The Best Damn Fruitcake Ever

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best damn fruitcake ever recipe 728
Erin McDowell

Raise your hand if you like fruitcake. No one? We’re right there with you. This Christmas classic has gotten a seriously bad reputation over the years, but we at PureWow are determined to change that. We kept all the best parts (tons of fruit and nuts, great boozy flavor) but tweaked the recipe so that it takes less time to make and results in a much more appetizing treat. Our tip: Bake a loaf before Christmas so you've got one less thing to worry about the day of.



½ cup dried apricots, chopped

½ cup dried cranberries

½ cup dried cherries

½ cup golden raisins

1 cup bourbon

½ cup pistachios, chopped

½ cup hazelnuts, chopped

½ cup pecans, chopped

½ cup sliced almonds


12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup light brown sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons orange zest

Pinch of cinnamon

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Turbinado sugar, for garnish


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a loaf pan with nonstick spray.

2. Prepare the Fruit: In a medium-size heat-safe bowl, toss the apricots with the cranberries, cherries and raisins. In a small pot, bring the bourbon to a simmer. Pour it over the fruit and let sit for 10 minutes.

3. Drain the fruit, reserving the bourbon. Transfer the fruit to another medium bowl and toss with the pistachios, hazelnuts, pecans and almonds. Set aside.

4. Make the Batter: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the side of the bowl well after each addition.

5. Beat in the vanilla extract, orange zest and cinnamon. Add the flour and baking powder; mix just until combined.

6. Bake the Cake: Add the fruit-and-nut mixture to the batter and mix to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Garnish with a sprinkle of turbinado sugar, then bake until golden and cooked through, 2 to 2½ hours.

7. While the cake is baking, bring the reserved bourbon to a simmer and reduce to about ¼ cup. Pour the reduced bourbon over the warm cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. Let the cake cool completely before slicing and serving. The uncut cake will keep for up to two weeks in an airtight container.

Nutrition Facts
  • Mix-ins

  • 228 calories

  • 11g fat

  • 21g carbs

  • 3g protein

  • 15g sugars

  • Batter

  • 219 calories

  • 12g fat

  • 24g carbs

  • 3g protein

  • 12g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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