The traditional fruitcake is made from dried, candied fruits and peels, with just enough alcohol-infused batter to hold its shape. Homemade versions don't always contain alcohol and may substitute plain dried fruits for the candied versions. Most traditional recipes can store well indefinitely if packaged properly, but nonalcohol versions have a shorter shelf life. During storage a fruitcake ripens and develops a deeper and more complex flavor. Alcohol-infused cakes ripen naturally during storage, but nonalcoholic cakes require ripening at room temperature for two or three days before you store them.
Storing Alcohol-Infused Fruitcakes
Soak a piece of cheesecloth in the same type of alcohol used to make the cake, which is usually brandy. Use a piece of cheesecloth large enough to fully wrap the cake.
Wrap the cheesecloth tightly around the fruitcake. Wrap a second time in aluminum foil and place it in a storage container, if desired.
Store the fruitcake in a cool pantry. Remove the wrapping and soak the cheesecloth in alcohol every three months during storage so it doesn't dry out completely.
Storing Nonalcoholic Fruitcakes
Frost the fruitcake with a thick layer of marzipan or other thick frosting before storage. Set it in a container and pour a fruit glaze over the cake, coating it completely.
Soak a piece of cheesecloth in fruit juice. Wrap the cake in the cheesecloth and place it back into the container. Seal it closed.
Store the fruitcake in the refrigerator. Use it within three months.