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Last Minute Fruitcake; It’s Not What You’re Thinking!

Last  minute fruitcake for the holidays

by Barbara Kiebel on December 13, 2009

I know, I know…fruitcake? There has to be a better name for it because for many it just sends a message of hard citrus thingys I can’t even call candy or heavily sauced (and I mean sauced, you know, as in having had too much to drink!) pieces of brick. Another food blogger, EvilShenanigans and I did have a moment of fun trying to come up with new names for this delicious treat; take a look at her stellar result for fruitcake by another name…that is, it’s GOOD!

I started making this version of fruitcake a VERY long time ago when I was pleasantly surprised to see none of the above listed offensive ingredients and now make it every year. I just went and found the cookbook my inspiration came from which was a holiday book put out by Hallmark, with a copyright date of 1978…I told you, a very long time ago!

I’m sure the title refers to the fact that there is no waiting time with this fruitcake, no weeks of pouring bourbon over the cake and waiting and waiting some more. You CAN make it at the last minute for gift giving! There are NO hard citron or citronella or whatever those things are called, in it (can you tell I hate those things?). Just fruit and nuts and maraschino cherries and enough dough to just hold the fruit and nuts together. I’ve revised the original recipe a bit with the addition of dried cranberries and have also made it with Irish Whiskey but with or without that boozy touch, it’s always enjoyed by all…adults, kids and Santa’s elves!

Last Minute Fruitcake; It’s Not What You’re Thinking!
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 1 cup raisins
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup cutup pitted dates
  • ⅛ cup Irish Whiskey
  • 1 cup maraschino cherries, halved
  • 1 cup blanched, slivered almonds
  • 2 cups walnut pieces
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Soak raisins, dried cranberries and dates in Irish Whiskey for at least 15 minutes to plump them up.
  2. Grease and flour a non-stick loaf pan. (Original directions called for lightly greasing a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan; lining the pan with waxed paper and then greasing that paper. With nonstick I've found that extra step of lining the pan with waxed paper is unnecessary but use that method if you do not have non-stick pans).
  3. Mix fruits and nuts in a large mixing bowl (Add fruit WITH liquid from 1st step).
  4. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar over mixture; toss to coat all fruits and nuts with flour.
  5. Beat eggs until foamy, then add vanilla.
  6. Pour over fruit mixture and stir just until blended.
  7. Pour into prepared loaf pan.
  8. Bake in a preheated 300 degree oven about 11/2 hours. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.
I make a triple batch of this recipe and then bake it in smaller loaf pans for gift giving. Check dough after 55 minutes for doneness - toothpick inserted into cake pulls out clean. LOVE this pan from Wilton; does make doing small loaves much easier to handle!


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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 deeba December 9, 2010 at 8:13 am

Love your pans as much as I love the recipe. How cool are both! Thank you!!!


2 Creative Culinary December 9, 2010 at 11:02 am

Thanks Deeba…hope you try it and enjoy it as much as we do!


3 Abby December 19, 2009 at 8:08 am

Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I made it for years and years, but then lost the recipe during a move. I have been searching ever since. People who hate fruitcake have always loved this.


4 Creative Culinary December 19, 2009 at 8:15 am

You’re welcome…one of the wonders of being able to share with the world. I’ve added a couple of things to the original. I like the color of the dried cranberries and the original didn’t call for any booze. But beyond that, you’re right, people love it. If I didn’t include these in my holiday gift plates, I might as well not bother!


5 Kelly @ EvilShenanigans December 15, 2009 at 9:04 am

Yum!  It will take time but I think we can repair the damaged reputation of Fruit Cake!  Yours looks lovely!


6 Carolyn Gossett Moseley December 14, 2009 at 9:04 pm

I have been making fruitcakes for 30 years and believe it or not I have a list of friends who stand in line for my cakes (12 this year).  I start baking them right after Thanksgiving each year.  The recipe belonged to my aunt.   I have been told it is the best fruitcake ever – no shortcuts.  I pour a tablespooon of sherry on each cake for several days in a row and this sinks in to make it yummy!


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