Our Favorite Fruitcake

bowl of golden raisins and cranberries and a cup of dates

Back in 2019, Eric suggested I make a fruitcake for our annual Cocktails & Dessert party. I’ll be honest, I was hesitant. As all the fruitcake-related jokes ran through my head, I decided that like with anything, we could make it our own. We found a recipe and gave it a shot. And guess what? It was delicious. Everyone raved about it and I patted myself on the back for making a fruitcake that people actually liked.

fruit cake cooling on a wire rack

Last year, despite not being able to have our party, we decided we’d make some things that just sounded good for the holidays. The fruitcake made the cut and we enjoyed the hell out of it. Fast-forward to 2021 and here we are again, forced to rethink having our party. We decided in lieu of an in-person party to have it virtually, and we sent goodie packages full of some holiday treats to a few close friends. After getting multiple requests for the fruitcake recipe, I decided I should probably share it here for all to enjoy.

Fruit Cake

Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 2 hours Yield: Makes one loaf

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • 2 cups raisins (I use golden raisins)
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (divided into 1/4 cup and 1 3/4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • Grated rind of one orange
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 2 ounces Brandy (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with greased parchment paper or brown baking paper, cut to fit the pan. Place one piece to run the length of the pan and stand up above the rim about an inch. Place the other piece or pieces to cover the other sides. (When the cake comes out of the oven, you can easily remove it by holding the sides of the paper and lifting the cake out of the pan.)
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the baking soda and sour cream; set aside.
  3. Combine the dates, raisins, cranberries, and nuts with 1/4 cup of the flour and toss to coat the fruit and nuts. Set aside.
  4. Beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in the egg, then the orange rind, then the sour cream/baking soda mix.
  5. Add the flour and the salt and mix together. Combine fruit/nut mixture with creamed ingredients and mix well to distribute the fruit and nuts evenly.
  6. Pour batter into a prepared 5×9-inch loaf pan.
  7. Place the batter filled pan into the preheated oven. Place a separate pan of water in the oven either on a rack underneath the fruitcake or beside it. (The water will help with a more even, gentle cooking.)
  8. Bake at 325°F for one and a half to two hours or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Water may need to be replenished during baking.
  10. Remove to a rack to cool for 5 minutes. Use the edges of the parchment paper to lift the cake out of the pan. Let cool completely. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and then aluminum to store. If you want, you can sprinkle on a few ounces of brandy or bourbon, especially if you would like to store the fruit cake for a while.

Best to slice this fruitcake with a knife with a serrated edge, such as a bread knife.

slice of fruitcake on a plate with a fork on a quilt-covered lap

I hope you give this recipe a try. It’s well worth it and the perfect snack on a winter’s night.

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