Our Favorite Holiday Fruitcake

Best to slice this fruitcake with a knife with a serrated edge, such as a bread knife.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hours
  • Yield: Makes one loaf


  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • 2 cups raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped glazed cherries (can sub dried sweetened cranberries)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (divided into 1/4 cup and 1 3/4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • Grated rind of one orange
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • 1 to 2 ounces Brandy (optional)


1 Preheat oven, prepare loaf pan: Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a 9x5-inch loaf pan with greased parchment paper or brown baking paper, cut to fit the pan.

Place one piece to run the length of the pan and stand up above the rim about an inch. Place the other piece or pieces to cover the other sides.


(When the cake comes out of the oven, you can easily remove it by holding the sides of the paper and lifting the cake out of the pan.)

2 Mix together sour cream and baking soda: In a small bowl, mix together the baking soda and sour cream; set aside.


3 Toss dates, raisins, cherries with flour: Combine the dates, raisins, cherries, and nuts with 1/4 cup of the flour and toss to coat the fruit and nuts. Set aside.


4 Beat butter and sugar, add egg, orange rind, sour cream and baking soda, add flour and salt, add fruit and nuts: Beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in the egg, then the orange rind, then the sour cream/baking soda mix.

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Add the flour and the salt and mix together. Combine fruit/nut mixture with creamed ingredients and mix well to distribute the fruit and nuts evenly.

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5 Pour batter into baking pan and bake: Pour batter into a prepared 5x9-inch loaf pan.


Place the batter filled pan into the preheated oven. Place a separate pan of water in the oven either on a rack underneath the fruitcake or beside it. (The water will help with a more even, gentle cooking.

Bake at 325°F for one and a half to two hours or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

Water may need to be replenished during baking.


6 Cool on a rack: Remove to a rack to cool for 5 minutes. Use the edges of the parchment paper to lift the cake out of the pan. Let cool completely. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and then aluminum to store. If you want, you can sprinkle on a few ounces of brandy or bourbon, especially if you would like to store the fruit cake for a while.

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  • Stella Watson

    Such a success. Great recipe.

  • Carolyn

    I baked 4 mini loaves this morning, due to a shoulder injury everything’s late this year. I soaked dried fruit in rum over night, added 1/2 cup of brown sugar & 1/2 cup of sugar. I also added 1/2 tea of baking powder, 1/2 cup of strained vanilla yogurt, 1 tea of vanilla, 1 TB of molasses & half the fruit as suggested. Once out l brushed the hot cakes with spicy rum. B/c of nut allergies l skipped the nuts. Very delicious fruitcake :-)


  • Sylvain Champagne (Canada)

    Merci beaucoup – Très délicieux !


  • Darlene

    This was exactly what I wanted. Moist and perfect cake texture. Making another one. I soaked my cheesecloth in dark rum and after a month it’s still moist with no liquor taste.

  • Lawrence

    Hi Elise! My boss always ask a fruit cake and they gave me a recipe, while browsing the internet i found exact ingredients and procedure! And i know for sure that this recipe was done by you! I also put this in my youtube channel! This is really good!

  • Cammy

    May i know the ingredients in grams,Thanks a lot

  • Simon

    The cakes are great!!!!! But I have a big dilemma, my Mother in law like sweet cake, but not my wife , Sister in law, Brother in law and sons . I reduce the sugar to 130 grams and 90 gram respectively. At 90gram the cake is crumbly when cut., is the amount of sugar make the different ?

  • MaryAlecia

    Made this for my husband and he enjoyed it! Had to sub/change a few things: dates were a bit dried out so I sprinkled with warm water and bourbon, used dried cherries instead of glazed, and added unsweetened dried blueberries. I also used all brown sugar! I’ll make again for the New Year and used the cherries called for. Thanks for a tasty, easy recipe!

  • Nancy M Sneed

    My brother made this fruitcake for the first time and it was excellent. Thank you very much for the recipe.

  • Jim

    I will make this for the first time. I don’t like the production cakes that are available, either. Mom taught me to bake when I was twelve, now 73.

