Old-Fashioned Fruitcake

Candied fruitcake
Anouk Stricher / Getty Images
  • Total: 105 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 90 mins
  • Cooling Time: 15 mins
  • Yield: 12 Cakes, 4 Servings

Old-fashioned contains 9 different fruits, spices, and nuts, plus brandy for a moist and delicious cake. Plan to soak the fruits in brandy overnight or all day.

Recipe reprinted with permission from All New Good Housekeeping Cookbook (Hearst).


  • 3 cups dried figs (stemmed and chopped)
  • 2 cups pitted dates (14 ounces, chopped)
  • 2 cups golden raisins (12 ounces)
  • 2 cups dark seedless raisins (12 ounces)
  • 1 box (10 ounces) dried currants (2 cups)
  • 1-1/2 cups candied citron (about 11 ounces, diced)
  • 1 cup diced candied pineapple (7 ounces)
  • 1 cup red candied cherries (8 ounces, coarsely chopped)
  • 1 cup candied orange peel (7 ounces, diced
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 3 cups flour (all-purpose)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups butter (or margarine; 4 sticks; softened)
  • 1 box (16 ounces) dark brown sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup dark molasses
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 5 cups pecans (or walnuts; 1-1/4 pounds)

Steps to Make It

  1. In a large bowl, combine figs, dates, golden and dark raisins, currants, citron, pineapple, cherries, and orange peel. Cover and let stand 8 hours or up to overnight, stirring several times.

  2. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Grease twelve 5-3/4-inch by 3-1/4-inch by 2-inch mini-loaf pans. Line bottoms with waxed paper; evenly grease paper.

  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and baking soda.

  4. In a large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat butter and brown sugar until blended. Increase speed to medium-high; beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, frequently scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula.

  5. Reduce speed to medium. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

  6. Beat in molasses. Reduce speed to low.

  7. Beat in flour mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, until blended, scraping bowl.

  8. Turn batter into a larger bowl (for easier mixing).

  9. Stir in fruit mixture, including any brandy not absorbed by the fruit.

  10. Spoon batter into prepared pans; spread evenly.

  11. Bake until the toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour 30 minutes.

  12. Cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes.

  13. Run a thin knife around cakes to loosen from sides of pans and invert onto racks.

  14. Turn cakes, right-side up, and cool completely.

  15. Remove waxed paper—wrap cakes in plastic wrap, then in foil.

  16. Let stand in a cool place, or refrigerate at least 1 month or up to 6 months before serving.

Recipe Source: edited by Susan Westmoreland (Hearst Books). Reprinted with permission.