Gluten-Free Fruitcake

If you enjoy fruitcake you'll love this version, packed with delicious dried fruits (and nary a candied peel in sight). And if you think you don't like fruitcake? Give this one a try; we're quite sure it'll change your mind!

We know you’ll love this gluten-free version of our Everyone’s Favorite Fruitcake recipe, a long-time favorite here on our site. Substituting Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour for the flour in that original yields a moist, dense, fruit-filled holiday cake that’s sure to be a hit with friends and family following a gluten-free diet. Enjoy!

Prep
30 mins
Bake
1 hr 10 mins to 2 hrs 25 mins
Total
2 hrs 40 mins
Yield
36 small cakes; 2 large loaves; or anything in between
Gluten-Free Fruitcake

Instructions

  1. To prepare the fruit: Combine the fruit with the liquid of your choice in a non-reactive bowl; cover and let rest overnight. Too impatient to wait until tomorrow? Microwave everything for 1 minute (or until it's very hot), cover, and let rest 1 hour.

  2. Preheat the oven to 300°F. This recipe makes enough batter for ONE (not all!) of the following: 3 dozen individual (muffin pan) cakes; 16 mini loaves (about 3 3/4" x 2 1/2"); 6 to 8 medium loaves (about 3" x 5"); or 2 standard 9" x 5" loaves. Choose your pans (or combinations), and lightly grease them. If you're making muffin-size cakes in a standard muffin pan, line the pan with muffin papers, and lightly grease the papers.

  3. To make the batter: Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl (at least 6-quart), and beat together until well combined.

  4. Beat in the salt, spices, and baking powder.

  5. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition.

  6. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour and cocoa.

  7. Add the flour mixture and the syrup (or boiled cider) to the mixture in the bowl, beating gently to combine.

  8. Stir in the juice or water, then the fruit with any collected liquid, and the nuts. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, and stir until everything is well combined.

  9. Spoon the batter into the pans, filling them about 3/4 full.

  10. To bake the cakes: Bake the cakes on the middle shelf of the oven, as follows: about 70 minutes for the individual cakes; 75 to 85 minutes for the small loaves; 85 minutes for the medium loaves, and 2 hours + 20 to 25 minutes for the 9" x 5" loaves. The cakes are done when a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

  11. Remove the cakes from the oven. Fruitcake can remain in its pan for storage, if desired. Or carefully remove cake from the pan after about 5 minutes, loosening its edges first.

  12. Brush the warm cake with rum or brandy. Or simple syrup, or flavored simple syrup (vanilla, rum-flavored, etc.). If you like just a hint of rum or brandy flavor, add 1 tablespoon of liquor to 3/4 cup vanilla syrup or simple syrup, and brush this mixture on the cakes.

  13. When the cakes are completely cool, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap, and store at room temperature for up to 6 to 8 weeks. For added moistness, unwrap and brush the cakes with additional syrup every couple of weeks or so.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Do you HAVE to brush the cakes with alcohol or syrup? Well, it does keep them moist for weeks. But if you want to leave them "un-brushed," understanding they won't stay moist long-term, that's just fine.

  • If you've made the small, muffin-sized cakes, it helps to put them all in a large plastic container with a snap-on lid; or into a sealed plastic bag, both to help keep them moist, and to be able to move 3 dozen cakes around without a fuss.
  • This recipe can also fill two tea loaf pans. Divide the batter among two lightly greased tea loaf pans, or bake one after the other if you only have one tea loaf pan (if you have a kitchen scale, half the batter will weigh about 1,588g). Bake the cakes for 2 hours to 2 hours and 10 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Yield: 2 loaf cakes.

  • While we like the flavors provided by the different fruits listed above, fruitcake can be a bit of a blank canvas for whatever dried and/or candied fruits are your favorites. We've had great success using a mixture of our fruitcake fruit blend, candied lemon peel, candied orange peel, and mini diced ginger.