Gluten-Free Fruitcake Au Naturel

A fruit cake and a jar of almonds
Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images
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 dates

  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped dried apricots

  • 1 cup raisins

  • 1 cup dried cherries

  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped crystallized ginger

  • 1/4 cup  brandy or rum, more as needed

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

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

  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.

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

  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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.