Tu bi’Shvat Cake

Israeli Fruitcake

I’ve never given Israeli food all much thought. Sure, I’d had my fill of falafels and hummus in my lifetime, but there is a trip in my future and I was at a dinner party the other night and the woman hosting us had lived in Israel for a number of years and said it was her favorite place in the world.

Other people at the party chimed in saying also that the food was great – especially the salads, something I miss from years of living in California – all those vibrant, fresh greens and luscious tomatoes bursting with flavor that we had an overload of at the farmers markets! But I’ve never given much thought to Israeli desserts. (I adore Black and White Cookies, but don’t know if those qualify.) So when I came across this Tu bi’Shvat Cake in The Book of New Israeli Food, as I’m fond of anything packed with dried fruits and nuts, I thought I’d give it a try.

eggs dried apricots

The cake is almost too simple to put together; it’s just a lot of chopped dried fruits and nuts baked in a minimal amount of batter. However I was concerned about the 90 minute baking time noted in the book, and wasn’t sure if I should rely on the recipe – or my instincts. After fifty minutes, peering in the oven, the cake looked done and I wrestled in my mind a bit whether to take it out or not. I had used one of my precious bags of American dried sour cherries in the cake, and was hesitant. So after pondering the issue as the minutes ticked by, and the cake continued to cook in the humming oven (and my concern grew), when I was sure I was doing the cake in, I decided to pull it out.

cake ingredients

Coincidentally, a few days later I got a message from someone who had sent me the book, who knew the author. So I took advantage of the opportunity to ask about that extensive baking time. who replied that the “…lengthy baking…gives the cake its unique texture and taste.” And that the finished result is a dense and chewy loaf.


So I gave it another try with the extended baking time, and voilà, it came out just fine. The re-do also gave me a chance to try out both of my new ovens, which are each different, so I could figure out all those dials and displays.

cake batter

I don’t even want to tell you this, but because I got preoccupied with reading the voluminous instruction manual…I realized halfway through the baking time, as I was cleaning up, that I neglected to add all of the nuts. Which prompted me to learn a new word in Hebrew: חרא (merde.)


Tu bi’Shvat Cake
Print Recipe
One 9-inch (23 cm) cake
Adapted from The Book of New Israeli Food by Janna Gur Tu bi’Shvat is a celebration of an abundance of fruit, so feel free to celebrate in your own special way by using any kind of dried fruits that you might have in abundance. I used apricots, dried sour cherries and prunes, but anything that strikes your fancy would be suitable. This curious cake is dense and chewy, not light and airy, so it makes a good accompaniment with coffee as a mid-afternoon snack, when your energy is wavering. The original recipe says exactly it keeps for “a long time.”
7 tablespoons (60g) flour
7 tablespoons (60g) sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
pinch of ground cloves
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups (200g) dried fruits; any combination, such as sour cherries, cranberries, raisins (whole) or figs, prunes, apricots, peaches (diced)
1 1/2 cups (150g) nuts, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 300ºF (150ºC.) Grease a 9-inch (23 cm) loaf pan and line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper.
2. Mix the flour, sugar, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, and salt in a large bowl.
3. Stir in the dried fruits and nuts.
4. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 90 minutes. Let cool, then remove cake from pan.

Serving: Use a sharp knife to cut in very thin slices. The cake will keep for at least a week, wrapped, at room temperature.

Related Recipes

Fruitcake Bars

Eggplant Caviar

Baba Ganoush

Chocolate-Cherry Fruitcake



Note: A number of you have inquired about my kitchen which is still in a rather unruly state. And consequently, so am I. (For those of you who have been through it, you know what I am talking about.) I appreciate reader’s interest – but I’ve got my hands full trying to pull it all together, and working on the six month backlog of work to catch up on that I let slide, so I’ll give some glimpses in the future on various posts here when things are a little tidier. Thanks for your interest, but I’d like to keep the comments/questions on the subject of the posts. But at least I am able to cook at home again! Whew…


  • June 9, 2012 11:46am

    I love fruits in my bakes – dried or fresh any will do. Can’t wait to bake this.

