This old, traditional holiday recipe yields a dense cake that is much like a dark, spicy fruitcake. It will keep for quite a long time if you wrap it well. You can also bake the cake in mini-loaf pans or mini-Bundt pans to make individual servings.
2 cups sifted flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped raisins
1/2 cup dates
1/2 cup chopped candied red cherries
1/3 cup candied fruit mix
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease 10-inch tube pan; line with greased paper or parchment paper.
Sift together first 5 ingredients in large mixing bowl. Add shortening and applesauce. Mix thoroughly at low speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl and beaters; then add eggs and beat again.
Put walnuts, fruit and spices in a separate bowl; toss with 1/4 cup flour to coat well. Add to applesauce mixture with vanilla extract. Blend well. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 1 1/2 to 2 hours until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Invert and cool on rack. When cold, slice thinly.