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'Friendship Cake' easy to concoct

'Friendship Cake' easy to concoct

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Dear Lisa: I used to love to make a cake called "Friendship Cake" or the 30-day cake. You would get your starter from a friend, and every few days you would add a fruit and sugar until it was complete and then you would split it up and bake several cakes, give all but one starter away and start your batch over. I never knew how the starter was made, but I would love to make a batch after all these years. Would you happen to know what I am talking about? - Thank You, Sherry D. Brice

Dear Sherry: Friendship Cake (aka Amish Friendship Bread) is delicious and easy to make, and various iterations have made the rounds over the years. There are two main categories: those made with brandied fruit and those without.

Regardless of the recipe you choose, don't be hesitant to discard unneeded batches of starter if you run out of friends to share it with. Otherwise, you'll find very soon that every vessel in your home will be pressed into service for storing it.

Here are a couple of versions to consider:

Friendship Cake With

Brandied Fruit Starter

Once the starter is made, you'll need an additional 30 days to complete the cake itself.

Brandied Fruit Starter:

1 15 1/4-ounce can pineapple chunks, drained

1 16-ounce can sliced peaches, drained

1 17-ounce can apricot halves, drained

1 10-ounce jar maraschino cherries, drained

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 1/4 cups brandy (apricot or peach brandy may be used, if desired)

Brandied Fruit Starter should last indefinitely if handled properly. Use clean equipment and keep it covered.

Combine all ingredients in a clean, nonmetal bowl; stir gently. Cover and let stand at room temperature 3 weeks, stirring fruit twice a week.

Serve fruit over ice cream or pound cake when desired, reserving at least 1 cup starter at all times.

To replenish starter, add 1 cup sugar and one of the fruits, pineapple chunks, peaches, apricot halves or maraschino cherries every one to three weeks, alternating fruits each time; stir gently.

Cover and let stand at room temperature three days before using again.

Yield: 6 cups.

Friendship Cake Mix

2 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups Brandied Fruit Starter

1 32-ounce can sliced peaches with juice

Combine in a gallon glass jar and stir all together; stir several times the first day, thereafter stir once each day. Keep covered and at room temperature.

On 10th day add:

1 32-ounce can chunk pineapple with juice

2 1/2 cups sugar

Stir once a day for 10 days.

On 20th day add:

1 32-ounce can fruit cocktail with juice

2 1/2 cups sugar

1 10-ounce jar maraschino cherries with juice, diced

Stir once a day for 10 days.

On 30th day:

Drain liquid from fruit. Divide the juice into 1 1/2 cups each. Place in jars with tight lids and give to a friend with a copy of recipe as soon as possible. Divide fruit into thirds.

Makes 3 cakes.

Cakes can be frozen after they are baked. Juice or fruit cannot be frozen.

Friendship Cake Mix Recipe

1 18.25-ounce package yellow cake mix

2/3 cup oil

4 eggs

1 4-ounce box vanilla instant pudding mix

1 cup nuts, chopped

1/3 portion of fruit

Combine all ingredients together, mixing well. Bake in greased and floured bundt pan at 350 F. for 50 to 60 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pan on rack for 15 minutes before removing. Cool completely on wire rack.

Amish Friendship

Bread Starter

3 cups sugar

3 cups flour

3 cups milk

On Day 1: In glass or plastic bowl, combine 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour and 1 cup milk. Stir mixture with wooden or plastic spoon (don't use metal spoon or electric mixer). Cover bowl loosely with paper towel, cloth, wax paper or plastic wrap. Keep at room temperature (don't refrigerate).

On Days 2, 3 and 4: Using wooden or plastic spoon, stir mixture once each day.

On Day 5: Add 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour and 1 cup milk; stir.

On Days 6, 7, 8 and 9: Using wooden or plastic spoon, stir mixture once each day.

On Day 10: Add 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour and 1 cup milk. Remove 3 cups of mixture and give 1 cup each to three friends. Save remaining starter for yourself.

Amish Friendship Bread

1 cup Amish Friendship Bread starter

2/3 cup oil

3 eggs

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup sugar

In mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Pour into two well-greased and floured or sugared 9-inches-by-5-inches bread pans. Bake in 350-degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes.

Note: Raisins; chopped apples; drained, crushed pineapple; candied fruit; coconut; mashed banana; dates; chopped nuts and/or chocolate chips (one-half cup each) may be added to batter before baking.

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