Traditional Christmas Fruitcake

Traditional Christmas Fruitcake Recipe

We want to welcome you to our TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS event. We will be sharing a new recipe with you ever day. Let’s begin!

On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
A Traditional Christmas Fruitcake to eat with tea

Traditional Christmas Fruitcake reaches back in time for a hint of nostalgia. Think glazed cherries in red and green. Childhood memories!

Then, of course, we’ve added raisins, currants, mixed peel, and dates.

This cake leans heavily on the traditional in that it is a boozy Christmas cake. If you prefer a cake without alcohol, go ahead and brush your cake with a simple syrup. See our recipe.

Note that fruit cakes that are not brushed with alcohol will not last quite as long.

Traditional Christmas Fruitcake

See additional tips in the Tips and Tricks section below.

If you find all the ingredients and time it takes to make our Traditional Christmas Fruitcake is just too much, remember Pasticceria Gelateria Italiana always carries a variety of fruit cakes leading up to the Christmas season. We also carry homemade panettone and stollen.

Traditional Christmas Fruitcake

Traditional Christmas Fruitcake


Fruit Mix

  • 1 cup raisins seedless
  • 1 ½ cup dried currants
  • 1 cup mixed peel
  • 1 ½ cup 1 ½ cup dates
  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 1 cup brandy

Cake Batter

  • 16 tablespoons butter OR 2 sticks of butter, chopped
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 4 eggs large
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice

To Finish the Cake

  • Extra brandy


For the Fruit

  • Preheat the oven to 300 F.
  • Grease 2 loaf pans measuring 9”x 5”.
  • Using an electric mixer, whip together the sugar and butter in a large bowl for at least 5 minutes.
  • Add the spices and mix for 2 minutes.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, taking time to scrap the bowl after each addition.
  • Add the corn syrup and mix until combined.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and the baking powder.
  • Next, alternate adding the flour and the pineapple juice to the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with flour.
  • Once everything is combined, stir the fruit in by hand, along with any liquid in the bowl.
  • Divide the cake batter between the two loaf pans and smooth down the top.
  • Bake for approximately 2 hours. Test cakes for doneness before removing from the oven.
  • Let rest on a baking rack for 5 minutes before unmolding the cakes.
  • Once cooled, brush the cake with alcohol. Wrap tightly in parchment paper and then foil.
  • See Pastry Chef Tips and Tricks below on how to feed your cake.
  • Wrap until ready to eat for Christmas. This cake can last for up to a six weeks if well-wrapped.

Pastry Chef Tips and Tricks

How to Feed a Fruitcake

After the initial baking, cooling, and brushing with alcohol, you only need to add  1-2 tablespoons of alcohol per week.

Poking holes in your cake with a skewer after it cools and before initially brushing with alcohol can help it to penetrate into the fruitcake. Always rewrap your cake tightly each time you feed it.

 What is the best alcohol for fruitcake?

While brandy is traditional, you can always use rum, whiskey, Grand Marnier, Marsala, or Madeira.

What if I don’t want to use alcohol in my Traditional Christmas Fruit Cake?

Prep the raisins and currant by soaking them in hot water for at least an hour. Drain. Continue to bake the cake as per the recipe. Instead of brushing the cakes with alcohol, use  ¾ cup of Simple Syrup. See our recipe for more suggestions.


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