Gluten-Free Fruitcake au Naturel

Gluten-Free Fruitcake Au Naturel sliced on a platter

The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 90 mins
Total: 2 hrs
Servings: 20 servings

What makes this recipe for gluten-free fruitcake different from the fruitcakes of legendary jokes? This from-scratch recipe is buttery moist and loaded with nuts and dried fruits, 8 cups to be exact. And the fruit is not the unnatural, artificially colored variety but dried dates, apricots, ginger, cherries, and raisins.


  • 1 cup (8-ounces) unsalted butter

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated cane sugar

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract

  • 6 large eggs, separated

  • 2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour, preferably without added xanthan gum or guar gum free

  • 1 teaspoonguar gum, or xanthan gum (do not add this if your gluten-free flour blend contains added gum)

  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 cup milk

  • 2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

  • 2 cups coarsely chopped dried dates

  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped dried apricots

  • 1 cup raisins

  • 1 cup dried cherries

  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped crystallized ginger

  • 4 tablespoons  brandy, or rum, more as needed

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Gluten-Free Fruitcake Au Naturel ingredients in bowls

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  2. Preheat oven to 325 F. Butter 2 (7-inch-round) springform cake pans or 2 (9 x 5-inch) loaf pans. Line pans with parchment paper or foil and butter again.

    Greased baking pans lined with aluminum foil

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  3. Cream butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer. Gradually add sugar and beat on high until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, lemon extract, and egg yolks and beat until well combined.

    Butter, sugar, vanilla, lemon extract, and egg yolk mixture in a bowl next to a hand mixer

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together gluten-free all-purpose flour blend, guar gum or xanthan gum (only if there is no added gum in your gluten-free flour blend), gluten-free baking powder, and salt.

    Gluten-free all-purpose flour blend, guar gum, gluten-free baking powder, and salt in a glass bowl with a whisk

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  5. Slowly add flour mixture into butter mixture while beating on low. Add milk and beat until combined. Stir in half of the chopped nuts and fruits, about 4 cups.

    Fruitcake batter in a bowl with a spatula

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  6. In a separate mixing bowl, whip egg whites on high until stiff peaks form.

    Whipped egg whites in a glass bowl with a stand mixer

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  7. Use a large spatula to gradually fold egg whites into cake batter.

    Batter combined with a whipped egg whites, in a bowl with a spatula

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  8. Then, gradually and gently fold in remaining nuts and fruits.

    Fruitcake batter in a bowl with a spatula

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  9. Pour half of the batter into each of the prepared pans.

    Fruitcake batter in a baking pans

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  10. Use a spatula to cut into batter to remove any air bubbles and smooth batter. Gently tap each pan on counter.

    Use a spatula to cut into batter in a the baking dishes to remove any air bubbles

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  11. Bake for about 90 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center of cakes comes out clean.

    Baked fruitcake in a baking dish, next to a knife

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  12. Cool cakes on a rack for about 1 hour.

    Fruitcakes in baking dishes on a cooling rack

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  13. Carefully remove cakes from pans and remove parchment paper or foil.

    Baked fruitcakes on a counter

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  14. Wrap each cake in a clean cotton dish towel.

    Fruitcakes wrapped in towels

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  15. Sprinkle top of each towel-covered cake with about 2 tablespoons of brandy or rum.

    Fruitcakes wrapped in towels, and sprinkled with rum

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  16. Wrap each cake in foil and allow to sit at room temperature.

    Fruitcakes wrapped in aluminum foil

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  17. Continue to moisten cloth with brandy or rum every two days until ready to serve.

    Gluten-Free Fruitcake Au Naturel wrapped in towels and aluminum foil

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Gluten-Free Reminder

Always make sure your work surfaces, utensils, pans, and tools are free of gluten. Always read product labels. Manufacturers can change product formulations without notice. When in doubt, do not buy or use a product before contacting the manufacturer for verification that the product is free of gluten.