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Betty’s Mystery Fruitcake

By Meghan McAndrews
Created January 10, 2017
‘Tis the season to get nostalgic, so we’re serving up a slice of kitschy goodness in the form of fruitcake.

Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that fruitcake has earned a hall-of-fame spot in the hallowed halls of holiday dessert history. As we combed Betty’s archives to track the evolution of this quintessential Christmas dessert, one cake stood out as irresistibly innovative: Betty’s Mystery Fruitcake. 

Debuting in 1947, this “never-fail recipe” consisted of crumbled-up Betty Crocker Honey Spice Cake Mix, combined with a decadent mix of candied fruits, dates, raisins and pecan halves, with the resulting jewel-like cake weighing in at six-and-a-half pounds. Advertised as “grandmother good,” the unique no-bake preparation greatly reduced the risk of scorching, which undoubtedly gave homemakers around the land yet another reason to rejoice. (Teetotalers of the era were also likely to appreciate the cake’s liquor-free preparation, a rare thing in the world of fruitcakes!) 

Looking for a more modern interpretation of this traditional treat? From icebox cookies to fruitcake granola, we’ve got you covered!