Fruit Cake Your Family Will Ask For Again And Again

Yeah, yeah, fruit cake gets a bad wrap. It's the butt of far too many jokes, regarded as the dish that's always left untouched on the holiday table, as able to withstand a nuclear blast ... and the list goes on. But hey, have you ever actually eaten fruit cake? Like a fresh, homemade fruit cake featuring six different types of dried fruit, almost an entire cup of dark rum, a stick of butter, a bunch of brown sugar, spices, and more? Whatever be the case, our fruit cake recipe is sure to change your perspective on this misunderstood dessert.

"Fruit cake is delicious," says chef, food writer, and registered dietician Kristen Carli of Camelback Nutrition & Wellness. "It's packed with many different dried fruits providing sweetness and texture." She adds, "I love pairing this with ice cream," which only sweetens the deal.

Easy to make, filling and satisfying, and yes, safe to store for multiple days even at room temperature, once you try this fruit cake recipe, you'll think of it as the life of the party rather than the butt of a joke. Okay, maybe that's overselling it just a little bit. How about we say it's a tasty dessert by which everyone will be pleasantly surprised.

Gather your ingredients for fruit cake

This fruit cake recipe calls for a lot of ingredients — 19, in fact. They include 2 ½ cups of raisins, 1 cup of dried apricots (chopped), 1 cup of dried cranberries, 1 cup of dried figs (chopped), 1 cup of dried cherries, 1 cup of dried prunes (chopped), ¾ cup of dark rum, 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of ground ginger, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 stick of unsalted butter, ¾ cup of packed brown sugar, 5 eggs, 1 tablespoon of lemon zest, 1 tablespoon of orange zest, ½ cup of orange juice, and ¾ cup of chopped pecans.

You'll be just fine to leave out a fruit or two if need be, but if you want Carli's advice, don't skip the figs. "I particularly love dried figs," she says. "They are so delicious. I made sure to include dried figs in this dish because they are my fave, [and] did you know that dried figs are a great source of calcium?"

Soak the fruit in rum overnight, then prep for cooking

Make sure you plan well ahead for your fruit cake, because the first step takes an entire day. Prepare the fruit soak by combining all of the dried fruit in a large mixing bowl, and then adding the rum. Level the fruit so it is as submerged as possible, then cover the bowl with a lid and allow things to soak at room temperature for 24 hours.

When a day has passed, preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and then spray two 8x4-inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray.

Mix your non-fruit ingredients

In a medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices, and whisk them all together until they are well combined. Then, in the bowl of a stand mixer, add the softened butter and brown sugar, and mix at high speed with the paddle attachment for three minutes to fully combine the two.

Reduce the speed to low, and add the eggs to the mixer bowl one at a time. Then, with the stand mixer on medium, add the flour gradually until all of the ingredients have combined into a smooth mixture.

Add the fruit, and bake the cakes

Turn off the mixer and add in the soaked fruit mixture. Then, add the lemon zest, orange zest, and orange juice. Lastly, add the pecans and stir everything well to combine. The batter will be heavy and thick.

Pour (or perhaps scoop, if need be) the fruit batter evenly into the two prepared loaf pans and smooth it out so it's level, and then bake the fruit cakes for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Once removed from the oven, let the cakes cool, and then serve and enjoy. Or, save them for a bit. "They will keep for up to seven days in an airtight plastic bag at room temperature," says Carli.

Fruit Cake Your Family Will Ask For Again And Again
5 from 19 ratings
Our tasty fruit cake recipe is jam-packed with a variety of dried fruits and pairs so well with vanilla ice cream.
Prep Time
24
hours
Cook Time
1.25
hours
Servings
2
loaf cakes
slice of fruit cake
Ready in 25.25 hours
Ingredients
  • 2 ½ cups raisins
  • 1 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup dried figs, chopped
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup dried prunes, chopped
  • ¾ cup dark rum
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans
Directions
  1. Prepare the fruit soak by combining all of the dried fruit in a large mixing bowl. Add ¾ cup of dark rum, then cover the bowl with a lid and allow the fruit to soak at room temperature for 24 hours.
  2. Once the 24 hours has passed, preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, spray two 8x4-inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. In a medium bowl, add 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, and spices, and whisk together until combined.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add 1 stick unsalted butter, softened and ¾ cup packed brown sugar, and mix with the paddle attachment for three minutes on high. Then, reduce speed to low and add 5 eggs one at a time.
  5. With the stand mixer on medium, add the flour gradually until all combined.
  6. Turn off the mixer and add the soaked fruit mixture, then 1 tablespoon of lemon zest, 1 tablespoon of orange zest, and ½ cup of orange juice.
  7. Add ¾ cup chopped pecans, and stir to combine. The mixture will be heavy and thick.
  8. Pour evenly into prepared loaf pans and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 328
Total Fat 9.0 g
Saturated Fat 3.6 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 52.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 57.2 g
Dietary Fiber 3.8 g
Total Sugars 38.9 g
Sodium 148.5 mg
Protein 4.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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