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Fruitcake

This Fruitcake recipe is the classic holiday cake recipe- retro-style with candied fruit, walnuts and raisins!

fruitcake

December 27th is National Fruitcake Day! You must celebrate by sampling some fruitcake. Why not take the plunge, and bake a fruitcake from scratch? Use this recipe! There are some who shrug off the idea of a fruitcake and would much rather bake something like my amaretto bundt cake. I suggest you give fruitcake a chance!

Share the fruitcake love on social media today using the hashtags #NationalFruitcakeDay, #FruitcakeDay and #RecipesForHolidays.

Be sure to follow my December Food Holidays page so you never miss a food holiday in the month of December.

“There’s a little bit of fruitcake left in every one of us.”

-Jimmy Buffet

The History of Fruitcake:

From PBS.org:

Fruitcake is an ancient goody, with the oldest versions a sort of energy bar made by the Romans to sustain their soldiers in battle. The Roman fruitcake was a mash of barley, honey, wine and dried fruit, often pomegranate seeds. Fruitcake can also be traced to ancient Egypt when delicious and long-lasting cakes were placed in the great pyramids with deceased royal dignitaries to sweeten their experience in the afterlife.

What you might recognize as a modern-style fruitcake – a moist, leavened dessert studded with fruits and nuts – was probably first baked in the early Middle Ages in Europe. Cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg were symbols of culinary sophistication, and these sweet spices started appearing alongside fruit in many savory dishes – especially breads, but also main courses.

Before long, most cuisines had some sort of fruited breads or cakes that were early versions of the modern fruitcake.

Fruitcakes came to America with the European colonists. Colonists used sugar to preserving fruit for use across the seasons. One of the favorite methods of preserve fruit by candying it. Colonists were able to keep fruit from the summer harvest to use in their Christmas confections, and fruitcakes became one of the most popular seasonal desserts. Fruitcakes were also popular due to their legendary shelf life, which, in an era before mechanical refrigeration, was extremely desirable.

As late as the 1950s, fruitcakes were a widely esteemed part of the American holiday tradition. A 1953 Los Angeles Times article called fruitcake a “holiday must,” and in 1958, the Christian Science Monitor asked, “What Could Be a Better Gift Than Fruitcake?” But by 1989, a survey by Mastercard found that fruitcake was the least favorite gift of 75% of those polled.

ingredients displayed for making fruitcake

🛒 Ingredients Needed:

  • candied red and green cherries
  • chopped candied pineapple
  • chopped walnuts
  • golden raisins
  • butter shortening
  • granulated white sugar
  • eggs
  • vanilla extract
  • all purpose flour
  • baking powder and salt
four photos showing how to make fruitcake

✏️ How to make Fruitcake:

*The complete, printable recipe is in the recipe card at the end of this post.

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the candied fruit, walnuts and raisins; set aside. In another large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the shortening and the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; add to the sugar mixture and mix well. Stir in the fruit mixture.
  4. Transfer the cake batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 2 hours or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
fruitcake in a tube pan

Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

➡️ Tips and Substitutions:

  • Use a tube pan, not a bundt pan.
  • You can change things up a bit with the candied fruit. Use whatever kinds of candied fruit appeal to you.
  • Since the texture of the cake is dense, it’s best to use a serrated knife for slicing.
  • Completely optional, but you can brush the outside of the cake with apple juice, rum or whiskey.
  • Wrap and let sit for at least 24 hours before serving.
overhead shot of fruitcake

Wrap the fruitcake tightly and store in a cool place.

✔️ Make Ahead Tips:

You can make fruitcake up to one month in advance. Wrap it well with plastic wrap. To keep it moist, unwrap and brush it with apple juice, whiskey or rum once a week until serving.

slice coming out of a whole fruitcake

❤️ What I Love About This Recipe:

  1. It’s pretty!
  2. It makes a great holiday cake if you use red and green candied cherries.
  3. It’s a good gift for grandma!
slice of fruitcake

Fun Facts about Fruitcake:

  • Fruitcakes are different in Europe than they are in America. European fruitcakes are more like the medieval fruited bread than the versions made in Great Britain and the United States. The two most common styles of fruitcake in Europe are the stollen and panettone. British and American versions are much more cake-like.
  • Johnny Carson once said, “There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other.”
  • Given fruitcake’s long shelf life and dense texture, it was a natural for a mail-order food business. America’s two most famous fruitcake companies, Claxton’s of Claxton, Georgia, and Collin Street of Corsicana, Texas, got their start in this heyday of mail-order food. By the early 1900s, U.S.
  • Fruitcake became a popular dish to serve at British royals’ weddings. Queen Victoria, Princess Diana and Prince William served fruitcake at their receptionsmailrooms were full of fruitcake tins!
  • The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. has a fruitcake on display. It traveled into space on Apollo 11 in 1969, but was never eaten.
  • Although fruitcake is the butt of a lot of jokes, over 2 million fruitcakes are still sold each year.
fruitcake

Fruitcake

Yield: 16 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

It's a classic holiday cake recipe!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups candied red and green cherries
  • 3 cups chopped candied pineapple
  • 16 ounces chopped walnuts
  • 10 ounces golden raisins
  • 1 cup butter shortening
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the candied fruit, walnuts and raisins; set aside. In another large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the shortening and the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; add to the sugar mixture and mix well. Stir in the fruit mixture.
  4. Transfer the cake batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 2 hours or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Wrap the fruitcake tightly and store in a cool place. Slice with a serrated knife.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 749Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 273mgCarbohydrates: 107gFiber: 4gSugar: 59gProtein: 9g

Nutritional information is estimated using a nutrition calculator. It's not likely to be 100% accurate.

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Sunday 25th of February 2024

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