Festive Fruitcake Recipes

Four fruitcake recipes that reveal the true Christmas classic.

By Deborah Papier
December 22, 2020
Best Fruitcake Ever
Anna Shepulova/shutterstock

It is the hour of the fruitcake! While there are some truly terrible fruitcakes, you need to try this holiday classic at its best. We have gathered four delicious fruitcake recipes that are sure to change your ideas about this iconic Christmas cake. 

Soon they will be upon us—there is no escape. Sodden with alcohol, their massive bodies bulging with strange green protuberances, they will attack us at our homes, at our friends’ homes, at our offices. It seems incomprehensible that something so many people find unsavory should be so much a part of a season of celebration, of feasting and sharing.

“It’s not necessary for foods with a ceremonial significance to be palatable,” explained George Armelagos, coauthor of Consuming Passions: The Anthropology of Eating (Houghton Mifflin, 1980). “The symbol is much more important than the taste itself.”

We respectfully disagree. Those awful pre-wrapped boxed fruitcake with neon green pieces give fruit cake a bad wrap. Many commercial fruitcakes contain chemical preservatives, artificially-colored candied fruits, and a cloyingly-sweet taste. None of our cakes have any of these traits.

What Makes a Good Fruitcake?

Fresh ingredients, moistness, and natural flavors make a good fruitcake. Many of our recipes use dried fruit not that icky, bitter and fake candied fruit. Dried fruit is easier to find, more natural in flavor, and quick to use.

You can always substitute the types of dried fruits and the nuts to fit your tastes. Once you gather the ingredients, these cakes are fairly easy to make.

1. Chocolate Fruitcake

Dried cherries, nuts, and chocolate are a winning combination! This gorgeous cake and slightly different fruitcake is delicious! See Chocolate Fruitcake recipe.

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Image: M.Gusarov/Shutterstock

2. Best Fruitcake Ever

Made with dried fruit, brandy, ground almonds, and citrus zest, this easy fruitcake recipe offers a delicious and quick way to enjoy a classic. See recipe.

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Image: Anna Shepulova/shutterstock

3. Brazil Nut Fruitcake

This easy nut fruitcake makes for a beautiful, festive presentation. The recipe was perfected by Mother Mary Clare in the monastery kitchen of the St. Scholastica Priory in Petersham, Massachusetts. It’s easy to make and a favorite at Christmastime. See Brazil Nut Fruitcake recipe.

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Image: Nataly Landar/Shutterstock

4. Five-Spice Powder Fruit Cake

Here’s our alternative to “traditional” holiday fruit cake. It’s light in both color and crumb; well-proportioned with dried fruit, nuts, and a dash of rum; and enticingly spiced.

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Image: Becky Luigart-Stayner

These Christmas cake recipes are truly delicious and requested every year on our tables. If you are serving guests, perhap avoid using the word “fruitcake” before they compliment the baker!

If you do have any leftovers, enjoy our article, “What to Do With Leftover Fruitcake!”

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