Steamed Christmas Fruitcake for the Slow Cooker

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  • Total: 6 hrs 25 mins
  • Prep: 25 mins
  • Cook: 6 hrs
  • Yield: 12 Servings

This fruitcake is made with a cake mix, spices, and an abundance of dried fruits and nuts. It's steamed in the slow cooker.


  • 1 pkg (18 ounces) deluxe yellow cake mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 ounces butter (melted)
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom (ground)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon (ground)
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice (ground)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger (ground)
  • 1/2 teaspoon mace (ground)
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (grated)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dates (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons candied lemon peel
  • 2 tablespoons candied orange peel
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons candied citron
  • 1/2 cup pecans (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • For the Orange Glaze:
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup orange marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Steps to Make It

  1. Place a low rack or a ring of crumpled foil in the bottom of a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Pour in 4 cups hot water and turn on the LOW.

  2. In a mixing bowl with electric mixer, combine the cake mix, eggs, melted butter, milk, cardamom, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, mace, and nutmeg. Beat on low speed until ingredients are blended. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Fold in the dried cranberries, dates, candied lemon and orange peels, citron, if using, and pecans.

  3. Butter and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar a 2 1/2 quart souffle dish that fits in the 5-quart slow cooker. Turn the cake batter into the souffle dish, spreading to even the top. Place a buttered round of waxed paper on the top and then wrap the dish completely in a double thickness of foil. Tie with twine or make foil handles* to make it easy to lift the cake out later. Place on the rack in the slow cooker.

  4. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours. Turn off the heat and leave in the slow cooker, covered, for 2 hours. Cut into wedges and drizzle glaze on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Citrus glaze

  1. In a small nonreactive saucepan, mix together 2 teaspoons cornstarch, 1 cup orange marmalade, and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened. This will take about 5 minutes.

  2. To store, sprinkle with a few tablespoons of brandy or orange liqueur and freeze, tightly wrapped.

  3. Make foil handles. Fold a 30-inch long piece of foil in half lengthwise. Place in bottom of a slow cooker with both ends hanging over the top edge of cooker. The foil strip will make it much easier to remove the cake when it's done.

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