  • Jillxz

    This cake looks delicious , but I prefer more fruit and nuts. I like my fruitcake tightly packed with fruit and nuts . It has very little cake in it as the fruit , nuts , dates and raisins take up the cake batter.My mother made the best fruitcake I have ever eaten

  • Phyllis Arnfinson

    Can you freeze it until Christmas

  • Aravind

    Thank you very much! It’s my first time I tried and my friends are a big of my cake(Oops; your cake)

  • Warren

    Simply amazing!!! Any variations of nuts and dried fruits are the best!!!

  • T Gordon

    I’ve looked for a great fruit cake recipe for years, and this is it. I especially like that it can be varied and the recipie doesn’t have to be cut down to make 1 loaf. I have made it with candied pineapple, dates, chocolate chips, and will try it with coconut next. A generous shot of brandy poured over the top, after it has cooled, has also been popular. Thanks for the post.

  • Robyn

    I’m now in love with fruit cake after all these years eating horrible store bought garbage. Worked perfectly with out the water in the stove too. I forgot but no one has complained. I will do as the author does next year and make two, one for now and one for later with the boubon.

  • Denise Kennedy

    Could this be made in a small Bundt pan?

  • Radha

    I made this and it came out fabulous. I added a variation of dried fruit and nuts. I didn’t put the water underneath and it still came out well. The cake traveled overseas and my family is raving all about it!

  • Julia

    I tried the recipe with dried cranberries rather than the glazed cherries. This is a wonderful fruit cake.

  • Karen

    For Xmas breakfast I usually buy a stollen from the local German bakery, but this year I tried this recipe instead. It’s the best fruitcake I’ve ever had and will be an annual treat. I froze half of the fruitcake (well wrapped, but without alcohol), but after reading the comments I’ll sprinkle it with brandy, wrap it well and refrigerate instead. I didn’t realize these would last so long, but good to know.


  • Kathy

    Boy this was a bust. Dont know where I went wrong, but it ended up all over the water pan. So glad I had that in otherwise it would have been a worse mess. Used the correct size pan, fallowed recipe exactly. I just hope what I can salvage will taste o.k. I think if I make a gain, I will just use a regular cake pan. Im thinking 9×11. Will see of and / or wehn the time comes.

  • AddingPins

    Best fruitcake I have ever made. That’s including the fact that I forgot to put the water in the oven. The cake formed a crisp outer crust while the inside retained it’s moisture beautifully. I actually love it this way!

  • Arek

    Hi Elise
    I am planning on soaking the dried fruit and maybe nuts in rum overnight.
    Do I still need to place a pan with water in the oven? Is the pan to make the fruit fluffy or is it for another reason?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Arek, the pan in water in the oven is to help keep the cake moist and to help with more even cooking in the oven.

  • beth

    made this last night, and it’s wonderful. (it feels a bit heretical to have made my own fruitcake, as that’s usually my dad’s department, but he makes a darker style cake, so i couldn’t resist this recipe.) will be trying this again this weekend, but making mini-loaves as gifts.

  • Reir

    I doubled the recipe, and froze one for later use (without soaking in brandy). I used cognac, and it is a huge hit in our house. My husband usually doesn’t like fruit cakes, but is a big fan of this one. Mine was done in 1.5 hours. Thanks for yet another wonderful recipe! I cannot wait to make this for my parents, who love a brandy soaked traditional fruit cake…

  • Kathie Vice

    Did that cake for first time, taste was absolutely delicious. Whole family enjoyed it. Thank you so much. Simple, fast, gorgeous.

  • Lisa

    Elise could you possibly recommend a Gluten Free substitute for the flour? I have Celiac and have not attempted baking very many times because of cost of ingredients and poor results when I have attempted … I woke love to try this recipe if you could give me some pointers. Thank you in advance for any assistance you can provide!!! Lisa

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Lisa, I haven’t attempted this fruitcake with gluten-free flour, but there are several mixes available in the market (Bob’s Red Mill comes to mind) that would be worth experimenting with.

  • Cheryl

    May have to try this for the smaller size as well as the sour cream – I used to make one dark and one light fruitcake each Christmas but have to cut back since I’ve realized I eat more than half of each! My dark one has all the usual candied fruit and pecans but I experimented and came up with a tropical theme for my light one (appropriate for living in FL) using dried papaya, mango and pineapple (that I soak in bourbon), macadamia nuts and coconut.

