Restaurant News & Reviews

A Seattle chef found the secret to great fruitcake in Kentucky

Kathy Casey’s “over 21” fruitcake is made with fruit soaked in Maker’s Mark and is available online for $12.99.
Kathy Casey’s “over 21” fruitcake is made with fruit soaked in Maker’s Mark and is available online for $12.99. Photo provided

What does it take to make a fruitcake that people are dying to eat?

Lots of bourbon; specifically, Maker’s Mark.

For more than a decade, a company in Seattle has sold “over 21” fruitcakes that sell out every year.

“It’s mostly delicious boozy fruit and nuts in spice batter, then baked and brushed multiple times in brown sugar-Maker’s Mark glaze,” said Kathy Casey, a pioneer in the bar-chef movement, who makes them in Kathy Casey Food Studio — Liquid Kitchen.

It sounds very liquid: The fruit marinates in bourbon for as long as a year.

“We make about 300 to 400 every year, and people start pounding me on Facebook and saying, ‘When are they coming out?’ before Thanksgiving,” Casey said.

As a mixologist, she knows her spirits, and as a chef, she knows food, and that has paired together in the perfect holiday food.

“Maker’s Mark is such a great brand, and we love working with them,” she said. “I think the flavor profile is just great with the fruitcake.”

Her cakes are made with all freshly dried fruit: cherries, cranberries, apricots, golden raisins and currants.

“And then we soak the fruit in Maker’s Mark, so it’s been plumped for a couple of months.”

You can order her fruitcake online at KathyCasey.com for $12.99, plus shipping and handling. You get about a dozen slices out of one cake, she said.

“I personally love to toast a slice for Christmas morning breakfast.”

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