TexaCali Friendship Fruit Cake

A Holiday Favorite of Dr. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs

When I was a 1st year medical student at UTMB, a nursing student from California, who was married to one of my anatomy dissection partners, shared this recipe with me. I have modified the recipe to make it less calorie rich and baked this fruit cake frequently ever since. 


Dr. Shelley

1 c. light margarine

1 1/2 c. sugar

6 eggs

1 tbsp. vanilla

Grated peel of large orange

2 1/2 c. unsifted flour

1 tsp. baking powder

3 c. chopped prunes

3 c. chopped apricots

3 c. yellow raisins

3 c. chopped pecans

3 c. dried apples or figs


Cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in vanilla, orange peel, flour and baking powder. Beat well. Fold in fruit. Grease three 9x5x3 loaf pans and line with aluminum foil. Grease again. Pour mixture into pans. Cover pans with greased foil. Bake at 275 for 1 1/2 hours. Remove foil and turn temperature to 300 degrees and bake 40 to 60 minutes longer. Cool in pans. Remove from pan and cool top side up on a rack. Wrap cakes in cheese cloth, soak in rum then wrap in aluminum foil. Store in a cool dry place.

Dr. Sekula-Gibbs has served on the board of The Woodlands Township since 2019. She credits people of all backgrounds for “Keeping The Woodlands wonderful” and advocates for our special way of life—a place to live, work, worship, learn, and play. 

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