Some time ago I was cleaning out our basement and I stumbled upon a box filled with recipes and notes. One of the recipes was for a Friendship Cake given to my dad from his now deceased sister Lois. I sat there reminiscing about the family dinners and meals that we shared with Aunt Lois throughout my youth. She was the food entertainment soul of his family and every Sunday one could count on a full feast at her house. These meals always included a plethora of desserts including this Friendship Cake.
I’m sure my love of cooking and baking was shaped from these experiences and I couldn’t wait to adapt this Friendship Cake and to pay homage to Aunt Lois. The Friendship Cake is nothing new. Careful research showed me many variations of its concept in many different countries over the world. Herman Cake and Amish Friendship Bread are just two of its variations. The concept is simple. One person creates a starter syrup which is fermented and cultivated over 30 days. At the end of the thirty days part of the fermented syrup is used to bake a cake for you and the other pints of syrup are passed to two friends. They repeat the process and the starter is supposedly passed around from friend to friend indefinitely.
A lengthy process but oh so worth it. This cake comes out wonderfully moist and the addition of pecans + the peaches, pineapple, cherries and raisins gives it a fruit cake vibe. Give the recipe a try if you are up for the friendship sharing challenge.
Friendship Syrup Starter
Day 1: Add 1 large can of peaches and juice to a large gallon jar. Chop the peaches into pieces. Add 2 1/2 cups of sugar and stir with a wooden spoon until dissolved. Continue to stir once a day for 10 days. Cover jar with a cheese cloth and leave sitting out. DO NOT COVER WITH LID. DO NOT REFRIGERATE.
Day 10: Add 1 large can of chunk pineapples and juice with 2 1/2 cups of sugar. Stir everyday for 10 more days. The color will change. Fruit will foam when stirred.
Day 20: Add 2 small jars of maraschino cherries sliced in half. DO NOT ADD juice. Add 2 1/2 cups of sugar and stir once a day for 10 more days. Cherries will give the syrup a pink color.
Day 30: Cake is ready to be baked. Cake recipe below is for one bunt cake. Measure out 2 cups of the syrup for your cake. Divide remaining syrup into mason jars and give to two friends. Be sure to pass the cake recipe along as well.
Friendship Fruit Cake
2 cups all-purpose gluten free flour blend
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup organic cane sugar
1/2 cup organic brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups fermented friendship syrup
1 cup natural unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup golden raisin
1 cup crushed pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a fluted bunt pan with baking spray. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Slow add coconut oil, cinnamon and vanilla. Scrape the sides of the bowl stir in brown sugar and friendship syrup. Slowly beat in dry ingredients until well combined. Do not over beat. fold in applesauce, golden raisins, and crushed pecans.
- Pour batter into well greased fluted bunt pan and bake 50-60 minutes or until an inserted knife to the center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool completely before removing from bundt pan.