Fantastic Fruitcake

| December 3, 2012

Fruitcake by design is quite festive. Packed with dried, candied, or brandied fruits, and often saturated with rum, brandy or other liqueurs–there are very few who have mastered the craft of making a spectacular fruitcake. While there are many companies who attempt to mass produce a good fruitcake for the holidays, unfortunately these are mostly failed attempts. This is one holiday gift that is best home-made.


So here are a few good recipes for those who are up to the challenge of making one of the most popular holiday treats at home:


Christmas Fruitcake


Courtesy of

Submitted By: Karen Uffelmanchristmas fruitcake

Photo By: momo-chan



  • 1/8 cup chopped dried cherries
  • 1/8 cup chopped dried mango
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 2 tablespoons chopped candied citron
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup dark rum, divided


1. Soak cherries, mango, cranberries, currants, and citron in 1/4 cup rum for at least 24 hours. Cover tightly, and store at room temperature.

2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Butter a 6×3-inch round pan or loaf pan and line it with parchment paper.

3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; mix into butter and sugar in three batches, alternating with molasses and milk. Stir in soaked fruit and chopped nuts. Scrape batter into prepared pan.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons rum.

5. Cut out one piece parchment paper and one piece cheesecloth, each large enough to wrap around the cake. Moisten cheesecloth with 1 tablespoon rum. Arrange cheesecloth on top of parchment paper, and unmold cake onto it. Sprinkle top and sides of cake with remaining rum. Wrap the cheesecloth closely to the surface of the cake, then wrap with paper. Place in an airtight tin, and age for at least 10 weeks. If storing longer, douse with additional rum for every 10 weeks of storage.



Mrs. Mackinnon’s Christmas Fruitcake

Bon Appétit | December 2005 – Courtesy of

The cake takes its name from the wife of Jack Turner’s former headmaster, but the recipe is reportedly an ancient Scottish one. Aluminum foil stands in for the traditional newspaper.Christmas Fruit Cake


  • 2 1/2 cups golden raisins (about 12 ounces)
  • 2 cups dark raisins (about 9 ounces)
  • 1 3/4 cups dried currants (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 3/4 cups chopped glacéed fruits (such as red cherries, pineapple, and apricots)
  • 3/4 cup chopped candied orange peel
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons dark rum
  • 2 teaspoons each grated orange and lemon peels
  • 1 teaspoon Lyle’s Golden Syrup or light molasses
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda


  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup self-rising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs


Mix first 6 ingredients in large saucepan. Add 1/2 cup rum; bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring often. Remove from heat. Mix in grated orange and lemon peels, syrup, and baking soda. Let stand until fruit mixture absorbs liquid, stirring often, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter 10-inch-diameter springform pan, then line bottom and sides of pan with parchment; butter parchment. Sift both flours and salt into medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl until well blended. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Add flour mixture; beat until just blended. Stir in fruit mixture. Transfer batter to pan. Cover pan with foil.

Bake cake 2 hours. Reduce oven temperature to 275°F; continue to bake covered until tester inserted into center comes out clean but slightly moist, about 30 minutes longer. Transfer to rack; remove foil. Pierce top of cake all over with skewer. Drizzle 6 tablespoons rum very gradually over cake. Cool completely in pan. Cut around pan sides to loosen; remove pan sides. (Can be made 3 weeks ahead. Wrap in foil; chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.)



Gluten-Free Fruitcake

Courtesy of

Makes 4 loaves

Unlike other fruitcakes you may be used to, studded with embalmed fruit in unnatural colors, this recipe is rich with healthy dried fruit. Here’s a tip: don’t buy previously chopped date pieces, as these are often rolled in oat flour.


  • 1 cup dried apples, chopped
  • 3/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 3/4 cup halved dates, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried currants
  • 1/3 cup seedless raisins
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup soy flour
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup applesauce


Combine apples, apricots, dates, currants, raisins and cranberries in a large bowl. Heat the apple juice just to a boil and then pour over the fruit. Mix well, cover and set aside at room temperature overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, stir together pecans, soy flour, potato starch, xanthan gum, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice; set aside.

Cream together butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add pecan mixture alternately with applesauce, stirring after each addition. Add fruit mixture and stir just until combined. Divide thick batter evenly between 4 greased loaf pans. Bake for about 1 hour, or a toothpick inserted in the center of each loaf comes out clean. Set loaves aside to let cool.