondering how much frosting the frosting mixes actually made. In the ad it looked like quite a bit of frosting. But don’t fall into the same trap I did. One can of frosting is plenty!

But even with two cans, it still mixed up well and molded when it was chilled.

And it looked…interesting.


“This is the ugliest looking fruitcake I’ve ever seen.”

“I think it is kind of pretty. It looks like confetti.”

“It looks like barf.”

“Don’t judge. This might taste amazing.”

Tom TastesIMG_4712

“How is it?”

“It tastes ugly, too.”

The Verdict: Not Fruit Cake

From The Tasting Notes:

This is NOT a classic fruit cake in any sense of the word, so we can just skip over whether this is a good fruit cake or not. It’s no good as a regular cake either, because it really isn’t a cake so much as a pile of goo. Maybe it would have been better if I would have only used one can of frosting, but I think it probably would have tasted the same, just been of a firmer texture. If you are looking for a truffle-like dessert, then maybe this is what you are looking for. Tastes a little bit like birthday cake ice cream with a bunch of random fruit and nuts mashed into it. The texture was pretty much like wet cake smooshed into a ball, or like a soft, grainy truffle. If you’ve ever had a cake pop, you know what I’m talking about.

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit in...to 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 (www.midcenturymenu.com), No Pattern Required (www.nopatternrequired.com), and I Ate The 80's (www.iatethe80s.com).

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

  1. celia December 20, 2013 at 7:56 am - Reply


  2. Erica December 20, 2013 at 8:24 am - Reply

    Hahahaha, it looks like something that crawled out of a cake graveyard — are you sure this isn’t a cake zombie for Halloween?

    But seriously, how did Betty get that nice beige tone to her fruitcake?

  3. veg-o-matic December 20, 2013 at 10:23 am - Reply

    Betty Crocker still makes the Fluffy White frosting mix, it’s just hard to find. Bet you could substitute a batch of 7-Minute frosting, since it’s pretty much the same thing. I would imagine with two whole cans of regular frosting, this cake was tooth-achingly sweet.
    I agree with you–I think it looks kind of pretty!

  4. Ashley Bee @ Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine December 20, 2013 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    That’s been my cake pop fail, too. Too much frosting. This cake looks vile but I love that you’re making fruitcakes! Haha…

  5. Jenn Hubbard December 20, 2013 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    I think it actually looks pretty–too bad it didn’t taste that way!

    • Jenn Hubbard December 20, 2013 at 5:27 pm - Reply

      (It looks festive, like Christmas lights against a snowy lawn.)

      • Lassie December 21, 2013 at 11:46 am - Reply

        I think it looks beautiful! Too bad it didn’t work out, with all those nice ingredients.

        That’s the problem with no-bake things, they seldom turn out Martha-Stewart perfect, but often look gummy, oozy, or in the case of truffles, manhandled by somebody’s loving-hands-at-home.

  6. dkzody December 21, 2013 at 3:23 pm - Reply

    I remember when this process was popular, for awhile any way. My mother never tried it, though, as she saw no point in mooshing a lot of cake together. That’s why I’ve never gotten into the cake pops thing. It’s just a redo of this. Some day people will be making fun of those things, too.

  7. Susan December 23, 2013 at 10:24 am - Reply

    I love Tom’s comment “it looks like barf”. He’s such a trooper…

  8. Lindsay December 28, 2013 at 11:27 pm - Reply

    I found this site while searching for this recipe. My grandmother used to make it and it’s my aunts favorite. The boxed frosting would make a huge difference in the taste and texture, and she told me they served it frozen. She absolutely swoons when she talks about it. I think it would be worth another try, and to order the Betty Crocker boxed frosting mix online.

    • RetroRuth August 31, 2014 at 1:57 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Lindsay! I will have to add this to the re-do list to try it with boxed frosting and served frozen!

  9. Patrick Zaia August 26, 2014 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    Also kind of feeling that all your ingredients were diced wayyyy too fine to truly replicate the original. The cherries and the almonds in the recipe are much larger. Love that this recipe from 1958 is so similar to making cake pops today.

    • RetroRuth August 31, 2014 at 2:08 pm - Reply

      Yeah, you may be right. They came pre-diced, so maybe I will have to find some next year that are chunkier!

  10. Sandra Hayes October 20, 2014 at 4:30 am - Reply

    maybe a springform pan with a plate on top weighted down…..for a few days in the fridge?

  11. Laura March 10, 2015 at 12:53 pm - Reply

    Yeah, I think this would have a chance with the boxed icing. The boxed icing is egg-white based, and is fat free (has no oil or shortening in it), is more like sweet meringue. Canned icing is mostly shortening, probably made this really goopy.

  12. Owen Wills December 28, 2015 at 3:10 am - Reply

    I think this might work as a cake ball recipe, with less frosting.

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