For most people fruitcake evokes visions of an overly-saccharine brick. An old-fashioned treat reserved fir Christmas. Decades of mass-produced mail-order fruitcake recipes have sullied the once-good name of this seasonal treat. And what began as a homemade gesture of goodwill has become something of a running joke.
And that’s a real shame because fruitcake can be quite delicious. It’s really just a combination of candied and dried fruit, nuts, spices, and batter. Once baked, it’s typically given a soak in spirits, such brandy or rum. When you hear the ingredients, it sounds like it’d be pretty good, right? That’s because it can be. It’s time to trade the dense, leaded cakes of the past for some tasty, contemporary twists.
Don’t limit yourself to just an updated recipe, you can also upgrade the preparation and presentation. Planning a sit-down dinner or a festive fête? Consider turning fruitcake into a plated dessert. “Cut it into thick slices of cake, soak in almond syrup, top with almond cream and bake. Or prepare like pain perdu by searing both sides and serving it with a scoop of gingerbread ice cream, maybe even some warm chocolate sauce or crème Anglaise,” says Stefan Peroutka, executive chef at Hotel del Coronado in San Diego.
Ready to give this deserving dessert another chance? The recipes ahead are sure to turn anyone into a fruitcake convert.
These soft, chewy fruitcake cookies are totally irresistible. Plus, they make a great last-minute gift—particularly when presented in a festive tin with some tissue paper.
Get the recipe on Living Sweet Moments.
Calling all chocolate lovers! This rich and decadent cake is loaded with candied apricots, figs, pineapple and ginger, raisins, walnuts, almonds, roasted peanuts, and chocolate, and spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also a dash of rum and a secret ingredient…dulce de leche.
Get the recipe on En Mi Cocina Hoy.
This time of year, it’s quite common for our calendars to become crowded with events—from potlucks and bake sales to office parties and neighborhood get-togethers. And these scrumptious squares—packed with all the sweet, crunchy, goodness of real-deal fruitcake—will wow at every single one.
Get the recipe on Playin’ With My Food.
Triple Guinness Bundt Cake
Best described as a hybrid of buttery pound cake and fruitcake, this party-ready recipe triples down on Guinness in the soaking liquid for the fruit and nuts, batter, and the glaze.
Get the recipe on Baking Sense.
For something slightly less sweet? This Christmas stollen—a classic German yeasted cake filled with dried fruit and almonds, slathered with melted butter and dusted with powdered sugar—will blow your mind.
Get the recipe on Cook’s Hideout.
White Fruitcake With Brandy Frosting and Marzipan
These individually-portioned fruitcakes are filled with candied citron and pineapple, golden raisins, and glacéed cherries, flavored with almond extract. The finishing touch? Marzipan and brandy frosting.
Get the recipe on Kitchen Heals Soul.
Looking for a healthy riff on traditional fruitcake? This recipe—sans butter and refined sugar—is chock full of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. And since it’s raw, it takes a fraction of the time to whip up.
Get the recipe on Laura Peill.
More holiday dessert ideas:
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