Photo: Lee Harrelson; Styling: Jan Gautro, Laura Zapalowski
16 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

Redolent of fragrant spices, this homemade fruitcake will remind you why it became a holiday classic. Look for candied citron in gourmet stores, or buy it online from Vine Tree Orchards ( Store leftover citron in a zip-top plastic bag in the freezer. You can substitute candied pineapple for the citron. Make the fruitcake at least a day ahead so the flavors have time to meld. To freeze, wrap cake in layers of plastic wrap, and place in a zip-top plastic freezer bag. Store up to one month.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 250°.

Step 2

Pour water in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan; place pan on bottom rack in oven.

Step 3

Coat an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with cooking spray; dust with 2 teaspoons flour.

Step 4

Combine raisins, currants, citron, and 2 tablespoons flour, tossing well to coat; set aside.

Step 5

Lightly spoon 3/4 cup flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine 3/4 cup flour, nutmeg, and next 5 ingredients (through cloves), stirring with a whisk.

Step 6

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat; add sugar, stirring with a whisk. Stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons brandy, molasses, and eggs. Add flour mixture, stirring until smooth. Gradually stir in fruit mixture. Spoon batter into prepared pan; sharply tap pan once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 250° for 2 hours. Remove pan of water from oven; bake cake an additional 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Brush with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons brandy. Cool in pan 1 hour on a wire rack. Loosen cake from sides of pan with a knife. Remove cake from pan; cool completely. Wrap cake in plastic wrap; wrap cake in wrap with foil. Chill 24 hours before serving.

Ratings & Reviews

Awndrea's Review

December 13, 2009
I changed the fruit to cranberries 1 1/2 cup, figs 1 cup, and apricots 1 cup, and replaced the mace with freshly grated ginger. It is magnificent. I could not be more pleased with my first try at a fruitcake. This recipe sets up the structure well and allows easy substitutions for taste. I plan to use my fruitcake to recruit more fruitcake lovers. :)

KarenNicklin's Review

January 01, 2009
Mom and I have making this and enjoying it since it came out in Cooking Light November 2005. It never lets us down and always pleases us! Freezes very well, too. It is the most moist - best fruitcake!