This is a quick and easy Brazil Nut Fruitcake—made with dried fruits and nuts—makes for a beautiful, festive presentation. We’ve made it year after year for friends and family who never liked fruitcake before this recipe, but say it’s absolutely delicious!
The recipe was perfected by Mother Mary Clare in the monastery kitchen of the St. Scholastica Priory in Petersham, Massachusetts. It’s made with dried apricots, dates, cranberries, and nuts, with a couple tablespoons of sherry or brandy.
Substitutions and Additions
This is a classic Christmas Fruitcake, however, all fruitcakes are flexible.
- Nuts: If you wish, substitute Brazil nuts with other nuts (such as walnuts, pecans, almonds, or hazelnuts).
- Substitute any of the dried fruits. For example, substitute cranberries with raisins.
- Cherries: If desired, you can mix in a cup of candied red cherries or maraschino cherries (halved), but we’ve left the recipe at dried fruit for simplicity.
- Spices: If you’d like to add spices, we suggest adding ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon allspice, and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg when you mix the dry ingredients.
- Preheat oven to 275°F. Line an 9x5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper (to make it easy for this dense cake to release after baking).
- In a bowl, combine the fruit and nuts.
- In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients and whisk to blend.
- Add fruit and nuts and mix thoroughly.
- In another bowl, beat eggs until foamy. Add vanilla and 1 tablespoon of sherry and beat until blended. Stir into flour, fruit, and nut mixture until smooth.
- Pack firmly into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour, or until gently browned and firm to the touch.
- When cool, brush on remaining sherry.
Optional: Dust with confectioners’ sugar.