Holiday Fruitcake and Sweet Bread Recipes
Layered Fruitcake with Creme Fraiche Frosting
Golden raisins, dried cranberries, candied orange and lemon peel, and dark-chocolate-covered almonds fill surprisingly light cake layers made from almond flour and egg whites. The rich frosting is perfectly complemented by a garnish of sugared lemon zest.
Mini Honey Fruitcakes
These honey-glazed treats are the perfect size for the buffet table. Baked in a muffin tin, the cakes are made with ricotta cheese, pecans or almonds, dried apricots, and dried cranberries or cherries.
Christmas Morning Stollen
Ricotta cheese and butter make a rich, moist stollen filled with almonds, rum-soaked raisins, and currants. Serve this stollen for Christmas breakfast, warmed and spread with cream cheese.
Pannetone, an Italian Christmas tradition, is a buttery, egg-enriched yeast bread filled with nuts, fruit, and other surprises. This recipe calls for candied orange peel and a generous portion of bittersweet chocolate chunks, as well as almond and orange extracts.
Miniature Golden Fruitcakes
Miniature fruitcakes hold a treasure trove of brandy-soaked dried fruit and walnuts, with just enough cake batter to bind them together. You can choose any combination of dried fruit you like for this recipe, including apples, pears, apricots, raisins, cherries, and cranberries. Once the cakes are baked, they're brushed with more brandy, and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month.
Frosted Fruitcake with Meringue Mushrooms
Dense, honey-sweetened cake is bursting with toasted hazelnuts and dried apricots, figs, and dates soaked in hazelnut liqueur. Fluffy frosting and whimsical meringue mushrooms make this cake worthy of a special occasion.
Figgy Christmas Fruit Roll
Dried figs, dates, candied citrus peel, walnuts, pistachios, and bittersweet chocolate form this Christmas roll -- no cake batter required. This cinnamon-spiced fruitcake is brushed with brandy, rolled up in rice paper, and aged for at least a month before serving.
A yeast starter made with Granny Smith apples and sparkling water provides the leavening for this elaborate panettone. The dough is made in two phases, with 15 hours of rising time in between. The bread is topped with ground almonds, hazelnuts, pearl sugar, and maizena (or cornstarch) just before baking, forming a sweet, shiny crust on top.
Dowager Duchess Fruitcake
Buttery, egg-enriched cake filled with candied citrus peel, fresh lemon and orange zest, and almonds is baked in tea loaf pans and doused with sherry every week for a month before serving. For the candied citrus zest, choose grapefruit, orange, lemon, tangerine, or a combination of all four.
A honey-caramel mixture, rather than cake batter, is what unites the bounty of fruit and nuts in this Italian Christmas treat. Almonds, hazelnuts, candied orange peel, dried apricots, and figs are packed into every bite of this panforte, and nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and freshly ground pepper add a warm, spicy touch.
Armagnac-soaked dried pears, apples, pineapple, and raisins mingle with almonds, candied ginger, and fresh lemon zest in this rich, buttery cake. Rolled fondant forms a snowy coating over the cake, and fondant snowflake cutouts decorated with royal icing create a magical, wintry finish.
Stollen Wreath Bread
This buttery wreath-shaped stollen is filled with orange juice-soaked golden raisins, Cognac-soaked dried currants, almonds, candied citron, dried apricots, and lemon zest. The stollen can be stored, tightly wrapped, for up to three days. Dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving.
Glazed Pecan-Raisin Cake
This nutmeg-scented Bundt cake is lighter in texture, and quicker to make, than traditional fruitcake, but it still has those classic fruitcake flavors. Brandy, pecans, and raisins fill the moist cake, and a glaze of confectioners' sugar and orange juice is drizzled over the top.
Mini panettone loaves are baked in paper bags for an appealing, rustic look. Choose any combination of dried and candied fruit you like for mixing into the egg-rich yeast dough.
Dried cherries, golden raisins, cinnamon, and sugar are folded into olive oil focaccia dough to make a delightful Christmas treat. The top of the focaccia is dusted with coarse sanding sugar for a sweet crunch.