18 November 2017

Fruitcake Review: Jane Parker Classic Fruitcake

From what I hear, for certain areas of the country, the Jane Parker fruitcakes were a beloved part of Christmas. Not for my family—I had never heard of it until some blog readers asked about it. You all know I’m an OG Gethsemani Farm fan.

I had reviewed the Jane Parker Dark fruitcake a few years back. It was fine but evidently I wasn’t a fan. Since then, it’s my understanding that the cake became unavailable until the brand and original recipe were purchased by a new group after A & P’s bankruptcy. The cake is now made in the US Midwest (previously it had been made in Canada).

I was sent a 3 pound fruitcake, which costs $49.97 with free shipping. Packaged in a holiday tin, it’s $59.97 with tin. This is pretty comparable to other fruitcakes. It’s pricey, but I personally love it when shipping is included—just one flat cost. The fruitcakes are also available in 1-pound and whopping 4.5 pound sizes. The ingredients are OK for a commercial fruitcake: raisins first, then cherries, pineapples, and the nuts are pecans. There is high fructose corn syrup in this cake, a bit of a surprise for me. So many products have been dropping this ingredient. I guess I’d prefer sugar but I’m not terribly surprised to see this in a commercial fruitcake. Finally, and my favorite: Fruitcake flavor. I don’t know. I guess a commercial flavoring—perhaps a spice mix? I didn’t get a clear answer when I asked the company. No worries – let this cake keep its fruitcake-flavored air of mystery.

The cake is garnished with pecans on top. They and all the nuts in the cake tasted very fresh—a straight-up pecan flavor, not burned, caramelized or otherwise off. There is a good proportion of cake to fruit and nuts in this cake—meaning that it’s not all fruit. The cake itself is gold, and has a nice buttery, pound-cake like flavor.

The overall flavor is not complex, good and approachable-- orange, pecan, sweet, pound cake. I’ve been happily snacking on this one. If you miss Jane Parker, you are safe to jump back in the pool and purchase. It’s a good “fruitcake for beginners.”

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