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Traditional Holiday Fruitcake

  • Author: crystal
  • Total Time: 3.5 hours
  • Yield: 24 slices 1x


The traditional Christmas Fruitcake is as timeless as the holiday itself.  Many families have enjoyed these delicious desserts over the years, are easy to make ahead and store weeks in advance, and are hearty enough to ship across the country.



1 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped candied or maraschino cherries

1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

1/2 cup chopped pitted prunes

3/4 cup medium sweet Sherry

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 to 1 cup slivered almonds or chopped pecans

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter room temp

1 1/2 cups golden yellow sugar, unpacked

5 eggs

1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Fondant or prepared icing (optional)


  1. Combine raisins, cherries, apricots and prunes in a large glass pie plate.  Stir to mix.  Pour Sherry over top and press fruit into the Sherry.  Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on medium for 2 – 2 1/2 minutes.  Stir, cover and microwave again for another 2 minutes.  Set aside for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally, allowing the Sherry to fully absorb into the fruit.
  2. Lightly grease a 9 1/2″ springform pan.  Line the bottom and sides with parchment paper that extends slightly above the sides.  Spray sides with baking spray or oil.
  3. Heat oven to 300°F.
  4. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl.  Stir in chosen nuts.
  5. Beat butter at medium speed until creamy.  Slowly add sugar and beat for a further 2 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time.  Add vanilla extract.  Add any Sherry not absorbed in your initial fruit mixture.  Beat for another 1-2 minutes until all is fully combined.  Remove from beater.
  6. Stir fruit mixture into flour mixture until fully coated.  Make a well in the centre and pour in the butter mixture.  Stir until no streaks of flour remain making the batter very thick.  Scrape into the prepared pan and roughly smooth the top.
  7. Place pan on a large baking sheet and put into the centre of the oven.    Bake until the cake starts to come away from the sides of the pan and your cake tester comes out clean – approx. 2 1/2 hours.  Cool for about 10-15 minutes and peal from parchment paper and remove the pan sides.
  8. Continue to allow cooling.  If not adding any icing or fondant, brush the top and sides with additional sherry.
  9. Want to make your own fondant?  See the below video for an easy tutorial.


  • To keep the cake moist while baking, place a loaf pan filled with hot water on the rack beside or below the cake.
  • You can store this in your refrigerator for a month or more.  Periodically brush with more sherry or keep it wrapped in a sherry soaked cheesecloth.
  • You can also substitute sherry with bourbon or brandy, it depends what you like to sip on as you cook!
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 2.5 hours
  • Category: Desserts

Keywords: fruitcake