    Thanks for all your fabulous recipes – you are my go-to source when I have no clue what to make for dinner!

  • Joy

    Hi Elise,
    Have you seen this article? http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/humankind/2015/08/20/couple-eats-60-year-old-wedding-cake-anniversary/32058903/
    Apparently, fruit cake can last 60 years!

  • Mary Docherty

    This looks so much like the one my Grandma used to make. She also put dried currents and chopped apricots in it. So good! So many good memories!

  • Susan

    I made this cake last year and I have to say it was the best I have ever eaten. It is easy to make, is very moist and not overly sweet as many fruitcakes can be. The raisins seem to balance the sweetness of the candied fruit and dates. I am looking forward to making the cake this holiday season although this year it will be cakes (plural) as I am anxious to share with other fruitcake loving friends and family.
    Thank you for this wonderful recipe.

  • Regine Cineqs

    Wow. Really the best fruitcake ever, whether aged with bourbon/rum like your dad or not. Very tasty, moist texture and, best of all, a balanced combination of cake and fruit. I hate most fruitcakes due to the enormous amount of fruits but that one is perfect. I also added 1 tsp vanilla; and used half dark half golden raisins, and chopped marashino cherries instead of candied cherries. The zest of one orange as in your recipe really heightens the flavor of the cake. It took me almost 2 hours to bake as per your recipe. At around 40-50 minutes of cooking, I loosely covered with aluminum foil so as to prevent overbrowning. Thanks for sharing this wonderful cake.

  • Digna Strom

    Hi Elise,
    Wow, this is the best fruitcake I’ve ever tasted! I did use organic sugar instead, but that was because I didn’t have regular sugar, so I’m not quite sure how it affected the taste, but it sure was delicious! Our guests at our Christmas party thought so too because it was pretty much gone. Funny thing, my husband pulled me aside and asked me to save a slice for him after he heard how yummy it was, and he indeed agreed.

    I’m going to make 2 more fruitcakes, one for a friend’s annual New Year’s party and of course one for us to keep! Thank you and thank you Patricia for sharing this recipe … it will definitely be a holiday staple for years to come in our household!

  • Cindy

    Thank you for this recipe! I made it last Christmas and even my non-fruitcake loving people are now believers :)

  • Rad

    Your photo of the fruitcake looks amazing. The minute I saw it, I knew I had to try this one. But I don’t know where I went wrong. The one I baked didn’t look remotely like yours. First the color, it didn’t turn out yellow, like yours did. And the sour cream was too much. The batter was difficult to handle plus the fruit cake too had that after taste of sour cream. I know fruitcake is rich but this is too much so, and even a small slice sits heavy at the bottom of my stomach. Disappointed.

    • Radha

      Do you taste the batter a bit before baking? I always do that so you can change anything before the baking process.

  • scott

    three items:

    Fruitcake has the shelf life of nuclear waste. I have one my Mom gave me twelve years ago and it still looks fine sitting in the back of the fridge.

    I love the people that talk about all their substitutions. Sometimes it sounds like a person is making a cessna airplane instead of the original fruitcake.

    That said; I substituted cream cheese and whipping cream for the sour cream. My wife ate it and liked it! I carefully measured out a “bunch” of cream cheese and scientifically diluted it with all the remaining whipping cream I had in a small container. This recipe would be a sure family tradition if I could only figure out what I actually put in it. Didn’t use alcohol because I’m not sure how beer would mix with the whipping cream.

    Too funny! Thank you for that giggle. Cessna, indeed. ~Elise

    • Valleycat1

      There is an infamous recipe comment somewhere. Something along the lines of a beef stew recipe-commenter says he substituted tequila and lime juice for the beef broth, ice for the meat and veggies, triple sec for the spices, didn’t heat it at all, and it was wonderful.

  • Jenny

    I wanted to report back on this fruitcake. I “basted” it with brandy every few days for 2 weeks, storing it in the fridge. I tasted it and thought it needed more time (It was a little “tipsy” still! So, I let it ripen another week in the fridge and it was perfect. I keep slicing a little sliver here and there and find it addictive.
    I used a combination of raisins, golden raisins, prunes, dates, dried apricots and a few dried cranberries for the dried fruit. The glaced cherries are perfect in it; not cloying. I will definitely make this again, but want to try Alton’s Free Range one too. Happy Holidays!

