Where the World Gathers to Celebrate Every Day

NATIONAL FRUITCAKE DAY – December 27

NATIONAL FRUITCAKE DAY

Across the United States, fruitcake lovers young and old, commemorate National Fruitcake Day each year on December 27th.

Made with chopped candied or dried fruit, nuts, and spices and sometimes soaked in spirits, fruitcake has been a holiday gift-giving tradition for many years.

Dating back to ancient Rome, one of the earliest known recipes lists pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and raisins mixed into barley mash. Records indicate that in the Middle Ages, makers added honey, spices, and preserved fruits. Recipes for fruitcakes vary from country to country, depending on available ingredients and tradition.

In the 16th century, two achievements crystallized to make fruitcakes more affordable and accessible. First, sugar from the American Colonies became abundant. Second, it was discovered that high concentrations of sugar could preserve fruits. These two actions resulted in excess candied fruit. Consequently, fruitcake making grew.

  • Typically, Americans produce fruitcakes abundant in fruit and nuts
  • In America, mail-order fruitcake began in 1913. 
  • Charities often sell commercial fruitcakes from catalogs as a fundraising event. 
  • In 1935, the expression “nutty as a fruitcake” was coined. The phrase came about as a result of excess nuts some Southern bakeries added to their fruitcakes due to their access to cheap nuts.  
  • Most mass-produced fruitcakes in America are alcohol-free.
  • Some traditional recipes include liqueurs or brandy. Bakers then complete the fruitcake by covering it with powdered sugar.
  • Some fruitcake makers soaked their fruitcakes in brandy-soak linens believing the cakes improve with age. 

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalFruitcakeDay

Share a fruitcake story or recipe. Or maybe share both. Invite someone to enjoy some fruitcake with you. No matter how you celebrate, use #NationalFruitcakeDay to post on social media.

You can also explore other the 5 Time-Honored Christmas Foods to get a jump on next year. 

NATIONAL FRUITCAKE DAY HISTORY

National Day Calendar will continue to experiment with recipes until we get it right. In the meantime, we’ve not found the origins of this immortal cornerstone of holiday baking, either. 

There are over 1,500 national days. Don’t miss a single one. Celebrate Every Day® with National Day Calendar®!


December 27th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History

1932

The Radio City Music Hall opens under the direction of S.L. “Roxy” Rothafel. The show featured the Roxyettes (later renamed the Rockets), opera performed by Titta Ruffo, Coe Glade, and Vera Schwarz, Leon Rosebrook directing a chorus of 100 voices, and the Radio City Music Hall Symphony Orchestra. At the time, the theater was the largest in the world.

1947

Howdy Doody appears on television for the first time on NBC’s Puppet Play House

1952

Jimmy Boyd’s “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” reaches number 1 on the music charts.

1964 

Performing their hit “Come See About Me,” the Supremes make their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.

 

December 27th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays 

Louis Pasteur – 1822

Some of the many achievements of the French chemist and microbiologist include developing vaccines for anthrax and rabies. He also created the process for sterilizing products such as milk to kill microorganisms called pasteurization.

Benjamin Eisenstadt – 1906

Before developing the product Sweet ‘n Low, Eisenstadt invented individual sugar packets. When he began producing his zero-calorie sweetener, Eisenstadt packaged it in individual pink packets so consumers could easily distinguish the Sweet ‘n Low from the sugar packets. 

John Celardo – 1918

The American comic strip and comic book artist rose to popularity in the 1950s and 1960s with his work on the Tarzan comic strip for United Features.

Genevieve Audrey Wagner – 1927

A power-hitter in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League, Wagner began her career at the age of 15. One of the league’s All-Stars, she played seven seasons, usually in the outfield before continuing her athletic career with the National Girls Baseball League in Chicago. While she played, Wagner pursued her medical degree. Following baseball, she practiced obstetrics for four decades.

Jason Hawes – 1971

In 1990, Hawes founded The Atlantic Paranormal Society to investigate reported paranormal activity. He also starred in and co-produced the SyFy show Ghost Hunters.

 

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