  • Lori McG
    June 9, 2012 1:12pm

    Did you use walnuts? What do you think about almonds for the nuts? ps: what’s going on with your kitchen? (just kidding)!

  • June 9, 2012 1:13pm

    the batter (ingredient wise) looks a bit like my mom’s cranberry walnut snacking cake – no leavenings of any sort. i was going to try to make it with rhubarb after the wedding. we’ll see how that goes. this looks really tasty – and interesting (and makes sense) that the baking time makes for a dense, chewy texture. will have to try it soon.

  • Leo
    June 9, 2012 1:48pm

    Finally something about Israeli food. If you will get here, in the future, you will have a good culinary surprise. And by the way this cake does not really represents the culinary scene here, which is a very open mind. Mix of a lot of ethnic cuisine from around the world, like the people here.you must come . I’m sure you have relatives here….

  • June 9, 2012 2:27pm

    I have several friends in Israel, and one of them baked this kind of cake for me. I remember that her recipe also included cardamom and lots of apricots, which was a great combination. I never managed to get her recipe, so I will be trying yours.

    As I was glancing at the last photo, I spotted green almonds in the bowl with nectarines. Do you just eat them raw or do you cook with them too? I know that they can be pickled, but I’m yet to try it. Whenever I manage to buy them, we end up eating them raw, lightly salted.

    • June 9, 2012 3:11pm
      David Lebovitz

      I love green almonds – I simply remove the husks and the leathery skin around the kernel, and use a knife to sliver them. I’ve only eaten them raw & these got sprinkled over some stone fruit sorbet I churned up. (I know they can be hard to find, but the season seems to be just beginning; these were from Tunisia.) I wrote a little more about them at a post: Green almonds.

  • ron shapley(nyc)
    June 9, 2012 2:48pm

    HA Dave………….Thanks for the Hebrew lesson ~~

  • Martha in KS
    June 9, 2012 2:57pm

    No matter what you call it, this is the dreaded FRUIT CAKE (which I love)! It makes a nice Christmas – ne Hanukkah – gift to pass around year after year.

    Love your huge butcher block counter.

  • June 9, 2012 3:26pm

    I’ve been trying to figure out a fruitcake-like bread that I had when I was in Australia, and your Israeli cake seems close. Here is what I came up with for a recipe when I tried to recreate the Australian bread of my past: http://flowercityfoodie.com/2012/04/30/australian-fruit-nut-bread/

    June 9, 2012 4:37pm


  • June 9, 2012 4:40pm

    This looks really great, and with all those dried fruits it seems like you may not even need the extra sugar, but for my first try I’ll follow the original recipe. I’m always looking for fruity, nutty treats!

    • June 9, 2012 4:42pm
      David Lebovitz

      It’s not a very sweet cake and there’s just a minimal amount of sugar. Next time, I’m going to try it with unrefined sugar, since I think the slightly molasses-like taste will go really well with it. Or date sugar!

  • Sandy Castro
    June 9, 2012 4:45pm

    Thank you for the recipe,I actually first ate this in Paris.

  • June 9, 2012 4:51pm

    Dear David,
    Tu Bi’shvat is the trees and plants new year feast, which is on… February. Nevertheless, this cake is great all year long and Israel is a great place for foodies! You will surely enjoy visiting the place.

  • BeBe
    June 9, 2012 5:01pm

    David, my late aunt was a world-class fruitcake baker (no doorstops there). On that baking time, note the very low temperature for a cake (most bake at 350). This is very little cake batter relative to the amount of fruit, which even though it is dried fruit contains a lot of moisture. So all that time is required to cook it through and sort of amalgamate it.