  • Jenny

    I made this on Sunday, wrapped it in a brandy soaked cloth and it is currently in my fridge. I have always stored my fruitcake in the fridge because of the alcohol and tast it after a few weeks.
    When you soak yours,
    a.) do you usually keep it in the fridge?
    b.) how often to you “feed” it alcohol?
    c.) when do you start tasting it?

    Great questions. We don’t store the fruitcake in the fridge, but in a tin on a shelf in the cupboard. We feed it alcohol when we think about it. We don’t start tasting it, we just start eating it, whenever we want. But that’s us. I think the important thing is to keep it in a cool place. ~Elise

  • K

    I have to say that usually I hate fruitcake – but I figured that if I made this friutcake and didn’t like it, there was no hope in the world that I would ever like fruitcake…lo and behold, I loved the cake! Despite my adversion to candied cherries, this cake was wonderful – moist and so yummy! I followed the recipie to the letter, my baking time did edge closer to two hours. My notoriously fickle dad loved it and it was the first cake to be finished (despite having a cheesecake AND a chocolate cake in the fridge…)

  • Sudu Roy

    I made this cake earlier a few months ago and it was so good I just couldn’t stop thinking about it during the holidays! So I made it once more. I did not have sour cream so substituted it for the same amount of full fat yogurt and added some pistachios and cranberries. It was a instant hit (and so colorfull!!) and I received such great reviews I just had to come back and thank you again for the recipe (and Patricia too). This is a keeper. Everyone should make a fruitcake like this for the winter holidays.

  • Jackie Hawthorn-Thwaite

    I made a two tier Wedding Fruitcake for my daughter (traditional in England). We used the base cake for the wedding and then packed the top cake away until the birth of her first child. It is tradition to use the second cake for the Christening Cake. The first baby didn’t arrive until 7 years later. We took the cake out of the freezer, put needle holes in it and filled them with whiskey. I royal iced the cake and it was absolutely perfect for the Christening. It tasted as good as on the wedding day.

  • Teresa

    I personally love fruitcake. Except when the cake has the candied citron. I’m not a big fan of that kind of fruit.
    However, my mom has always used cheesecloth soaked in orange juice to put around the cake, rather than rum or bourbon. She would bake her fruitcake around thanksgiving and then store it in the fridge as follows: After wrapping it with the soaked cheesecloth, then she wraps with clear plastic wrap followed by foil. She would replace the cheesecloth when it became dry, and we would eat it after midnight mass on christmas eve. It was always very good and didn’t go bad. she would keep it in the fridge until it was gone.

  • Diana Robinson

    Thanks for this recipe; I made this cake last year and everyone loved it; so I am making more this year. I haven’t seen this question in the comments so I wonder: is there any reason why I couldn’t double the recipe? Have any of you tried that?

  • Evelyn Burns

    Lost my mothers recipe but thought this sounded like hers. My mom always said to use pecans in fruitcake because they slice better then walnuts. Also soak a cheesecloth in bourbon or rum, wrap the fruitcake and store in a cookie can checking on it every few weeks to make sure its still moist. I make it at Thanksgiving so its ready for xmas.

  • Sudu Roy

    Love this recipe- tried it today (yummy dough!!) and right now its in the oven- smelling so good! I used half the recipe and its good for me.I have a question though- why do you use the water pan during the baking? makes it moist, doesn’t burn? couldn’t figure out, thought it was something I could use for other cakes- I made this yogurt cake (from Chocolate & Zucchini) it was great but so dense I had to bake it really long and then the sides and top got a bit burnt- but tasted good though. So I was thinking I could use the water pan with that too- any idea if it’ll work?

    Using a bain marie, or a water bath, while cooking helps ensure even, steady cooking. It will help the fruitcake cook more evenly, outside and in. ~Elise

  • JoMel

    Hi Elise, it’s me again. If I were to use your recipe for cupcakes, how do I adjust the recipe to make it lighter and less dense? Would love to get your advice on this… Thanks.

