It’s That Time of the Year!

Did you want to join me in making fruitcake for the holidays? If so, it’s time to dice up those fruits and get them brewing in some brandy for the holidays!

Six Cups Diced Dried Fruits
Six Cups Diced Dried Fruits

Before you say, “ugh, fruitcake is so gross”, please take a look at my recipe. I’ve shared it countless times in the past and I have never had anyone not love it.

My friend Judy has a picture of a slice on her blog, if you’d like to see what the inside looks like.

There’s no candied fruit in it, and it’s moist and bright, not dark and spicy. It’s like a breath of spring in your mouth while it’s snowing outside. For this batch, I’ve used dried dates, dried cherries, dried apricots, dried sultans, and dried cranberries.

Marinating in Brandy
Marinating in Brandy

I’ve found I prefer to let them marinate for several months in a vacuum sealed bag vs the jar, as I don’t have to bother with flipping the jar over every day. Plus it takes a little less brandy.

CJ’s Fruitcake

6 cups Dried fruits of your choice apricots, cherries, figs, dates, cranberries, etc.


1 cup Butter (unsalted)
2 cups Sugar
2 teaspoons Baking powder
1 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
4 large Eggs
3 3/4 cups Flour (all-purpose, unbleached)
1 cup Orange juice, preferably freshly squeezed
2 cups Pecans (or walnuts)

To prepare the fruit, pour enough brandy over the diced fruit to cover it, or (my preference) put it in a large heavy duty bag and vacuum seal it.

You can bake the cakes with the fruit having marinated for only 24 hours, however the longer the fruit is in the brandy, the better the end result. I like to marinate mine for several months.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease three 8 x 4 inch loaf pans, or 8 mini loaf pans.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar and add the baking powder, salt and vanilla; mix. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the flour alternately with the orange juice.

Drain the fruit (reserve the brandy/juice) and stir in along with the nuts.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pans. They should be about three quarters full. Bake the cakes for about 60 minutes (45-50 minutes for the smaller loaves). They will be golden brown in color, and a toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean.

Remove the cakes from the oven, cool for 10 minutes and remove from the pans. Brush with the reserved brandy/fruit mix leftover from marinating. Brush a couple more times over the next 24 hours with brandy.

I prefer to wrap in plastic wrap and freeze at this point, or you can wrap in cheesecloth and brush with brandy weekly.

I won’t be baking the cakes until December, and will share more pictures then. I like to bake individual size cakes. I hope you’ll join me!

See my post on baking day here!

CJ Tinkle

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Diane Obernesser

    I have made this & it is very good. I really don’t like candied fruit so the dried fruit is a wonderful substitute. Thanks CJ.

    1. tinksquared

      Thank you Diane, I don’t like candied fruit either, it’s gross… and probably the reason why most people hate fruitcake.

  2. Melinda

    Do you refrigerate or freeze the fruit while marinating?

  3. Laura Deaver

    That looks really good! I had to look up sultanas – never heard of that. Here in East Texas, I might have to use raisins instead. Think I’ll try this.

    1. tinksquared

      Sultanas are golden raisins :). I prefer them to brown raisins.

  4. mo pinwil

    I like fruit cake and I have used alcohol to plump up my fruits in the past. I haven’t done this for a long time though and I will make this again for Christmas. I might even give myself a small slice as a treat and have a carb holiday.
    Thank you for reminding me.

    1. tinksquared

      I bake and cook with a lot of alcohol, it adds so much great flavor!

  5. Lesley Kannisto

    I’m really looking forward to making this. I bought all the fruits today and will chop and bag tomorrow.

    1. tinksquared

      I’m so glad to have you join me Lesley! It’s a fun tradition and so delicious!

Your feedback is always welcome! If you have a question, I will respond to it here.