    A fruitcake hater from ‘way back, I found a marvelous one in a southern Junior League cookbook – it has only candied pineapple, sultanas (white raisins), and candied cherries. I seem to remember some nuts. No hated citron! It also calls for rather a lot of bourbon and for continuing to bathe the cheesecloth wrapped cake in bourbon for a few days. Batter is so thick it is almost impossible to mix with anything but one’s hands. Yum.

    This Israeli cake sounds delicious….

  • melora
    June 9, 2012 5:06pm

    Thanks so much for giving weights in your recipes. Saves me going to charts, lists and calculator. I noticed when reading Tu bi’Shvat Cake that you have used both grams and ounces. Is there a reason for that?

    thanks and thanks for a wonderful blog (and wonderful cookbooks)

  • June 9, 2012 5:10pm

    As the token “goy” I can’t wait to make this for my mah jongg group!

  • June 9, 2012 5:14pm

    I’ll prepare it for sure for the next Tu B’Shvat (01/26/2013). What about using silan (dates syrup) instead of sugar?

  • June 9, 2012 5:18pm

    David, do you know of Yotam Ottolenghi in the UK? If his food is representative, Israeli food must be wonderful.

  • Stephanie
    June 9, 2012 5:19pm

    Since you gave up on granola bars, this is the next best thing :)

  • June 9, 2012 5:20pm

    David….the To bi’Shvat is very similar to the Tirolian (Austrian) Kletzen Brot….which is normally done with a yeast dough…..but could be easily made the same as you did the To vi’Shvat…..Kletzen Brot is very dense with the same dry fruit and spices…and lasts at room temperature for a very long time….I absolutely love it!
    I will try your recipe very soon…..

  • leostrog
    June 9, 2012 5:29pm

    I found this baking method – prolonged baking in 150 C during at least 1.5-2 h, in a book, translated from German (authors Toibner, Valter, 1994). The recipe named “Brussel cake”. Since then I bake my fruit cakes only in this way – it gives an especially rich aroma and wonderful texture to such kinds of cakes.
    I think it’s not exactly a traditional “Tu-bishvat” cake, but more like a “Mandelbroit”, which is a traditional pastry that is sold in boxes, cut in very thin layers.

    By the way, I enjoy reading your blog very much!

  • sandra
    June 9, 2012 5:50pm

    Dear David,
    What are the green things next to the nectarines,very curious as I am always happy to discover something new, especially if fruit.Thank you,Sandra

  • June 9, 2012 5:55pm

    As was already said, Tu bi’Shvat is usually at February or January… But the cake looks delicious. Janna Gur is the editor of one of the best food magazines in Israel.
    The vegetables in Israel are pretty good (Israelis are usually quite annoyed at the breakfasts in most European hotels, where you get one pathetic piece of lettuce with mustard sauce and they call it “a salad”. For shame). Before your visit, if you need any help planning the trip, I know for a fact you have quite a few Israeli followers (and admirers) who will be happy to help, as you do for us readers when we visit Paris.

  • Yonatan
    June 9, 2012 6:00pm

    Oh David, you are funny (re- Hebrew for merde)! Thank you for this “traditional” Israeli cake. Sounds wonderful and chewy and certainly good for any time of the year: not just on 15th of the Hebrew month of Shvat (Tu bi’Shvat). I can’t wait to bake it!
    Yonatan (Israel)

  • June 9, 2012 6:03pm
    David Lebovitz

    Michal and Or: Yes, I know the holiday is in February, but the recipe appealed to me at the moment, so I made it. Keep it around for next year : )

    sandra: They’re green almonds – I posted a link to more info about them in a previous comment, just above. (You can also click on the image to go to Flickr, and hover around the image to read the notes.)

    Michela: I would caution against using a liquid sugar; since there’s not a lot of batter, it might make it too liquidy.

    VIctoria: Yes, I’ve made a few of his dishes here on the site, including his Chocolate-covered Florentines and his Fried Beans with Sorrel, Feta and Sumac – plus I was fortunate to eat at his restaurant Nopi in London. You’re right – he’s great.

