Dried Fruit Cake recipe

A Treasure Trove in Every Bite: The Ultimate Dried Fruit Cake Recipe

There’s something undeniably comforting and heartwarming about a slice of fruit cake. Packed with a symphony of dried fruits, nuts, and warm spices, it’s a timeless breakfast treat that evokes memories of family gatherings and holiday celebrations. But traditional fruit cakes can sometimes be intimidating – heavy, dense, and requiring long soaking times. Here’s where this Dried Fruit Cake recipe comes in! This streamlined version offers all the deliciousness of a classic fruit cake, with a focus on simplicity and ease of preparation. Perfect for busy mornings or weekend brunches, it’s a delightful way to start your day with a burst of flavor and wholesome ingredients.

Why You’ll Love This Dried Fruit Cake:

  • Effortless Elegance: This recipe requires minimal prep time and utilizes readily available pantry staples, making it a breeze to whip up.
  • Family-Friendly Appeal: Packed with dried fruits, nuts, and warm spices, it’s a delicious and satisfying breakfast treat for everyone.
  • Dietary Adaptability: Easily adjust the ingredients to suit your preferences and dietary needs. Use gluten-free flour and dairy-free alternatives for a more inclusive option.
  • Flavor Customization: Experiment with different dried fruits, nuts, and spices to create your own unique flavor profile.
  • Perfect for Gifting: This delectable cake makes a thoughtful and homemade gift for birthdays, holidays, or any special occasion.

The Secrets to a Moist and Flavorful Dried Fruit Cake:

Before diving into the recipe, let’s explore some key elements that contribute to a moist and flavorful Dried Fruit Cake:

  • Dried Fruit Medley: Choose a combination of your favorite dried fruits like raisins, cranberries, chopped apricots, or dates. Ensure they’re plump and juicy for optimal texture and flavor.
  • Soaking (Optional): While not strictly necessary, soaking the dried fruits in some fruit juice or rum for a few hours can further plump them up and enhance their flavor.
  • Flour Power: All-purpose flour provides the structure for the cake. For a lighter texture, you can substitute some of the all-purpose flour with cake flour.
  • Nutty Delights: Chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds, or a combination of them add a delightful crunch and textural contrast.
  • Spiced Symphony: Warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger play a crucial role in creating the characteristic fruit cake flavor profile.
  • Moisturizing Magic: Buttermilk adds moisture and tenderness to the cake crumb. You can substitute it with plain yogurt thinned with some milk for a similar effect.

The Ingredients You’ll Need (Makes One 8-inch Loaf Pan):

  • Dry Ingredients:

    • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
    • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
  • Wet Ingredients:

    • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
    • ¾ cup granulated sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • ¾ cup buttermilk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Fruity and Nutty Goodness:

    • 1 cup chopped mixed dried fruits (raisins, cranberries, chopped apricots, dates)
    • ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Step-by-Step Guide to Making a Delicious Dried Fruit Cake:

1. Prep the Dried Fruits (Optional):

If desired, soak the dried fruits in a bowl with some fruit juice or rum for at least 30 minutes. Drain and pat them dry before using.

2. Preheat and Grease:

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour an 8-inch loaf pan for easy removal of the cake after baking.

3. Whisk the Dry Ingredients:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves (if using).

4. Cream the Butter and Sugar:

In a large bowl using an electric mixer, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.

5. Beat in the Eggs:

One at a time, add the eggs to the creamed butter and sugar mixture, beating well after each addition.

6. Add the Wet Ingredients:

Pour in the buttermilk and vanilla extract, and mix until just combined. Don’t overmix.

7. Incorporate the Dry Ingredients:

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two or three batches, mixing until just incorporated.

8. Fold in the Fruit and Nuts:

Gently fold in the chopped dried fruits and nuts with a spatula. Be careful not to overmix, as this can result in a dense cake.

9. Bake to Golden Perfection:

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake in the preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

10. Cool Completely:

Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then, transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.

Tips for Success:

  • Fresh is Best: Use fresh, high-quality ingredients for optimal flavor and texture.
  • Don’t Overmix: Once the dry ingredients are incorporated, stop mixing. Overmixing can lead to a tough cake.
  • Test Doneness: A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean.
  • Cooling Patience: Allow the cake to cool completely before slicing for a cleaner cut and better texture.
  • Glaze It Up (Optional): Once the cake is cool, drizzle it with a simple glaze made of powdered sugar, milk, and a splash of vanilla extract for an extra touch of sweetness and shine.

Flavorful Variations:

The beauty of this Dried Fruit Cake lies in its adaptability. Here are some ideas to explore different flavor profiles and personalize your cake:

  • Tropical Twist: Replace some of the dried fruits with chopped dried mango, pineapple, or papaya for a tropical twist.
  • Chocolate Chunk Delight: Add ½ cup of chopped dark chocolate chips or chopped walnuts to the batter for a decadent chocolatey treat.
  • Spiced Rum Soak: Instead of plain fruit juice, soak the dried fruits in rum for a boozy twist (for adults only).
  • Citrus Zing: Add the zest of an orange or lemon to the batter for a burst of citrusy flavor.
  • Gluten-Free Fun: Use gluten-free flour and dairy-free alternatives like almond milk and vegan butter for a gluten-free and dairy-free version.

Beyond the Slice: Serving Suggestions and Pairings:

This versatile Dried Fruit Cake can be enjoyed in different ways:

  • Breakfast Bliss: Slice the cake and enjoy it warm or at room temperature for a satisfying breakfast. Pair it with a cup of coffee or tea, or a glass of milk for a complete meal.
  • Snack Time Delight: Enjoy a slice of cake as an afternoon snack with a cup of yogurt or a glass of juice.
  • Dessert Decadence: Serve warm slices of cake drizzled with honey or maple syrup for a delicious and comforting dessert.
  • Gifting with Love: Wrap up a loaf of this cake for a thoughtful and homemade gift that’s sure to be appreciated.


This Dried Fruit Cake recipe offers a delightful and hassle-free way to enjoy the classic flavors of fruit cake. Packed with wholesome ingredients and endless customization possibilities, it’s a breakfast treat that everyone will love. So, gather your ingredients, unleash your creativity, and bake a delicious treasure trove that’s perfect for any occasion!

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