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Fruit Cake Recipes: Rich Dark Fruit Cake

fruit cake recipes

This rich dark fruit cake is one of our two Christmas fruit cake recipes.

I think fruit cake gets a bad rap. Many people say they dislike fruit cake, but I personally think they would change their minds if they tried this recipe.

To me, a good fruit cake MUST have lots of dried fruit. I love a mixture of glace cherries, raisins and the mixed peel. There should be a very high fruit to cake ratio – lots of fruit with a bit less cake.

So many fruit cake recipes you see are mostly cake, just studded with bits of fruit. To me, that’s not what fruitcake should be. It should celebrate the fruit. And this recipe does just that.

With loads of sweet, delicious fruit just held together by moist dark cake, this is one of my favorite desserts.

This recipe is SO good that during the holiday season I treat myself to a small slice every day.

If we make just the best fruit cake recipes – like this one which is moist, delicious and definitely worth making, I think more people will come to love cake studded with delicious dried fruits.

Rich Dark Fruit Cake Recipe

Fruit cake haters may change their minds if they tried this recipe. It really is delicious.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • 2 cups Sultana raisins
  • 2 cups seedless raisins
  • 1 1/2 cups currants
  • 1 1/2 cups candied cherries, halved
  • 1 1/2 cups mixed candied fruit
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped dates
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans, halves
  • 1 cup apples, finely chopped pared and cored
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mace
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup light molasses
  • 2 squares, 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted


  • Line a 9" or 10" tube pan with two thicknesses of buttered brown paper.
  • Combine the fruits, nuts and fresh apple in a large bowl. Dredge the fruit with 1/4 cup of the flour.
  • Measure 2 1/2 cups flour (without sifting) onto a square of waxed paper. Add baking powder, spices and salt. Stir well to blend.
  • Cream together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in molasses and melted chocolate.
  • Add blended dry ingredients to creamed mixture, combining well. Stir in fruit and nut mixture until well mixed.
  • Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.
  • Preheat oven to 275°F.
  • Bake for about 2 1/2 hours, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Remove cake from the pan, peel off paper and wrap in foil. Store in an airtight container or in refrigerator for several weeks.
  • To Glaze and Decorate Cake -
    Combine 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water and 1/3 cup light corn syrup in a sauce pan. Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved, then boil to firm ball stage (242°F on a candy thermometer).
  • Brush hot glaze over cooled cake. Decorate the top with candied cherries and nuts and brush cake again with hot glaze. Let dry thoroughly before wrapping and storing.
  • Make one large cake.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


  • Most fruit cake recipes taste best make several weeks before Christmas so this is a great make ahead dessert. Wrap the cake in cheesecloth, then in foil. Unwrap it every few days and drizzle it with a bit of liquid. The best cake makers swear by rum or orange liqueur. If you don’t want to soak it in alcohol, just wrap it tightly and keep it in a cool place for a few weeks. (I put mine in the back of the refrigerator.)
  • Arrange marzipan fruits or dried fruits in a ring around the top of the cake when you are ready to serve it. It makes a pretty centerpiece for the Holiday buffet.
  • For a glaze, like in the image above, brush the cake with apricot jam while it is still warm.

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If you prefer light fruit cake recipes, you will find ours here.

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dark fruitcake

3 thoughts on “Fruit Cake Recipes: Rich Dark Fruit Cake”

  1. Why Does My Fruitcake Fall in the Middle?

    Submitted by Marlene M of Ulukhaktok, NT Canada.

    every now and then my fruitcake falls and I have a dipped center. Can anyone tell me why?? I follow specific directions, watch the heat and water while baking, leave it in it’s pan to cool, I just don’t understand. It starts out looking great then when I look in through the glass a little later it has fallen just as it’s 2/3’s baked. I’d love to get some suggestions as to what’s taking place.


    Why fruitcake falls in the middle
    by: Karen

    Not quite sure why your fruitcake is falling, but often this happens because there is a bit too much liquid in the cake. Try just a bit less liquid. My experience is that fruitcake batter should be difficult to mix it is so thick.


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