  • Kiwi Rob
    June 9, 2012 6:21pm

    Toda raba !

  • June 9, 2012 6:25pm

    I wonder if this recipe is the origin of the fruit cake they make in the Roman Jewish Ghetto? The one we call pizza ebraica? Did you try it while you were here?

  • June 9, 2012 7:19pm

    this book is such a treat… the ultimate gift for visitors coming to Israel.

    I recommend the Israeli Cheesecake from page 271. it’s made with light Israeli “white cheese”, (similar to the french ‘fromage blanc’), and it’s the exact opposite of the heavy American cream cheese. tastes like fresh, light, creamy clouds that melt in your mouth.

  • susan zacharias
    June 9, 2012 7:36pm

    As I too am a cherryaholic, and still missing Morellos and Montmorencys here in Ireland, I thought you’d find this current article interesting, David:


  • June 9, 2012 7:37pm

    I have a wonderful banana bread recipe that bakes in a clay loaf pan at 325 for a longer time than most fruit breads done at 350 degrees F and comes out moist – I bet this similar baking temp/timing will work wonderfully for a fruitcake.

    I’m going to try this recipe with pistachios and maybe even a bit of your delicious candied ginger. Can’t wait.

  • Nancy
    June 9, 2012 7:52pm

    These remind me of the little cakes my parents used to make years ago. The recipe had all your ingredients except the flour and sugar, and were made in muffin tins. I called them condo cookies because they made the rounds of the South Florida condos. I passed on the recipe to Maida Heaatter but I am not sure if she ever tried them. I’ll give this recipe a try. Thanks.

  • Bunny
    June 9, 2012 7:52pm

    OMG David, and the best part about this cake is that it’s basically health food. Nuts? Prunes? Cranberries? Do I need any more reasons to love this cake??

    Love from Israel, where tu-bishvat is about 4 months ago and this cake, had it not been demolished, would still be good, if not better.

  • Karen
    June 9, 2012 8:07pm

    Um, David, is that kohlrabi on your counter? I have never been able to bring myself to eat it. Is there a future post with this as an ingredient?

  • Helena
    June 9, 2012 8:24pm

    Call this a cake
    for Tu B’Shvat
    Then you will know
    What you are at.
    What you will get
    From Tu B’Shvat cake
    Is more or less
    A linguistic headache.

  • Debbie
    June 9, 2012 8:39pm

    You’ve tried the cake, now try the hummous recipe from the same book, it’s the real deal, totally amazing.

  • charlotte
    June 9, 2012 8:55pm

    Aahh. The memory of food in Israel, even so long ago but still so bright. Though I was raised in Berkeley and live minutes away (raised on salads by a ranch-raised California mother now long gone), the flavors of tomatoes, fresh dates, melon, fresh cheeses, olives, fruit juices, breads, zaatar, herrings, and so much more stays with me. Loving every fruitcake from English wedding cakes to Panforte, I will be baking this one as soon as my trip to Berkeley Bowl is complete. Todah rabah.

  • June 9, 2012 9:07pm

    This does sound almost too easy to be true but I am all for giving it a go, Diane

  • June 9, 2012 9:34pm

    this is so similar to one of my fruitcake recipes. The only thing missing? Ah, the drunken chef and the cake soaked cheesecloth.


  • Jean Marie
    June 9, 2012 9:54pm

    I have all of those fruits in my pantry and will be putting them to good use soon. This sounds really good and since there’s no fat in it, a sliver now and then would probably be okay while I’m on yet another damnable diet!

  • June 9, 2012 9:58pm

    Ha, a good use for all those dried fruits I bought at Christmas and then didn’t use for Christmas cake…by the way you can buy those dried sour cherries in the supermarkets over here in London. Perhaps a little trip on Eurostar is called for?!

