Not-So-Traditional American Fruitcake

Not-So-Traditional American Fruitcake

Fruitcake is sometimes an acquired taste. This particular version is free of that neon-colored “fruitcake” blend that always shows up on the grocery aisles around the holidays. Instead, we use natural fruits, which are much more appealing, in our take on this Christmas classic. 

Expand your fruitcake repertoire with our cultured collection teeming with dried fruits, nuts, aromatic spices, and spirits galore. Find all of our festive fruitcake recipes in the Holiday issue

Not-So-Traditional American Fruitcake
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  1. ½ cup (64 grams) dried apricots, chopped
  2. ½ cup (64 grams) dried cherries
  3. ½ cup (64 grams) dried cranberries
  4. ½ cup (64 grams) golden raisins
  5. 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
  6. 1 orange, zested
  7. 1 cup bourbon
  8. ½ cup (57 grams) pistachios, finely chopped
  9. ½ cup (57 grams) sliced almonds
  10. ½ cup (57 grams) pecans, finely chopped
  11. ½ cup (57 grams) walnuts, finely chopped
  12. ¾ cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  13. 1 cup (220 grams) firmly packed dark brown sugar
  14. 2 large eggs
  15. 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  16. 1½ cups (188 grams) all-purpose flour
  17. 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
  18. ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  19. 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cinnamon
  20. 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground ginger
  21. 2 tablespoons (24 grams) turbinado sugar
  1. In a medium heatproof bowl, combine apricots, cherries, cranberries, raisins, vanilla bean and reserved seeds, and zest. In a small saucepan, heat bourbon over medium heat (do not boil). Pour hot bourbon over dried fruit. Cover and let stand for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 9x5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, and spray with baking spray with flour.
  3. Drain fruit, reserving bourbon. Remove and discard vanilla bean. In a large bowl, toss fruit with pistachios, almonds, pecans, and walnuts.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and brown sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla bean paste. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating just until combined. Add fruit-nut mixture, beating just until combined (batter will be thick). Spoon batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with a spatula. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
  5. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 1½ to 2 hours, covering with foil 30 minutes into baking to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Pour reserved bourbon over hot loaf, and let cool completely in pan. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Bake from Scratch
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