Grease two 9" by 5" loaf pans. Line bottoms and sides of pans with foil; press out wrinkles as much as possible so cake surface will come out smooth.
In a large bowl with mixer at medium speed, beat butter or margarine and brown sugar until light and fluffy. At low speed, beat in flour and next 8 ingredients until well mixed, constantly scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula. With a spoon, stir in mixed candied fruit, dates, walnuts, and raisins. Spoon batter into prepared pans, packing down batter to eliminate air pockets. Bake in 275°F. oven 2 to 2 1/2 hours until a toothpick inserted in center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool loaves in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans; carefully peel off foil. Cool loaves completely on wire racks. Wrap each loaf tightly with foil or plastic wrap. Refrigerate lo use up within two months.
If you like, decorate the cake: Cut candied cherries into slivers. In a bowl with a spoon, mix confectioners' sugar and orange juice; spread glaze over tops of loaves. Quickly arrange cherry slivers on glaze to make pretty flowers. Let cake stand at room temperature 30 minutes to allow the glaze to dry. Cut each loaf into 16 slices; then cut each slice in half.
Yield: Makes two 3-pound fruitcakes.
Each cake makes 32 servings