  • Elle
    June 9, 2012 10:10pm

    I’ve been living in Israel most of my life (save those years at The Bay Area) and I’ve never encountered this cake as a Tu Bishvat cake. More as a dreaded Xmas fruit cake or Mandelbroit, as was mentioned in an earlier comment.

    That said, Israel has some wonderful and amazing food – both traditional and innovative, with more and more places making it a point to use fresh, locally grown ingredients that are in season.

  • June 9, 2012 10:44pm

    I live in Israel, teaching myself how to bake french desserts, while you live in France, learning how to make israeli desserts :)
    When are you suppose visit Israel?
    I strongly recommend that you go shop at the main food market in Jerusalem- “Machney yuda”! it’s a special experience in general and a culinary one in specific.

  • June 9, 2012 11:36pm

    I don’t confess to knowing much about Israeli food but when I lived in New Zealand, the small town of Kerikeri in the Bay of Islands had a fantastic Israeli restaurant. The food was SO good, not expensive and the staff were friendly and quick. Every time I went I’d say to myself that I needed to explore Israeli cooking but sadly never have.

    I should get that book and get started.

  • Judy Krohn
    June 9, 2012 11:46pm

    This looks to be worth the try–do you promise it will be as good as the Panforte recipe you posted a few months ago–it’s one of my favorites!

  • Sarah
    June 10, 2012 12:05am

    Fruit and nuts…. Yeah that’s gonna be good!

    Any thought on soaking some of the fruit in liquor prior to baking? Would that add too much moisture?

    kinda like solid haroset? I mean if Ben and Jerry can work a classic:


  • Oakjoan
    June 10, 2012 12:26am

    I love this cake….well, actually I loved it when I first saw it about 10 years ago in Alice Medrich’s Pure Dessert book.

    We’ve taken it on many car trips and it’s great with coffee in the morning on the road.

  • June 10, 2012 1:14am

    I enjoy your blog so very much! tnx!
    I first “met” you in Epicurious trying your famous and fabulous ginger cake. I make it every year for Rosh Hashana and the meal before Yom Kippur. It has a feel of a honey cake but it is soooo much better (i stopped looking for a good honey cake.)

    Since my husband and I are both fans of french food, and Paris as well, we love to read your posts together, they remind us of our visits. (we’re saving your tips for our next visit- hopefully October 2013)

    Janna and Ilan Gur are the owners+editors+publishers of “AL HASHULCAHAN” (in Hebrew it means, on the table) The leading Israeli monthly food magazine.

    About felafel and humus, as much as I’d like to give credit to my fellow israelis for those two, I believe they originate from Egypt.
    However we do consume them on a regular basis so you might say they made “Aliya” :)

    By the way we tend to use the English word for merde, quite a lot…

  • Eleanor Wilson
    June 10, 2012 1:29am

    is it good spread with salty butter? (and maybe just a small piece of a hard cheese on the side?

  • June 10, 2012 1:56am

    This is a ‘must try/do’! And I just happen to have most of the ingredients. I can see this becoming a staple around here! Thanks David!

  • June 10, 2012 1:58am

    Sounds like a first-rate fruitcake recipe. Thanks, David – I’ll save this, and bust it out at Xmas!

  • June 10, 2012 2:29am

    Thank you for this recipe. I love fruit cake and am always looking for excuses to make and eat it at times other than Christmas. Reading your recipe has provided just what I need! I know what I’ll be doing this Sunday afternoon…

  • June 10, 2012 2:42am

    This is one of my favorite cookbooks. I’ve given it to countless friends. Added bonus — looks great on my coffee table, spatters and all.
    Try the fennel salad with pistachios. Delicious!

    You’ve inspired me to try the cake -even though it’s not February!

  • June 10, 2012 3:00am

    Okay, this is meant to be! I have a full pantry, with tons of dried fruit (including, yes, quite good apricots and prunes), I have nuts, and I’m leaving the country for two years in, oh, three weeks. So I’m trying to cook everything up, but was wondering what to do with all those dried fruit! I am so making this!

