Golden Fruitcake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A light golden fruitcake, lightly spiced, and chockfull of brandy soaked fruit and almonds. This fruitcake has a butter cake base, producing a cake that is lighter than a traditional densely fruit laden fruitcake. I chose to bake this fruitcake in one 9 inch springform pan, however you could substitute 2 9 inch loaf pans instead, adjusting the baking time as needed.

Fruitcake has a bad reputation and is the brunt of many holiday jokes. And honestly a ready-made fruitcake with its chemical taste is deserving of this status. A homemade fruitcake will make you rethink fruitcake – it is delicious with an abundance of fruits and nuts, moist with a brandy soaking and aging process, a holiday tradition.
Recipe type: Dessert | Fruitcake
  • 2 cups mixed candied fruit (fruitcake mix), chopped in small pieces
  • ½ cup candied or dried pineapple pieces, chopped in small pieces
  • 1½ cups golden raisins
  • ½ cup dark raisins
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest (zest of 1 orange)
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (juice of 1 orange)
  • ½ cup brandy
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blanched almonds, coarsely chopped
Decoration (optional):
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons hot water
  • Candied Cherries
  • Blanched Almonds
Prepare Pan:
  1. Prepare one 9 inch springform pan that is at least 3 inches deep; lightly grease the pan to adhere the paper. Cut two circles of wax or parchment paper to fit in the bottom of the pan, and cut a strip of paper twice the depth and just larger than the circumference of the pan. Make a 2 inch fold along one long edge of the strip and make angled cuts into the folded edge one or two inches apart. Place one circle in the bottom of the pan, and then line the sides of the pan with the long strip, placing the folded and cut edge around the bottom of the pan. Place the second circle of paper in the pan to cover the fold with the cuts. Lightly grease the paper, both the bottom and sides. Cut two long strips of brown paper the same height as the wax paper lining to fit around the outside of the pan. Tie both strips of brown paper in a double thickness around the outside of the pan. Use cotton string to tie in place Tip: the brown paper helps to keep the cakes from drying out during the long bake time. Use tape to initially hold the paper, and then tie with cotton string to ensure it holds in place while baking.
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine mixed candied fruit, pineapple, golden raisins, dark raisins, and orange zest; stir to mix. Add orange juice and brandy; mix well. Cover tightly and set aside for several hours or overnight to marinate. Stir occasionally to ensure the orange juice and brandy is evenly distributed throughout the fruits. Tip: Place the mixture in a re-sealable plastic bag to marinate. Turn the bag over occasionally to disburse the orange juice and brandy evenly throughout the fruits.
  2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Tip: To cream, start by placing the butter in the bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed begin by beating the butter about 1 minute until it is smooth and light in color. With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly add the sugar to the butter, either one tablespoon at a time, or in a very slow steady stream, taking from 4 to 8 minutes to add all of the sugar, and beating until the butter and sugar are fully incorporated and the mixture is a light, or pale yellow color, with a fluffy texture. While adding the sugar, stop the mixer occasionally to scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly.
  5. Add eggs one at a time, beating until thoroughly mixed. Add the vanilla along with the last egg. Tip: For each egg, crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk with a fork to thoroughly break up the egg before adding to the creamed mixture. Start with the mixer on low speed so the liquid from the egg doesn’t splatter, once the egg is partially mixed increase the speed to medium. Each egg should be fully incorporated into the mixture before adding the next egg, taking about one minute to blend in each egg.
  6. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in two additions, beating just until mixed.
  7. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold the fruit and brandy mixture, along with the almonds, into the batter.
  8. Bake: Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with the back of a large spoon. Place a small pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven. Place the fruitcake pan on a baking sheet with ½ inch sides to catch any leakage. Place fruitcake on middle rack and bake 2½ to 3 hours or until a long toothpick, wooden skewer or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool completely in pan on a wire cooling rack. When cool, remove the sides of the springform pan. Remove fruitcake from pan, remove paper and discard.
Decoration (optional):
  1. Stir the corn syrup and hot water together in a small bowl.
  2. About 5 to 10 minutes before the end of the baking time, remove the cake from the oven. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the top of the cake with the corn syrup mixture. Gently press the candied cherries and almonds into the top of the cake. Brush another thin layer of corn syrup mixture over the top.
  3. Return the cake to the oven to finish baking and set the decorations.
Storing and Aging:
  1. Fruitcake can be eaten immediately; however it is best when allowed to age a least 1 to 2 months or longer.
  2. Wrap the cakes in rum, bourbon, or brandy soaked cheesecloth, wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil, then place in a sealed plastic freezer bag. Store in a dark cool place.
  3. You may want to occasionally sprinkle the cakes with additional rum, bourbon, or brandy, then re-wrap and return to the dark cool storage place. Fruitcake stored they way will keep several months.
Recipe Notes
Pan: One 9" Springform Pan Prep: Greased, lined with brown paper and parchment paper, greased between each layer Oven Temp: 300° Yield: 1 Cake Storage: Brandy soaked cheesecloth, tightly wrapped, cool dark place for several months

Help: Cake Hints and Tips, Blanching Almonds

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