Weekend at the Cottage Symbol
  • Holiday Fruitcake
  • Holiday Fruitcake
  • Holiday Fruitcake
  • Holiday Fruitcake
  • Holiday Fruitcake
  • Holiday Fruitcake
  • Holiday Fruitcake
  • Holiday Fruitcake
  • Holiday Fruitcake
  • Holiday Fruitcake
  • Holiday Fruitcake
  • Holiday Fruitcake
  • Holiday Fruitcake
  • Holiday Fruitcake
  • Holiday Fruitcake

Holiday Fruitcake

Food | November 01, 2018 | Nik Manojlovich
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
  • 165 Minutes
  • 12
  • Moderate

Let’s be honest, who doesn’t LOVE a good HOLIDAY FRUITCAKE?! Served as a crowd-pleasing end to a holiday meal or given away as homemade seasonal gifts, this tried-and-true Weekend at the Cottage recipe will guide you on how to make the BEST HOLIDAY FRUITCAKE EVER!

For the most part, I usually find myself underwhelmed whenever I eat HOLIDAY FRUITCAKE. The mass-produced versions never look appetizing, especially when covered in nondescript icing that camouflages the odd, almost glow-in-the-dark neon fruit. In my mind, there’s nothing worse than a dark, grainy-textured cake mix studded with forgettable fruit, and on the rare and unfortunate occasion, jujubes!

What I most enjoy is an old-fashioned fruitcake recipe that makes me go “Wow! This is incredibly delicious!” After all, ’tis the season for such indulgence, is it not?!

Here is the result of my quest to make the best HOLIDAY FRUITCAKE ever. I used my mom’s recipe (from a Five Rose’s Flour cookbook) as the framework and took my friend Elizabeth Baird’s suggestion to find and use only the best ingredients.

I spent quite a bit of time selecting an array of interesting ingredients from speciality grocers and gourmet stores. I also played around with different spices and flavour enhancers, and finally re-worked the method of preparation and “curing” of the baked fruitcakes in spirits!

I’m confident that you’ll have the same success when you go to make this delicious traditional fruitcake recipe at home. After four attempts, I do believe I have it RIGHT!

Here are some tips:


The recipe calls for both candied and dried fruit. Select your own favourite combinations, just make sure you gather equal quantities of both types. For the candied fruit, look for “fruit glacé” – fruit preserved in syrup – and candied citron or citrus peel.

One of the ingredient photos clearly shows the fruit I used; make special note of the dried orange peel. This is the one ingredient I definitely recommend you include, as it adds a lovely fragrance, texture and zest to the cake.




HAND-IN-HANDHoliday Fruitcake

Finely chop the dried ingredients. My initial use of a food processor left me with clumps of sticky sweets. Chopping by hand creates smaller fruit and nut morsels that distribute more evenly throughout the cake, offering a different taste with every bite.

Once you’ve chopped all your fruit, give it a good stir, add the brandy, and stir again. Give the mixture a full 24 hours to soak up the brandy. It’s a bit boozy but good.




THIS IS NUTTYHoliday Fruitcake

The recipe calls for almonds and hazelnuts, and I suggest you toast your nuts separately. Once cooled, chop the hazelnuts by hand before adding them to the fruit and almond mix. Use almond extract instead of vanilla to enhance the flavours of this winning nut combination.

Toss the nuts and fruit in a small quantity of flour before adding the batter. I found this dusting keeps the fruit mixture suspended in the batter.




BATTER UP!Holiday Fruitcake

Bring the butter and eggs to room temperature before you begin. Also, take the time to thoroughly beat the butter with the sugars, eggs and flour mixture. A well-beaten batter creates more volume.






LOAFERSHoliday Fruitcake

Using smaller loaf pans (5½ x 3 x 2-inch) means you’ll have more to share! This recipe yields TWELVE mini loaves.

TIP! When wrapping the cakes in cheesecloth, fold the edges of the cheesecloth back onto itself. This will prevent the little strings along the edge of the cloth from sticking to the cakes.




SOAK IT UPHoliday Fruitcake

Your clock is ticking! To ensure a flavourful and moist fruitcake, you’ll need to set aside two days to allow the speciality fruit and nuts to soak up the brandy. This recipe also requires the baked loaves be “cured” for 10 days in their brandy-soaked wraps, so GET TO IT!




