The Fruitcake Hater's Fruitcake

for the cake:
3 oranges
1 cup dried cranberries or cherries
3/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup currants
1/2 cup dried apricots -- chopped
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup butter -- softened
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup chopped walnuts

for the icing:
10 ounces cream cheese -- softened
8 tablespoons powdered sugar
dried fruit for garnish

Preheat oven to 325 F. Butter and flour a 10" tube pan.

Grate 2 tbsp zest from oranges. Squeeze oranges to make 1 cup juice. Set aside. In medium saucepan, combine dried fruits and 2/3 cup orange juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain well, set aside. In large mixing bowl, cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, then add orange zest and vanilla, beat well. Alternately add combined dry ingredients and buttermilk to the creamed mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Stir in walnuts and fruit. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove to wire rack, cool completely.

For icing, beat together cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Add 1/3 cup orange juice, beat well. Spread icing on cake, garnish with dried fruit.

Cake can be made 5 days ahead; cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature 30 min. before serving. To freeze, wrap tightly in freezer wrap, heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic freezer-safe bags. Freeze up to 2 months. Bring to room temperature 45 min. before serving.

Note: Originally found years ago (in the late '80s or early '90s) in a holiday edition of a newspaper, probably The Las Vegas Review Journal. The recipe was an award winner for a holiday recipe contest. Unfortunately at that time we did not write down the name of the lady who invented this delicious award-winning recipe.

Servings: 12

For more great recipes like this one, be sure to visit http://www.christmas-cookies.com