Spiced Fruitcake With Brandy Recipe

Spiced dark fruitcake recipe

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 4 hrs
Total: 4 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 24 servings
Yield: 1 cake

Fruitcake—a classic Christmastime baked good—is all about the fruit and spices. Brandy and orange juice add extra flavor and you can adjust the amounts of fruit and add some chopped nuts if you like.

This recipe makes two cakes, so you can give one away to a friend or loved one. It also requires an overnight proof, so take that into consideration before starting this fruitcake.


  • 8 ounces candied orange peel, diced

  • 8 ounces candied citron, diced

  • 8 ounces candied pineapple, diced

  • 8 ounces fruitcake mixed fruit, diced

  • 4 ounces whole red candied cherries

  • 4 ounces whole green candied cherries

  • 1 cup currants

  • 1 cup raisins, golden or dark

  • 1 cup chopped dates

  • 1/2 cup orange juice

  • 1/2 cup brandy, or good bourbon

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mace

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 11 ounces (1 cup plus 6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, plus more for pan, room temperature

  • 2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed

  • 5 large eggs, separated

  • 1/2 cup molasses

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for dark spiced fruitcake with brandy
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  2. Place the fruit in a large bowl with the orange juice and brandy. Stir gently and set aside for a few hours.

    Place fruit in large bowl
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  3. Generously butter the bottom and sides of two 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pans and line them with parchment paper. Butter the paper thoroughly. You can use brown paper for this if you don't have parchment paper.

    Butter loaf pan
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  4. Sift the flour with the spices twice. Add the baking powder and salt, then sift again.

    Sift the flour
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  5. Put the butter in a large mixing bowl and cream with a heavy-duty electric mixer until smooth. Add sugar, then cream until light and fluffy.

    Put butter in large mixing bowl
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  6. Beat the egg yolks slightly and then add them to the bowl. Mix the batter well.

    Beat egg yolks
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  7. Stir the batter as you add the flour and spice mix, a little at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dry ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, add the molasses and stir.

    Add flour
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  8. Stir in the fruit, along with any soaking liquid left in the bowl.

    Stir in fruit
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  9. Put the egg whites in a stainless steel or glass bowl and beat with a clean beater to stiff peaks.

    Put egg whites in stainless steel
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  10. Fold them into the batter thoroughly and then spoon the batter into the prepared pans.

    Fold in fruit
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  11. Cover pans loosely with a clean cloth and let the batter sit overnight in a cool place to mellow.

    Cover pans
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  12. The next day, heat the oven to 250 F. Place the uncovered pans on the middle rack of the oven and bake for a total of 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

  13. After 1 1/2 hours, cover the pans with a piece of brown paper (do not use foil) or set the pans in a paper bag and return them to the oven.

    Cover loaves
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  14. When the cakes have baked for 3 1/2 hours, test them with a toothpick or cake tester. If the tester comes out of the center of the cakes clean, the cakes are done. Leave them in their pans and set on a wire rack to cool.

    Check bake with toothpick
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  15. When the cakes are completely cooled, turn out of the pans, leaving the paper lining on the cakes.

    Let cool
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  16. Wrap the cakes with parchment, then foil, and pack them in a tin. Homemade fruitcakes need air, so punch a few holes in the lid of the tin or set the cover loosely on the tin.

    Wrap the cakes
     The Spruce / Cara Cormack 
  17. Set the tin in a cool, undisturbed place, and every three or four days before serving, open the foil and drizzle a small amount of brandy or bourbon over the cakes. The liquor will keep them moist and flavorful and help preserve them as well.

    Set in bowl
     The Spruce / Cara Cormack