January 3: Fruitcake Toss Day
Fruitcake Toss Day is celebrated on January 3rd by tossing any left-over or uneaten fruitcake into the air. Some people prefer the classic arm toss while others use other means, such as slingshots or cannons, to launch their fruitcake into the air. You will find some serious chuckers on this toss away the fruitcake holiday.
So, what exactly is fruitcake? A fruitcake is a plain cake that is baked with candied or dried fruits (usually cherries and pineapples) and nuts then soaked in rum. Fruitcake cake looks decadent with its golden honey-colored bread and bright red and green holiday colored fruit bits mosaiced throughout the cake. Despite its enticing appearance, fruitcake has a heavy, sharp, sweet, acquired taste. Due to the process of its creation, the fruitcake is known for its longevity. (Which you will never understand if you do decide to toss yours on January 3rd!)
Every year, many people gather in Manitou Springs, Colorado to participate in a massive Fruitcake Toss Day event, however, you can celebrate this holiday right from your back yard. Tossing fruitcake is not only great exercise but it is an opportunity to set yourself free from all of your stressors and rid your body of anxiety. It also alleviates trying to figure out what you are going to do with that left over cake.
Throwing fruitcake is silly and you can’t help but have laugh while chucking cake around. Your spirits will soar as high as the fruitcake you toss. The best part is that everyone can participate. All you need is some fruitcake.
Origins Of Fruitcake Toss Day
A History of the National Fruitcake Toss Day
While fruitcake may be popular in many countries around the world, in America, this dessert is not usually well met when received as a gift. More accurately, the fruitcake is seen as a joke. Despite this, the tradition of gifting fruitcake during the holiday season persists.
The first Great Fruitcake Toss was first celebrated in 1996 after a group of Manitou Springs, Colorado residents decided to toss their uneaten fruitcake into the air. They had so much fun that it became a tradition. Returning year after year, the popularity of this event has grown tremendously in size. So much so, that hundreds of spectators and participants gather every year to take part in all kinds of additional competitions. These competitions include tests of strength, accuracy, and balance, all centered around fruitcake. Once all the fruitcake has been hurled through the air, a lucky local pig named Jezebel is rewarded with the leftovers.
Annual Fruitcake Toss
How to Celebrate Fruitcake Toss Day
Here are some ideas about how to have your own fruitcake toss day celebration with some fun holiday related games, activities, food ideas, and crafts.
1. This holiday is pretty straightforward: the goal is to toss fruitcake into the air. Want to get creative with it? Host your own fruitcake competitions to see who walks away victorious. You can customize the rules and parameters for each competition. Here are a few competition ideas you can try:
- Who can throw the fruitcake the highest or farthest.
- Who can hit a target or get the closest to it.
- Who throws their fruitcake with the most flare.
The creativity and intricacy of these and absurdity of these competitions are entirely up to you!
2. Catch the fruitcake! With fruitcake gliding through the air, there are bound to be a few casualties of flying fruit. Why not make a game of it and see who can catch the most fruitcake? After all, catching and tossing are two very different skill sets!
3. You can always celebrate Fruitcake Toss Day by enjoying a last slice of fruitcake before you toss it.
Or, if you have none left, have a fruitcake baking competition. Gather up some friends to bake their favorite recipes of fruitcake and enjoy this lovely dessert… before tossing the leftovers into the air.
4. Host a fruitcake recipe swap. Many people have family recipes that date back generations. While sharing recipes, you can also share your favorite family stories that all started with fruitcakes.
5. Dress up as a fruitcake! The kids love getting into the spirit of the holidays by dressing up. Last year, we made simple fruitcake costumes by gluing bits of Velcro onto plain brown pants and shirts. The kids cut bright red and green shapes out of felt and stuck them all over themselves with the Velcro. Ta-Da! They were walking and singing fruitcakes!
This of course, quickly escalated into a game of Hide and Fruit… the first one to find all their fruit pieces, wins.
Manitou Springs Fruitcake Toss
Fun Facts Of Trivia About Fruitcake And National Toss Day
- In 1913, the Collin Street Bakery aided the popularity of fruitcakes by offering mail-order options in Corsicana, Texas.
- The fruitcake from United States President Grover Cleveland’s wedding in 1886 is still intact in his Hometown of Caldwell, New Jersey. I don't think anyone wants to eat or throw that one!
- In 2007, eight Boeing engineers set a new record for the highest Great Fruitcake Toss with their mock artillery piece, Omega 8. Their fruitcake was launched an impressive 1,430 feet into the air!
- A pineapple fruitcake was taken on the Apollo 12 space mission in 1969. It is still on display today at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.
- Ancient Rome listed their fruitcake recipes with pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and raisins that were then mixed with barley. During the Middle Ages, honey, spices, and preserved fruit were added.
- Fruitcakes that contain alcohol have a long shelf life. Due to this quality, it was popular among travelers in the days before refrigeration.
- Fruitcakes are also known as Christmas cakes.
1. Here's how to say fruitcake if you are in Germany, France, Italy, or South Africa:
Fruchtkucken & obstkuchen (German), gâteau aux fruits (French), torta di frutta (Italian), vrugtekoek (Afrikaans)
3 Ingredient Fruitcake Recipe
I found a simple recipe with 3 ingredients, so if you'd like to try to make a fruitcake this is a simple way to do that.
The 3 ingredients and amounts are:
- 6 cups of dried mixed fruit
- 2.5 cups of iced coffee or tea
- 2 cups of a self-rising flour
Soak the dried fruit in the iced coffee overnight.
Mix in the self-rising flour.
Preheat oven to 350.
Grease a 9" round baking pan lined with paper. (2)4 cm cake pan
Pour the mix into the pan and bake for an hour or so. Take a look at the tutorial video below. The author claims this recipe is much better tasting than the traditional fruitcakes we know since it is made with dried mixed fruit not the candied kind we usually find in these cakes.
How To Make A 3 Ingredient Christmas Cake
- The Famous 3 Ingredient Christmas Cake | Fruit Cake - Bake Play Smile
Introducing the famous and award winning 3 Ingredient Christmas Cake (fruit cake) made from mixed fruit, iced coffee and self-raising flour!