    Hi JoeMel, I’ve never tried to make cupcakes with this recipe, so don’t know what to tell you. If you experiment and it works, please let us know the adjustments you made. ~Elise

  • JoMel

    Hi Elise, I am a reader (and a big fan *grin) from Malaysia. I tried baking this today. I used lemon rind because I did not have any oranges in the kitchen. It turned out fantastic! Since I have three young kids at home, this alcohol-free fruitcake recipe is really what I’ve always been looking for. The crunch from the chopped walnuts is really awesome. Very dense, and ok to cut serrated knife, like you said, very flavourful, very very good. We could not wait for the cake to cool complete, finished a quarter of it when it was still warm. haha.. Thank you for the great recipes.

  • Julie

    For those of you that have been asking about how long a fruitcake will last if is soaked in alcohol, I might be able to help. My grandmother and I made fruitcakes 3 years ago. We baked about 5 of them. We wrapped them in wine soaked dish towels (very clean of course) and put them in our fridge in the basement. For about a month after we baked them we would take the cakes out and pour some wine over the cakes and the dish rags and wraped them back up. We keep them in zip top freezer bags. Back to the point of how long they keep. We are on our last cake and just had a chunk about a week ago. It taste better now than it did a month after we made it. Hope I helped:)

  • Janet

    I made this right after I saw it since I’d never seen a fruit cake recipe with sour cream in it. This was terrific. I didn’t have raisins and am not partial them anyway, so I substituted dried cranberries. They worked great.

  • Victor Baglioni

    Elise, I am 82 years old and have been doing all the cooking at home for last 20 some years but have always loved to cook and did on special occasions. At Christmas I always made about 10 fruitcakes and soaked in brandy for a month. For the last few years i switched to Fruit Cake Cookies. My brother gave me his recipe. It is somewhat like your fruitcake. Will try it this year. Here are my cookies.


    2 ¼ cups candied fruit, mixed
    1 cup raisins
    1 cup nuts, chopped
    ½ cup brandy
    2 eggs
    ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
    1/3 cup butter, melted
    ½ tsp. baking soda
    1 tsp. cinnamon
    ½ tsp. cloves
    ½ tsp. vanilla
    1 ½ cups flour

    Soak fruits and raisins in brandy at least 12 hours. With fork beat eggs with sugar, blend in butter, soda, spices and vanilla, and gently stir in flour, brandied fruit and nuts with remaining liquid. Drop by round teaspoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in preheated 375 degrees oven about 15 minutes.
    SERVES: 4 ½ dozen cookies

    Hello Victor, thank you so much for your sharing your cookie recipe! ~Elise

    • Kim

      An elderly relative always made fruit cake cookies and gave them to us for Christmas. These bring back a lot of memories. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Loretta

    Your cake looks interesting, I am always on the look out for new recipes for fruitcake. The cake I make has whiskey in it and over it and if it doesn’t go in the deep freeze keeps very well in an air tight tin, even in the heat of a New Zealand summer. I make my own glazed lemon and orange peel and everyone says it is the best they have tasted. I find a handful of prunes help to keep fruitcake moist as well.

  • David MacDonald

    A note about booze: I use Jim Beam both in the fruitcake and for soaking after cooking. We keep it plastic/foil wrapped in the refrigerator for a year or longer. Usually we have finished it by next season. It stays very moist and wonderful the whole time. My recipe has been modified over time from the original to make improvements. The recipe calls for 8oz of Jim Beam and I then wrap the fruitcake with Jim Beam soaked cheese cloth after it has cooled, then plastic wrap then aluminum foil then let it sit for about 3-4 days. I then add about 4 to 6 more ounces of Jim Beam for its final soak. I sometimes leave the cheese cloth on if shipping to family and friends or take it off at the first eating. Then re-wrap with plastic and foil.

    A note about citron: This is probably the number one ingredient that makes most people hate fruitcake. My advice is to never use it and never buy those fruitcake mixes at the grocer. They almost always have citron in them.

    I have fun going to the grocer and finding various candied and dried fruits and nuts to put in the fruitcake. I tried chocolate chips one time and it did not taste all that good.

