We can’t imagine celebrating the holidays without fruitcake, especially when the classic treat is as delicious as this version. It’s soft and moist with plenty of sweet, fruity goodness, and it’s full of our favorite warm, winter-inspired spices. This isn’t the rubbery or rock-solid, pre-packaged fruitcake found in stores or made by less seasoned but well-intentioned bakers, this version is definitely Christmas baking at its finest!
This festive holiday cake is easy and delicious, with very little fuss required. Our loved ones look forward to this extra-special cake every year, and it’s always the star of our home-baked goody baskets. We put a lot of love into making these holiday classics. The smiles and rave reviews these fruitcakes receive make it well worth the effort.
Holiday Fruit Cake
1 hour, 50 minutes, plus 12+ hours to soak fruit to prepare 10 to 12
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 1/2 cup dried figs or dates, chopped
- 1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped
- 1 cup orange juice (or rum)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for pan
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) plus extra for pan
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup milk, room temperature
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt, room temperature
- 1 cup toasted almonds or walnuts, chopped (optional)
- Place apricots, cherries and figs in medium bowl with orange juice or rum. Cover with plastic wrap. Let fruit soak in refrigerator at least 12 hours, up to 48 hours.
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter and flour a 9-inch loaf pan.
- Strain soaked fruit into a separate bowl. Reserve liquid and set fruit aside. Combine baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt and flour in a medium bowl. Toss soaked fruit with 3-4 tablespoons of flour mixture. Set remaining dry ingredients and floured fruit aside.
- Beat butter at medium speed in large mixing bowl until soft and creamy. Mix in sugar until fluffy and well incorporated. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla extract.
- Combine milk and yogurt in separate bowl. Mix 1/3 of dry ingredients into batter, followed by 1/3 of milk and yogurt mixture. Repeat to use up all ingredients, ending with yogurt and milk. Gently stir in floured fruits and optional nuts until evenly distributed through batter.
- Transfer batter to prepared loaf pan. Bake in preheated oven 55 minutes. Reduce temperature to 300 degrees. Bake 10 to 15 minutes until fruitcake is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes.
- Turn fruitcake onto wire rack. Brush top and sides with reserved orange juice or rum. Let liquid seep into cake. Repeat once or twice as cake cools. Serve immediately, or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate before gifting.
Recipe adapted from Rice 'n Flour