Q.: For 14 years I worked at Sears at Rolling Acres and we sold the most delicious fruitcakes. I never thought I would enjoy fruitcake, but they had a buttery cake batter and was loaded with fruit. I haven’t been able to find out who made them or when they stopped selling them. Is there any way you can find out if there is a bakery who still makes that recipe? I believe they were called Sears Masterpiece Fruit Cakes. Any help would be appreciated.
— Joe Yacso, Akron
A.: Well, there’s good news and there’s bad news.
The Sears Masterpiece Fruit Cake and Sears Butter Batter Fruit Cake were made by the Beatrice Bakery Co. of Beatrice, Neb.
Company President Greg Leech said Beatrice made the cakes for Sears from 1987 through 2005, but no longer. The bakery still has the recipes, but isn’t under contract with Sears to make them.
However, Beatrice does make its own fruitcakes, which can be ordered from www.beatricebakery.com, and many customers believe they are worthy substitutes. “We think we have the best fruitcake,” Leech said.
Beatrice’s original Grandma’s Fruit and Nut cake is the closest the company makes to the Sears Masterpiece, while the company’s Ye Olde English Cake is comparable to the Sears Butter Batter cake.
The main difference between the Sears Masterpiece and the Grandma’s Original, Leech said, is that Grandma’s has brandy, bourbon and rum in it, while the Masterpiece did not. In fact, aside from cherry and pineapple juices, the liquors are the only liquids in the Grandma’s cake, Leech said. I don’t know about you, Joe, but Grandma’s sounds like a masterpiece to me.
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