Simple Holiday Fruit Cake Recipe

1. Fruitcake Featured Image

There is no dessert that is quite as festive as a warm holiday fruitcake. No matter what holiday you will be celebrating this season, this simple fruitcake is the perfect dish that your whole family will love. This particular recipe will be a simplified version of the traditional fruitcake, which will include all of the fruit without having to soak them for days in rum. So if you have always loved fruitcake but have been too intimidated to try making it yourself, go ahead and give this recipe a try.

Simple Holiday Fruit Cake Recipe

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¾ cup candied cherries red or green
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup dried cherries
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda


  1. Prepare the candied cherries by slicing them into quarters. Set aside and try to keep any extra juices if they are present.
  2. In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Make sure to thoroughly mix in order to ensure that there are no clumps of baking powder in the flour.
  3. Take the melted or softened butter and mix with the sugar until fully combined. The mixture should be light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to continue stirring as they are added to keep the mixture from becoming too runny. Once all of the eggs have been added mix in the vanilla extract along with the milk.
  5. Add the candied cherries and dried fruits to the batter mixture and mix gently so that the fruit does not get crushed.
  6. Add the flour mixture with the batter and mix thoroughly until everything is well combined.
  7. Grease the surface of a 9”x5”x3” loaf pan with a stick of butter, and add the batter. Make sure to even out the surface and try to remove any air pockets within.
  8. Bake the fruitcake in an oven set to 350°F for one hour or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick can be inserted into the middle of the cake and come out clean.
  9. Let the fruitcake cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing.

Step One – Slice the Candied Cherries into Quarters

2. Sliced Candied Cherries
Before starting anything else, we will begin this recipe by preparing the fruit. To do so we will slice the candied cherries into quarters. Halves will also work, it is completely up to your preference, just make sure to conserve any excess liquid to add flavor to the batter. While this recipe only includes candied cherries, raisins, and dried cherries, you are free to add anything you like. Some common additional ingredients include candied fruit peel, pecans, and even rum. We will not be soaking the fruits in rum as a traditional recipe might call for since that greatly increases the prep time.

Step Two – Combine the Dry Ingredients

3. Dry Ingredients
Now we will prepare the dry ingredients. This step is quite simple but very important. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to a large bowl. Mix it all together with a wire whisk to ensure that the baking powder is spread evenly throughout.

Step Three – Mix Melted Butter with Sugar

4. Buttar and Sugar mixture
In a separate bowl, take your melted or softened stick of butter and mix it with the granulated sugar. Cream the mixture together until the sugar is mostly dissolved and the batter is light and fluffy.

Step Four – Begin Adding Eggs One at a Time

5. Adding the Eggs
Next we will be adding eggs to the mixture, one at a time. It is important to do it this way to keep the batter from getting too liquidy right away. Just add one egg and blend it completely, then add the next and so on. Once all three of the eggs have been mixed in, add the vanilla extract and milk. It is common for the mixture to appear to curdle at this point, so do not worry when it looks a bit off.

Step Five – Add Fruit to the Batter

6. Adding the Fruit
The wet ingredients of the batter are finished now, and you can finally add the most important ingredient, fruit! Add the sliced candied cherries along with the raisins and dried cherries. Mix it all together gently in order to keep the shape of the fruit intact. Again, feel free to add any additional fruit or nuts at this point of the recipe.

Step Six – Mix Everything Together

7. Finished Batter
Now it is as simple as combining the wet batter with the dry ingredients. It can help to add a little bit at a time during this step, and as long as the fruit is evenly dispersed throughout the batter you should be fine.

Step Seven – Fill a Greased Loaf Pan with the Cake Batter

8. Cake Batter in Pan
Grease the surface of your loaf pan with a stick of butter or similar cooking oil. Be liberal when greasing the pan as it will ensure that your fruitcake comes out in one clean piece. Then, spoon the batter into the pan and smooth it out over the top. Try to get rid of any air pockets that may be trapped underneath the surface by pressing down with a spatula, or gently dropping the pan on your counter a few times.

Step Eight – Bake Until Golden Brown on Top

9. Fruitcake After Baking
Everything is ready now, and all you have to do is finish baking the cake. Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the pan on the middle rack for up to one hour. The crust should be a golden brown and the best way to check whether it is finished cooking is to stick a toothpick into the center. If it comes out cleanly then you are all set!

Step Nine – Allow the Loaf to Cool Before Slicing

10. Sliced Fruit Cake Finished Product
As hard as it may be, you should really let the fruitcake rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing. This helps it to cool down and makes it a lot easier to get clean slices. Once sliced there is nothing left to do but enjoy!

Final Thoughts

The best way to bring your family together this holiday season is with this delicious fruitcake recipe. Featuring a rich cherry flavor and making servings that will let everyone come back for seconds, this fruitcake recipe is definitely one that you will want to remember. If you would like to go for more of a traditional recipe, you should look into exactly what it takes when soaking the fruit in rum, and feel free to add pecans and other nuts if you would like. Regardless, follow this recipe and impress everyone with your incredibly delicious fruitcake.