    Okay, I have two questions:

    1. I have date paste from the local Middle Eastern market. Can I use this in the cake? If not, what in the world do I do with it in the next three weeks? Any ideas welcome.

    2. One of my favourite cakes, learned from my grandmother, is something we call Cake Tel Aviv. It’s a chocolatey, glazed loaf cake, with a moist interior. We call it Cake Tel Aviv because my grandmother got the recipe in Tel Aviv, but we have no idea if it’s a typically Israeli cake or just something the Romanians she met there were baking. I linked to my version of it, and I’m wondering if any Israelis on here recognize it.

  • Mira
    June 10, 2012 4:16am

    Yay, at least now you have a nice work station! These little sneak peeks are so exciting.

  • June 10, 2012 5:38am

    I’ll echo all the love for that cookbook. If I’m remembering correctly, it was the cookbook that introduced me to Malabi and Jerusalem Mixed Grill. They both changed my life…

  • June 10, 2012 6:27am

    i hate that feeling when you’re suddenly unsure whether you can trust a recipe! i’m glad it worked out both times, though. i love middle eastern foods, especially desserts!

  • dzussman
    June 10, 2012 8:14am

    Glad your coming to visit! Let us know if you need anything while you’re here. I just had this kind of cake yesterday for Shabbat, but it was more like a thin piece of biscotti, with a big focus on the hazelnuts. Delicious.

  • June 10, 2012 3:56pm

    Another note — I made the cake last night, and have already had five or so slices. The recipe increased easily by a third. I’m so glad I made extra — it’s delicious, and sursprisingly moist.

  • jo
    June 10, 2012 4:40pm

    This delicious sounding recipee reminded me of the Earl Grey tea loaf from Tamsin Day Lewis, and the proportions are interestingly different.

    You soak 400 g dried fruit (apricots cherries raisins etc) and 120 g muscovado sugar in (black) Earl Grey tea overnight, then mix with 225 g self raising flour, and 1 large egg, and bake in a loaf tin at 180C for 90 mins. Also keeps for a week, and is lovely buttered, or not, in thin slices. I’ve made that a few times, and will try your version too now. Thank you.

  • Heather
    June 10, 2012 4:42pm

    Wondering what I could sub for the nuts(seeds?) as the boyfriend is deadly allergic.

    • June 10, 2012 4:45pm
      David Lebovitz

      Depending on his allergies, perhaps something like pumpkin seeds another crunchy seed would like work.

  • June 10, 2012 6:31pm

    This recipe kinda reminds me of the Italian ‘fruitcake’ panforte. Love your use of dried cherries, yum!

  • Brittany
    June 10, 2012 7:13pm

    YUM! I haven’t had breakfast yet, and now I’m suddenly very hungry! Nearly every recipe you post looks so delicious, and this is no exception! Do you think one could use any type of nut (peanut, walnut, almond, etc)?

  • nikki
    June 10, 2012 9:25pm

    i have to warn you, david, that once you have israeli produce, you will be ruined for all other produce anywhere in the world. where many people talk about “farm to table,” we practice it on a regular basis. in a country this tiny, freshness is assured. i buy my cucumbers with dirt on them still!

  • June 11, 2012 5:12am

    WOW! I lived in Israel for quite a few years, yet never heard of a TuBi’Shvat cake. (although I knew about the dried fruit tradition). It looks great and I am going to try it out. Thanks for posting the recipe.

    I have to second some of the fellow commenters, that once you’ll get exposed to the Israeli kitchen and market, you will import your ingredients from there forever.

  • Priscilla
    June 11, 2012 7:11am

    This sounds a lot like Stained Glass Cake which is made with glace fruit and lots of nuts and a minimal batter. Stained Glass Cake is popular in Australia especially around Xmas time.

