Spiced Fruitcake

Spiced Fruitcake

Lightly spiced with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, our Spiced Fruitcake is at once tender and aromatic. For our boozy Fruit Filling, brandy-soaked dried figs, cranberries, cherries, and apricots combine with crunchy slivered almonds for a triumph of texture and taste. To top it off, we enrobed our cake in the ultimate vanilla-scented frosting: American buttercream.

Spiced Fruitcake
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (220 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs (200 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (4 grams) ground cinnamon
  • 1½ teaspoons (3 grams) ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (1 gram) ground nutmeg
  • ¾ teaspoon (2.25 grams) kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup (240 grams) whole buttermilk
  • Brandy Simple Syrup (recipe follows)
  • Vanilla Buttercream (recipe follows)
  • Fruit Filling (recipe follows)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour 2 (9-inch) round cake pans.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars 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.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, and cloves. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Divide batter between prepared pans, smoothing tops with an offset spatula.
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and place on wire racks. Brush warm cake layers with Brandy Simple Syrup. Let cool completely.
  5. Place 2 cups Vanilla Buttercream in a piping bag, and cut a ½-inch opening. Pipe a thick border around edge of first cake layer. Using an offset spatula, spread chilled Fruit Filling inside piped border. Top with remaining layer, and spread remaining Vanilla Buttercream on top and sides of cake. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.



Brandy Simple Syrup
  • ⅔ cup (133 grams) granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup (80 grams) water
  • ⅓ cup (80 grams) brandy
  1. In a small saucepan, bring sugar and ⅓ cup (80 grams) water to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, and stir in brandy. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Vanilla Buttercream
  • 2 cups (454 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons (12 grams) vanilla bean paste
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • 7½ cups (900 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ cup (120 grams) heavy whipping cream
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, vanilla bean paste, and salt at low speed until smooth. Add confectioners’ sugar, about 1 cup (120 grams) at a time, alternately with cream, about 1 tablespoon (15 grams) at a time, beating just until combined after each addition. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat until smooth and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.

Fruit Filling
  • ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter
  • ⅔ cup (133 grams) granulated sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks (76 grams)
  • ¾ cup (85 grams) chopped slivered almonds
  • ¼ cup (32 grams) dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup (32 grams) dried cherries
  • ¼ cup (32 grams) chopped dried figs
  • ¼ cup (32 grams) chopped dried apricots
  • 3 tablespoons (45 grams) brandy
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in sugar until combined. Whisk in egg yolks until well combined; cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is very thick, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in almonds and all remaining ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing wrap directly onto surface of filling. Refrigerate until completely cool.
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