There you have it, a beloved seasonal favourite revamped into something so wonderfully delicious you’ll find it hard to not go back for seconds. Try to make it last at least to Christmas Day!

Feeling inspired to create even more festive treats this holiday season? Try our VEGAN ORANGE BALLS, our APRICOT CHOCOLATE SANDWICH COOKIES, ANNA’S PECAN BALLS and our SPICY BOW KNOTS – each and all are fabulously fantastic!

An assortment of dried, preserved and candied fruit nestled with toasted nuts in a light spiced cake, soaked in brandy – this HOLIDAY FRUITCAKE is a joy to the world!!!


4 Responses to “Holiday Fruitcake”

  1. Amie says:

    This looks delicious I can’t wait to try it!

  2. Wow – it’s Christmas packed into a sweet little cake. Thank you for sharing, you can taste the quality ingredients. The kids found it a bit too boozy, but I thought it was just perfect!

  3. Susan Butler says:

    Oh my gosh I have been eating this delicious cake all holiday season and I can’t stop!!! This is the best Christmas Cake I’ve ever had. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

    • Nik Manojlovich says:

      SUE!!! Not bad, right?!!! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas – looking forward to seeing you in 2020? Let’s make a plan!!!


Ingredients & Amounts

  • 6 cups of candied orange peel
  • 4 cups of dried black currants
  • 2 cups of yellow raisins
  • 10 dried Persian or Medjool dates, pitted
  • 3 cups of dried cranberries
  • 3 cups of dried tart cherries
  • 2 cups of candied citron
  • 1 cup of of glacéed ginger
  • 1 cup of glacéed cherries
  • 1 cup of glacéed pineapple
  • 1 cup of brandy
  • 1 cup of slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1 cup of hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
  • 4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon of ground mace
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups of light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 10 jumbo eggs, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons of homogenized milk
  • 2 teaspoons of pure almond extract
  • 2 cups of brandy, for cheesecloth soaking


  1. Chop all preserved and dried fruit by hand. Transfer to a large bowl and stir until well combined. Stir in brandy. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a pantry or cool room for 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
  2. When the fruit mixture is ready, place oven rack in the central position and preheat oven to 275°F. Butter the loaf pans, only if using non-stick pans. Measure, fold and cut parchment paper so that it forms rectangular liners within the buttered pans.
  3. Take fruit mixture, add prepared nuts and stir gently. Add 1 cup of flour gradually, ¼ cup at a time, gently sprinkling and then stirring it into the fruit and nuts.
  4. In a separate bowl, take remaining 3 cups of flour and sift a few times with the mace, cinnamon and baking powder.
  5. Using a hand or stand mixer, beat butter until light and creamy. Slowly add in the brown sugar, continuing to beat until light. Add granulated sugar in same fashion. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition to create a light fluffy batter. Slowly sprinkle in flour mixture ½ cup at a time. Add 2 tablespoons milk and the almond extract, then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  6. Pour batter over fruit mixture and stir well. Divide batter evenly between the 12 pans, pressing it down firmly. Smooth the tops of the loaves and brush lightly with milk.
  7. Bake until golden and a wooden toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean, about 2 hours.
  8. Let fruitcakes cool in pans before turning them out onto a wire rack. Remove parchment and allow cakes to cool completely.
  9. Once cool, wrap loaves in brandy-soaked cheesecloth. Wrap again tightly in foil before placing into sealable bags. Force air out of bags, seal tightly and refrigerate for 5 days. On the 5th day, unwrap fruitcakes, re-soak cheesecloth and rewrap cakes. Keep cakes refrigerated for an additional 5 days before removing cheesecloth and storing in foil wrap.
  10. Assemble in an attractive fashion to present as gifts.

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Listen on MUSIC

Listening to great music is an important part of every Weekend at the Cottage! While preparing this recipe I listened to one of my favourite holiday albums Christmas At King’s College – Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. This collection of Christmas Carols is performed by one of the world’s most accomplished choirs and you can download it from iTunes.

Nik Manojlovich

Nik is the creator, host and brains behind Weekend at the Cottage. He loves sharing his wisdom and experience about the things that interest him most.



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