  • June 11, 2012 9:11am

    Wonderful fruit and nut cake recipe. I will make it today and blog about this part of the planet. Thank you

  • Lisa
    June 11, 2012 11:49am

    I do HATE candied fruit! I adore apricots, and dried cherries have now replaced cranberries as my other favorite dried fruit for baking………and my husband loves nuts. I will definitely give this a try. We love to have “a cuppa” and a sweet in the afternoon or evening.

    I made a pecan pie for my husband for Thanksgiving that used dried cherries to cut the sweetness (from Cooking Light), and it was fabulous! You don’t really taste them, but they definitely add something to the pie. It’s also a bit thinner, so the sweetness isn’t overwhelming. He only wants this version going forward

    I didn’t even know you could purchase green almonds; I will have to look for them……but how do they taste compared to the normally available ones?

    I’ll have to try the ginger cake mentioned, for Rosh Hashanah. What I’d love to see is a recipe that is moist and tastes like the Manishewitz Passover Honey Cake Mix, but without so much sugar and fake flavors; My kids practically lived on it, during the holiday, when they were in school!

  • Katie
    June 11, 2012 1:00pm

    I’m definitely going to try this, have been looking for a good fruit cake recipe for ages. Thanks, David!

  • June 11, 2012 2:39pm

    I thought this looked pretty interesting when I read the post yesterday. I decided that I would make two cakes, one to take as a present to friends we were having dinner with last night and one to put in the pantry and keep for a while.

    I used a mixture of brazil nuts, pecans, pine nuts and almonds, on the nut side and dried figs, cranberries, pomegranate, sultanas, and blueberries on the dried fruit side. Took one of the cakes over to some friends last night – very more-ish! And beautifully not too sweet! Thanks!

  • Reva
    June 11, 2012 2:53pm

    Fun post — you inspired me to make this last night and I love it! Tasty, toothsome, easy, and a great way to decant some of the dried fruit collection still lingering from last Passover…. :)

  • June 11, 2012 3:00pm

    Great post! Great cake, too. Desserts in Israel really are nothing like this cake, though; you should get over there pronto. When you do, post asking for recs – I lived there for 2 years and have loads of can’t-miss spots to share.

  • June 11, 2012 4:26pm

    Oh, I didn’t know it has this name.We know it under the name of Mazurka. In my family we have been baking this cake for many many years, and it is one of our favorite winter treats. We din’t even use so many spices in it – it’s as good without them. The slices, we make them twice as thick (to me, it’s tastier this way!)
    The baking time also seems strange to me, and the temperature too low. We usually bake it at 325-350 F for about 1 hour or 45 minutes and get this same chewy texture. To make it chewier, add a handful of coarsely chopped prunes (actually you can make it with just prunes and walnuts).
    Thanks for beautiful pictures!

  • Shosh
    June 11, 2012 5:06pm

    You need to come visit – the food here is amazing. If you have a chance, make a point of going to Machana Yehuda (the shuk) in Jerusalem…I know Paris is full of markets, but there’s something amazing about the shuk in Jerusalem. Right now it’s cherry season (and peaches and nectarines and apricots) and when you walk through the main thoroughfare, the colors are so vibrant and bright that it seems like the mounds of fruit will burst.

  • June 11, 2012 5:46pm

    This cake looks so delicious and tasty, I somehow reminds me of English Chrstamas cake with an oriental touch!

  • shari
    June 11, 2012 5:55pm

    Yummy! The recipe sounds like the origins of today’s mutated and disparaged fruit cake. I love dried cherries, sour and sweet. I use them for everything. I know your new home is still a work in progress, and will be for quite awhile, however I’m sure it has got to be a great feeling to be able to ‘spread out’ while cooking or baking.

