Chocolate cupcakes stuffed with berry jam on the Christmas table
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Friendship cake makes a great gift for special occasions, reaching out to neighbors or showing your friends that you care. The intent of friendship cake is for the recipients to add ingredients and pass it on. The starter is inexpensive and creates five starters from the initial recipe. Even though following the recipe is easy, plan ahead, since the entire process takes around two months.

Create the Starter

Set aside a 1-gallon jar. Purchase all of the ingredients, including canned pineapple, canned peaches, sugar, and maraschino cherries. Add brandy and nuts as optional items. Include the canned juice when mixing in the fruit.

Mix one cup cubed pineapple, one cup sugar and two tablespoons brandy (optional). Pour the mixture into the one-gallon jar. Stir every day for two weeks. Combine one cup maraschino cherries, one cup sugar and two tablespoons brandy (optional). Add to the gallon-jar mixture and stir daily for two weeks. Mix one cup canned peaches, one cup sugar, and two tablespoons (optional). Add to the gallon jar. Stir daily for two more weeks.Drain the liquid into a separate bowl. Do not refrigerate it. Reserve one and a half cups for five friendship starters. Use the remainder for another purpose, such as a topping for ice cream.

Dividing the Five Friendship Starters

Prepare the mixture for the five starters by combining the reserved liquid, two and a half cups sugar and 28 ounces of canned sliced peaches. Pour into the one-gallon jar and loosely cover it with a paper towel. Do not use the lid or refrigerate it. Stir the mixture daily for 10 days.

Mix two and a half cups of sugar and one 16-ounce can of crushed pineapple. Add to the 1-gallon jar. Stir daily for 10 days. Add two and a half cups of sugar and one 16-ounce can of fruit cocktail. Mix in one 10-ounce jar of maraschino cherries. Stir every day for 10 days.

Drain the juice and divide the mixture equally into five starters, measuring two cups each. Give each starter away, including the directions to make five starters and the Friendship Cake recipe. Reiterate not to refrigerate the mixture.

Baking the Friendship Cake

Divide the leftover fruit mixture into two equal parts. Mix together two cake mixes, two small boxes of instant pudding, three-fourths a cup of oil, and eight eggs. Fold in the fruit.

Add two cups of nuts if desired. Fold in optional ingredients such as chocolate chips or coconut. Pour the mixture into two greased pans. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 50 to 60 minutes. Cool and enjoy.


Do not refrigerate the mixture to allow for fermentation. Experiment with different kinds of cake mixes and flavors of pudding. Freeze the cake and thaw it when needed.