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A modern spin on a holiday classic

Published on Tuesday, December 17, 2013

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A modern spin on a holiday classic
Family Features

Traditional goodies always add a touch of sweetness to the holidays.  But updates to some of your favorite holiday classics help keep family traditions alive while incorporating creative and on-trend ingredients.

Everyone knows fruitcakes have long been a holiday tradition, and new and improved versions of this timeless treat are making a festive comeback, causing many holiday guests to go back for seconds.

The new fruitcake

A modern take on a Christmastime classic, this two-layer upside-down apple cake, studded with whiskey-soaked fruits and filled with sweetened mascarpone, will be the belle of any holiday ball. 

Upside-Down Apple Cake with Whiskey-Soaked Fruit 

Prep Time: 1 Hour 45 Minutes 
Start to Finish: 4 Hours 
Yield: 16 servings

Fruit Cake  
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries  
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots 
2 teaspoons grated orange peel 
3 tablespoons whiskey or bourbon 
3 red apples, unpeeled, quartered, cored, very thinly (1/4 inch) sliced  
1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist yellow cake mix 
1 cup water 
3/4 cup slivered almonds, finely ground 
1/3 cup vegetable oil 
4 eggs 
3 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger 

Toppings  
1/4 cup apple jelly 
2 ounces (from 8-ounce container) mascarpone cheese, softened 
1/2 cup whipping cream 
1 tablespoon sugar  
Fresh cranberries and orange slices, if desired   

In medium bowl, mix dried cranberries, apricots, orange peel and bourbon. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour or overnight. 

Heat oven to 350 degrees F (325 degrees F for dark or nonstick pan). Generously grease bottom and sides of two 8-inch round cake pans with shortening. Line bottom of each pan with cooking parchment paper. Grease parchment paper with shortening. 

Line bottom and side of each pan with overlapping apple slices, cutting slices as necessary to line side of each pan. 

In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, ground almonds, oil and eggs with electric mixer on low speed until moistened, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in soaked dried fruit and ginger. Gently pour into pans over apple slices. 

Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately turn pans upside down to release cakes onto cooling racks. In small microwavable bowl, microwave apple jelly uncovered on High 15 to 30 seconds, stirring every 15 seconds, until hot. Brush over apples on top and side of each cake to make shiny. Cool completely, about 1 hour. 

Meanwhile, in medium bowl, beat mascarpone cheese, whipping cream and sugar with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. On serving plate, place one cake, apple side up. Top with whipped cream mixture. Gently place remaining cake layer on top of cream, apple side up. Garnish with fresh cranberries and orange slices. Cut into slices with serrated knife. Cover and refrigerate any remaining cake.    

1 Serving: Calories 300 (Calories from Fat 120); Total Fat 14g (Saturated Fat 4.5g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 60mg; Sodium 220mg; Potassium 150mg; Total Carbohydrate 39g (Dietary Fiber 2g); Protein 3g Percent Daily Value: Vitamin A 8 percent; Vitamin C 0 percent ; Calcium 8 percent; Iron 6 percentExchanges: 1 Starch, 1 1/2 Other Carbohydrate, 2 1/2 Fat Carbohydrate Choices: 2 1/2 

Make it ahead and save some time. Prepare the dried fruit the night before, or bake the cake layers, and whip up (and refrigerate) the topping a day early. Put the cake together the day you serve it for best results.
  
This layered cake can also be made as two single layer cakes for smaller gatherings. Skip the stacking of the layers and place a single cake layer, apple side up, on a cake stand. Top the cake with a dollop of the sweet cream topping, and garnish with cranberries and orange slices.

Source: Betty Crocker

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