    • Bebe

      Yes! I do it this way, with cheesecloth (soaked in Jack Daniels), plastic and then foil wrap, the latter sealed with double folds all around. Store it in the fridge. I leave the cheesecloth on. Open it up, slice what I want, then rewrap after maybe sprinkling with some more JD. :-) Delectable.

      And yes again, it is the citron that turns most people off (me, too). As someone who always hated fruitcake, I was happy to find the one in the Southern Junior League Cookbook (not sure it’s still in print, but a classic). It called for only candied cherries and pineapple, and maybe the dates and nuts (don’t have it in front of me).

  • jill

    I made this gluten-free, with some substitutions: http://www.heythattastesgood.com/2007/12/happy-hanukkah-and-some-fruitcake.html

    It’s delicious!! Turns out I like fruitcake, who knew!?

  • Elise Bauer

    The fruitcake is much easier to cut if you use a long serrated bread knife to cut it with.

  • Carolyn

    I agree that this was difficult to cut. Perhaps should have waited until it soaked in brandy for awhile. It smelled so good we had to try it and it was wonderful! I did use dried cherries which I soaked overnight in brandy and I added some currants as well. This will be added to my permanent recipe file.

  • Julia

    I made this last night The taste is excellent. It started to burn on the top before it was done (it took about 2.5 hours) so I had to cover it — then it was OK.

    It really tastes awesome but it looks different from the picture. Mine seems to have a higher density of fruit. It also doesn’t cut too well. But I am very happy with it.

    Anyone have any tips on making it cut better. It’s fine for family.

  • Espahan


    When I lived in England I ate a fruit cake that was five years old. It was quite tasty. It was originally baked for the wedding of a couple we knew. The tradition was to save part of cake to serve on the occasion of the birth of their first child. It had been soaked in brandy, then covered in a blanket of marzipan. Over this it was covered in a very stiff ‘Baker’s’ frosting. Apparently, if stored well they can last for years. This cake was wrapped, then stored in a container filled with powdered suger so the cake was completely covered. It was then set in a cool place. Not many people owned refrigerators in England when I lived there in the early sixties or at least not young people just starting out.

    Note from Elise: 5 years? Wow. I bet that fruit cake was well soaked in the brandy.

  • Wynne

    I store our family fruitcake in the freezer without problem. We finished the 2006 batch (8 mini-loaves) in September 2007, and it was still delicious. I ate slices straight from the freezer — they could be cut more thinly that way.

    Our recipe includes raisins, currants, dates, figs, pineapple, cherries, orange peel, and almonds. (None candied, just dried.) They soak a week in rum before being baked into a cake that must age a month before being eaten. I waited until after the aging to freeze.

  • Christine

    Elise, I’ve always wanted to try spiking a fruitcake with a little booze but am worried about ruining a cake filled with so much good fruit. How much bourbon do I use? Are you supposed to add a little each day?? Brush it on or just pour? Thanks. I love your site.

  • Anonymous

    This fruitcake sounds wonderful! I’m making one with bourbom one with brandy and one with rum. Oh my!

    I think that alot of people don’t like fruitcake because many recipes contain citron. I too am not a fan of citron, so always leave it out.

  • verily

    Oh, this sounds wonderful. Honestly, I’ve never ever had a fruitcake. I don’t know if my parents necessarily had an aversion to them, but they never felt the need to buy ‘holiday’ type foods except for the actual holiday meals. The only exception was pfeffernusse, lots and lots of it.

    I think I might try this recipe, but without the raisins…or else I won’t be able to convince my roommate to help me eat it (never understood raisin haters). I wonder what other dried fruit would complement the cherries? Blueberries or strawberries perhaps?

  • Peggi Siegel

    Hi, when you say “grated rind of one orange” do you mean the pith as well? or just the zest? I love that your family does this with you. I do wish people would hold their comments until after they make the recipe, rather than stating their desire to do so.makes for a lot of reading! Happy Holiday to all. Thanks

    Note from Elise: Zest only.

