Christmas Fruitcake Recipe -
Christmas Fruitcake Recipe
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Christmas Fruitcake
This light, delicious fruitcake features dried, not candied, fruit. See more
  • READY IN 70 days

Christmas Fruitcake

Recipe by  

"It's a shame that fruitcake as a species gets such a bad rap. With its two key ingredients--rum and butter--it ought to be a hit. This recipe includes dried fruit, instead of the glowing, candied stuff we've all learned to associate with fruitcake, and is less dense and more cake-like than many fruitcake recipes. It has become a favorite of my friends and family around the holidays (even the skeptical ones), and is delicious by itself, or covered with a layer of almond paste."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 1 6-inch round pan Change Servings
  • PREP

    20 mins
  • COOK

    45 mins

    11 days


  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 6x3-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.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Dec 09, 2003

My sisters and I always joke about getting Gramma a fruit cake for Christmas. But now gramma requests this one. She loves it. And says that it is better after it sits for a few days. I made her two and she said the second one was better because it had time to ferment. Thanks!!!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Dec 23, 2012

I guess I'm not sure why this recipe is so popular. I used an egg replacer and it rose fine, but the molasses is so strong that it ruined it for me. It's almost like a strong Boston Brown Bread. I will say it was easy but I'm not giving this one to anyone.

Nov 05, 2007

Karen, thanks for standing up for fruitcake!! Indeed, this is nothing like the heavy brick of fruitcake that comes in a cardboard box. I've found that the best way to get people to try this delicious cake is to not tell them it's a fruitcake. Call it cake or molasses cake or gingerbread or whatever. Once they try it, you can admit the truth-- it's fun to watch the reactions. The only significant change I'd suggest to this fabulous recipe is to let sit for longer if you can. If you can make the cake a year in advance, do so. Just store it per the recipe and add a bit rum every month or so, and you'll be treated to an amazing dessert when the time is right. Anyone who enjoys this recipe should also consider making Simnel cake, typically served at Eastertime. It's a different sort of fruitcake, made with marzipan, and equally delicious. Additionally, I'd suggest substituting Demerara sugar for brown sugar, if possible. Demerara sugar isn't much more expensive, and it's often found in regular grocery stores next to the other sugars. It is a light brown sugar with larger crystals, and it provides a stickier texture and a really rich aroma.

Oct 19, 2004

The worst thing about this cake, is that it goes so fast. I make this cake every year but now I double it. The first time I made it, I was careful to use the exact fruits the recipe called for, but now I use the exact measurment for fruit, but use my favorite dried fruit. I really love this recipe!

Dec 23, 2006

Very tasty! This was my first attempt at a fruitcake so I was quite anxious to unvail it and try it after it's 10 weeks of resting. Wow, is it good! I respected the recipe in it's measurements but did mess around a bit with the ingredients themselves only because I live in France and certain items are not readily available, like dried mango and dried cranberries. I did have dried cherries on hand and I added dried apricots in place of the mango. I also swaped walnuts for the pecans, once again an availability issue. But the recipe lends itself nicely to these kinds of modifications. It slices best if chilled a bit, then be sure to use a sharp knife. It's not a "pretty" cake but a plate with thin slices nicely arranged accompanied by a pot of strong coffee is a moment to remember! Merry Christmas!

Dec 25, 2004

I didn't have time 70 days to mature, only 17 days, but the cake came out excellent. My relatives love it. Now I know why the portion is so small, because the cake is so rich! Yum, Yum.

Oct 13, 2007

I could not stop eatting this...I like fruit cake, but I loved this recipe...I soaked it in white wine instead of rum though and it gave it a great flavor

Oct 26, 2009

No store-bought fruitcake can compare to this! I made enough to give as gifts, and now it's all anyone wants from me! Even people who "hated" fruitcake loved this recipe, and I'm planning on making it again this year, times 8 or so.


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  • Calories
  • 302 kcal
  • 15%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 33.3 g
  • 11%
  • Cholesterol
  • 54 mg
  • 18%
  • Fat
  • 14.8 g
  • 23%
  • Fiber
  • 1.3 g
  • 5%
  • Protein
  • 2.5 g
  • 5%
  • Sodium
  • 203 mg
  • 8%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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