04 November 2006

Review: Claxton Fruit Cake, Light and Dark

The latest fruitcake hails from Claxton, Georgia. Claxton has two types of fruitcakes, the light and the dark. I ordered one of each. (photo to the right shows both boxes--the one on top has a little disclaimer on the photo of the fruitcake saying something to the effect of "this is a photo of the light one--the box really contains the dark one")

The Claxton bakery has an interesting story—founded by an Italian immigrant, and brought to its current level of success by an employee that started working at the bakery when he was fourteen. The cake is shipped with a brochure telling the whole story, which can also be found here, so on to a review of the cake.

The 2-pound fruitcake is $16.95. I ordered one each, light and dark, which came to $33.90 (free shipping!). This cake is distinctive because of its loaf shape; all of the previous cakes have been round (although the Swiss Colony ones were small loaves, the normal size Christmas fruitcake is shipped as a round cake). If you peruse the story in the brochure or website, you’ll see that the fruitcake is baked in very large, wide pans that look like they contain about 10 pounds worth of cake. Those cakes are then sliced into smaller loaves. From a manufacturing standpoint it’s a great idea; I imagine it speeds up the production process. It was a little weird, though, because one of my cakes was the end piece, so had a red waxed paper pan liner on three sides, while the other was the middle section, so it only had the paper on the two ends. You do get the impression of this being a “manufactured” cake.

As for the cakes themselves: both of the cakes have basically good ingredients, except for high fructose corn syrup. Of course there are some preservatives and food coloring, but there are no root vegetables. Both of these cakes contain orange peel, and both also contain almonds, where most of the other cakes contain walnuts and/or pecans. Pecans do figure into these but are much further down on the list, and it is reflected in the flavor of the cakes. (photo to the right shows the dark fruitcake on top, lighter on bottom)

Many of the cakes reviewed here are full of fruit (hence the term “fruitcake”), but the Claxton fruitcake is definitely for those who like fruit and nut in their cakes. The fruit was large and the batter really served as a binder to keep the cake together. Some of the other cakes recommend that you cut the cake while cold but allow it to warm up to enhance the flavors. The Claxton bakery recommends that you serve the cake cold, with which I agree, because as it warms up it begins to fall apart due to the large pieces of fruit and nuts in the batter. It’s almost like candy.

You can smell and taste the orange peel in both cakes, which also contain raisins, pineapple, and cherries. The almonds add a lot of bite but not a whole lot of flavor. As a result, there is more of a fruity, candy-like flavor to these cakes compared to the nuttier flavor of those that contain pecans and walnuts.
The light cake contains artificial rum flavor, but I didn’t taste it at all. The dark cake contained molasses, spices, and dark raisins, which gave it that deeper flavor to which I’m partial. Both had a very rich flavor and a good texture due to the almonds. I prefer the flavor of pecans, walnuts, and booze, but if you don’t, I would highly recommend these for more of a fruity, sweet and rich flavor.


Anonymous said...

Thirty four dollars for fruitcake?

yer brother

Anonymous said...

$34 dollars for fruitcake? Yikes.

Anonymous said...

I will leave your first comment (?)

Enjoyed your posts, hope you will keep it up. I think you may have started with the best, so you may be doomed to disappointment!

Need to do Assumption Abbey--I think that you have a real contender there!




Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon your blog and was quite excited to know that there are others that understand the wonders of fruitcake. I grew up about 30 miles from Claxton, and for me Christmas meant a drive to Claxton with my grandmother to order fruitcake for every family member and of course get many free samples.

Thank goodness it is holiday season and fruitcake time once again.

Anonymous said...

Claxton's small fruitcake (I think it is one pound) actually has a slightly different flavor and texture than the two-pound light cake, even though they are meant to be the same. They are both excellent, and they are both our favorites, but they are not the same!

Anonymous said...

Claxton has long been a personal favorite. Delicious stuff!

Anonymous said...

I'm not a huge fan of fruitcake, but Claxton does hold their own... it's pretty good.

Of course, being from Georgia, you might think I'm biased.

You're probably right. :)

Anonymous said...

You can actually buy a one pound Claxton loaf for $3.99 at Safeway, which I find to be amazing. It is not my favorite fruitcake by ANY means, but dollar-for-dollar it is pretty hard to beat.

Anonymous said...

Claxton Fruit cakes are delicious, reasonable and, in one pound quantity, make a great teachers gift. Most people like fruitcake as a Christmas tradition. We used to buy them when our Boy Scout troop sold them to earn money.

Anonymous said...

Claxton fruitcake is without a doubt the best fruitcake on the planet. It is not the easiest thing to find in Canada but regular trips to South Carolina convinced me of its merit....and it's not easy to find there, either! Bruno's on Avenue Road in Toronto is the Canadian connection for this excellent cake. Fruitcake a cliche?? Not after you've tried this stuff.

Anonymous said...


Unknown said...

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