  • Rosalind L. Forrest

    Panforte Margherita (bianco) from Sienna, Italy
    The world renound best fruit cake in all the world. You should purchase a cake before using some of the available but scarce recipes so you will know what you want in the end. The cake plus shipping is expensive but worth every penny.
    A round cake pan is totally lined with toasted whole almonds. The ONLY candied fruit is citron, lemon,and orange. It makes a single layer of Heaven. I wish you could find a successfl recipe!!
    I’ve heard that if you precook the sugar and honey too long the cake becomes a brick.
    Please try to find us a recipe. Homemade would not be so expensive.

  • Duane

    My grandmother always made fruitcakes, one for herself and my grandfather, and done to send to each of her children, some of whom ended up living thousands of miles away. Hers was darker, more of a spice cake, and she used some of the candied fruits that you so often see in the Grocery stores, but not so many of them that you did not appreciate the fact that you were eating cake. She also used port wine as a “preservative”. She would make the cakes in late October or Early November, and then every couple of days she would give them a little nip of the wine. Usually, she was sending them out in the first week or two of December.

  • Elise Bauer

    Hi everyone,

    Many have asked about how long fruitcake keeps with or without the Bourbon. Honestly, I have no idea. We don’t measure out the Bourbon. We eat the cake within a few weeks. But the fact that the cake is sitting there for a few weeks should tell you something. Normally a cake wouldn’t last that long. As I recall my friend David starts making his fruitcakes in the summer, and pours booze on them for months. I think the more alcohol, the better the cake will keep.

    Perhaps someone reading this who is more experienced than we are with making fruitcakes could address the Bourbon/longetivity issue?

    As for freezing the cake, I would imagine that it would freeze very well, as most cakes do.

  • Angee

    How long does the fruitcake last if you don’t use bourbon on it? Can it be frozen? And how long does it last if you sprinkle it with bourbon?
    Thanks, Angee

  • Ciel

    I’m going to soak dried cherries in brandy overnight and use them instead of the glaced ones.
    Can’t wait to try this recipe!
    Let ‘them’ dislike the fruitcakes of the world – leaves more for we enlightened ones. ;)

  • JEP

    I dislike candied-type fruits, what could replace the cherries?

    • Elise Bauer

      Sure, try adding dried sweetened cranberries or cherries instead.

  • erin

    I have to try this. I am going to have to go with dried cherries too, because glazed cherries give me the heebies. This sounds so good!

    If you add bourbon, how much longer will it keep?

    • Bebe

      Fruitcake will not be the same with dried cherries. It may be OK, but not the same. The moisture in the candied/glaceed cherries is necessary. They are quite soft. My opinion as a fruitcake baker.

  • Susan

    My prejudice against fruitcake came from many years of receiving those horrible, assembly line, cellophane wrapped bricks of yuck as gifts. I honestly don’t understand why anyone bothers. I’ve never met a soul who actually likes those things. Everyone I know just re-gifts them.

    One day, I had the pleasure of trying a fruitcake that actually was fruit and cake. Real, juicy chunks of apple and pineapple and raisins, etc. It was delicious! I was a convert. Since then, I’ve always been game to try a new fruitcake. Thanks for the recipe. It looks great.

  • Kelley

    Are glazed cherries the same thing as candied cherries, found in the baking aisle?

    I’ve never made fruitcake before but I love dates in the heavy banana nut bread I make, so I’m sure this would be up my alley too.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Kelley, yes, they’re candied cherries.

      • Bebe

        Sometimes they are called glaceed cherries. All the same thing. And they would be in the baking aisle with all the other similar candied fruits.

        A really good fruitcake should never dry out. It is mostly fruit. And the bourbon keeps it in good condition. I store mine in the fridge. Sliced thinly, they last a long time. But if really good, that may not be an issue. :-)

  • Astra Libris

    My mother is one of those with The Fear of the Fruitcake – I think I will try this recipe to change her mind! Would regular dried cherries work instead of the glazed ones, perhaps? Thanks!
    – Astra Libris

    Note from Elise: Personally I wouldn’t substitute the glazed cherries for anything, but don’t let that stop you from experimenting.

  • Ronda

    This looks fantastic! I’m going to have to give it a try.

    One question, though: what size loaf pan are you using for this?


    Note from Elise: Any standard loaf pan. I think I used a 5×9, though I could easily have used a 4×8.