  • Sonia
    June 12, 2012 1:00am

    Saying amen (“it’s the truth”) to the previous comments on the Mehane yehuda shuk (market) in Jerusalem. Yes, absolutely amazing, nothing like it. Nearby is the Sephardic neighborhood where the great singer Yossi Bannai (1932-2006) was born and grew up. Also agree with the comments on Israeli fresh produce and salads and the wide ethnic range of dishes. Have been wondering when you would get to Israel.

  • Caity
    June 12, 2012 4:38am

    Hi David, I got your book “The Perfect Scoop” for my 17th birthday a couple of weeks ago, and I’m sure you know this, but it is absolutely wonderful! I read it almost every night before bed, and I dream about the “perfect pairings.” I’ve never had a cookbook that I wanted to make every single recipe from, and I will be madly churning the whole summer. Thank you so much!

  • simona
    June 12, 2012 5:28pm

    I’m happy you “enfin” acknowledged the Israeli food, though the fruit cake is definitely not a staple here, and during the feast of Tu B’Shvat ( mostly a kids feast) , people usually eat just plain dried fruits. Also, Falafel and hummous are everyday street food as well as served in specialized restaurants ( in what we Israelis call Oriental-Mediterranian Restaurants) but they are not really Israeli food per se. I hope you will visit the country soon and I’m sure you’ll have wonderful experiences with the food – israeli and other. The Holy land is waiting for you and the Israeli readers of your blog, me included, will be happy to provide you with useful ( and tasty) information.- as well as some new four letter words in Hebrew…
    Shalom and Lehitraot be karov ( see you soon)

  • Lien
    June 12, 2012 7:41pm

    Thanks David for this beautiful recipe. I love spiced cake :-)

  • Hagit
    June 13, 2012 1:36pm

    this is one of the treat i’ll love baking for tu’bi’shvat and all year round
    i have an old adition of this book(in hebrew),with a different recipe, to my opinion a better one:
    200 grams whole nuts(i use a large selection..)
    200 grams dried fruits- chopped
    60 grams flour
    35 grams sugar
    2 eggs
    mix all the dry ingr’ and add the eggs mix well bake in the same size of pan ,same heat and same time(90 min). i usually bake 2,3 cakes/

  • June 13, 2012 9:26pm

    David, anytime you want to come to Israel, you will have a group of local food bloggers, including myself, who would be happy to give you tips and even show you around. There are so many great food places to visit all over the country.

  • June 13, 2012 10:19pm

    I love black and white cookies, but I’ve been living in Israel for the past 9 years and have yet to see one. Looking forward to meeting you during the upcoming trip.

  • Heather
    June 14, 2012 10:03pm

    LOVE black and white cookies. I found a deli in Berkeley (I think it’s called Sauls) that sells them. The only thing is the service rivals that of Seinfelds Soup Nazi.

  • Michael Duffy
    June 15, 2012 12:40am

    This cake represents all the good things that “fruitcake” is not! None of those horrid candied fruits; just dried fruit that is sweet on it’s own. And minimal sugar. And a chewy texture. Excellent!

    My first trip to Israel was 30+ years ago, and I still remember how struck I was by the amazing fruit and vegetables. Beyond compare, even for a California boy. I’ve been back several times, and still salivate at the thought of those fruits and veggies. The little green grapes are almost too good. Thanks for bringing back those memories for me.

  • Lynn Bowditch
    June 16, 2012 10:14pm

    how does this differ from the Sienese pan forte? Lots of fruit & nuts, a little cake holding them together – is that also baked in a low, slow oven?

  • June 19, 2012 8:32pm

    This sounds similar to a recipe that I have which is delicious. I pour quite a bit of brandy over it after it is cooked and it keeps for weeks hic. Diane

  • Panforte is one of my favorite treats. I will have to try this version. Thanks for the research!

  • Alan Wilhite
    June 24, 2012 7:54pm

    I really enjoyed this cake. It is a wonderful thing to have in the morning in place of a granola bar. And after dinner with an expresso it makes the best ending to a meal. Thank you for sharing this!


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