Slow Cooker Christmas Fruitcake

Crockpot steamed fruitcake recipe

​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 6 hrs
Total: 6 hrs 25 mins
Servings: 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.


  • For the Cake Batter:
  • 1 (18-ounce) package deluxe yellow cake mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 ounces butter (melted)
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mace
  • 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

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Cake

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for crockpot steamed fruitcake
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 
  2. 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.

    Place foil in crockpot
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. 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.

    Combine cake mix, eggs
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Fold in the dried cranberries, dates, candied lemon and orange peels, citron, if using, and pecans.

    Fold in cranberries
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Butter and sprinkle a 2 1/2 quart souffle dish with confectioners' sugar. It should fit in the 5-quart slow cooker.

    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Turn the cake batter into the souffle dish, spreading to even the top.

    Turn cake batter
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  7. Place a buttered round of waxed paper on the top, then wrap the dish completely in a double thickness of foil.

    Place wax paper on top
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  8. Tie with twine or make foil handles (see tip below) to make it easy to lift the cake out later. Place on the rack in the slow cooker.

    Tie with twine
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  9. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours. Turn off the heat and leave in the slow cooker, covered, for 2 hours.

    Cover crockpot
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  10. Cut into wedges and drizzle glaze on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.

    Crockpot steamed fruitcake
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Make the Glaze

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for glaze
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. In a small nonreactive saucepan, mix together the cornstarch, orange marmalade, and lemon juice.

    Mix together cornstarch, orange marmalade
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened. This will take about 5 minutes.

    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck


  • To make foil handles: fold a 30-inch long piece of aluminum 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.
  • To store, sprinkle with a few tablespoons of brandy or orange liqueur and freeze, tightly wrapped.