Fruitcake is a Christmas classic and it really is worth making it from scratch. This dense loaf is filled with figs and dates, nuts and spices. Our recipe makes three cakes, which lets you keep one for yourself and give the other two as gifts. Keep in mind that the cakes need to season for four to six weeks, so it’s a good idea to make them in the fall.

Yield: Makes 3.



  • 2 1/2 cups pecan halves
  • 1 3/4 cups diced dried Mission figs
  • 1 1/2 cups dark raisins
  • 1 cup dried cherries or slivered dried apricots
  • 3/4 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 2/3 cup candied orange peel
  • 1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 cup brandy or rum
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 2 cups salted butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cups packed golden brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups fancy molasses
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup milk (2%)
  • 2 tbsp brandy or rum


  1. Stir together pecans, figs, raisins, cherries, dates, orange peel, ginger and brandy in a large bowl. Let stand for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  2. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line bottom and sides of two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pans and one 7 1/2 x 3 3/4 inch loaf pan with greased parchment paper.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, baking soda, allspice and cloves in a bowl; set aside. Using medium speed of an electric mixer, beat together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in molasses and vanilla just until blended.
  4. Beginning and ending with flour mixture, add flour mixture alternately with milk to butter mixture, stirring just until blended. Fold in pecan mixture (including liquid). Spoon batter into prepared pans.
  5. Bake until cakes test done, about 2 1/4 - 2 1/2 hours. Cool cakes in pans on racks. Remove cakes from pans. Brush 2 tbsp brandy on top of cakes. Wrap cakes and allow to season in a cool dry place for 4 - 6 weeks.
Nutritional analysis per slice:

262 calories, 12.2 g fat, 2.5 g protein, 34.8 g carbohydrate, 1.9 g fibre, 119 mg sodium

Tip: ​“Seasoning,” or ripening, a fruitcake involves letting it mature in a cool, dark place for several weeks. Find the basic concept to season and store fruitcakes.