Christmas Fruitcake


The delicious tradition of enjoying Christmas fruitcake became popular in Victorian England and spread across the Atlantic to our shores. Our densely fruited cake is packed with dried apricots, pears, figs, and golden raisins; candied ginger adds a lively flavor. The fruits are soaked in Cointreau and the orange liqueur is also brushed on the finished cake. Cut it into thin slices—it’s a rich treat.


  • 1 cup golden raisins

  • 1 cup dried Calimyrna figs, chopped

  • 1 cup dried apricots, chopped

  • 1 cup dried pears, chopped

  • cup candied ginger, chopped

  • ¼ cup candied orange peel, chopped

  • ½ cup Cointreau (orange-flavored liqueur), plus more (optional) for brushing

  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger

  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar

  • ¾ cup packed dark-brown sugar

  • 4 large eggs

  • 2 tablespoons dark unsulfured molasses (not blackstrap)

  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts

  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut


  1. Stir together dried fruit, candied ginger, peel, and 1/2 cup liqueur. Let stand at room temperature 3 hours or overnight.

  2. Cut parchment paper to line the bottom of a 7-by-3-inch or 9-by-2-inch round cake pan. Coat pan with cooking spray; line with parchment. Spray lining. Flour pan; tap out excess.

  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk together flour, baking powder, spices, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Put butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle; mix on medium speed until smooth. Mix in eggs (1 at a time), molasses, and vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture; mix until smooth. Mix in fruit, nuts, and coconut.

  4. Pour batter into pan. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 2 1/2 hours for 9-inch cake or 2 3/4 hours for 7-inch cake. If desired, brush with up to 1/2 cup liqueur. Unmold; let cool.

Cook's Notes

Store, wrapped in plastic, at room temperature up to 3 days or in the refrigerator up to 1 month.

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