Sour Cream Fruitcake

Recipe by Sue Gray

This tasty fruitcake features a sour cream pound cake base, and a filling of some of our very favorite dried fruits: cherries, apricots, pineapple, and golden raisins. Pecans or walnuts complete the picture. For a more colorful cake, add 1 to 1 3/4 cups of red candied cherries to the other fruit. Or, if you'd just like a simple pound cake, omit the fruits altogether and bake it in two pans instead of three. And finally, if you're an aficionado of citron and its holiday friends, feel free to use those fruits instead.

35 mins
55 mins to 1 hr 5 mins
3 hrs 40 mins
three 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaves
Sour Cream Fruitcake on cutting board and in paper baking pans - select to zoom
Sour Cream Fruitcake on cutting board and in paper baking pans - select to zoom
Sour Cream Fruitcake on cutting board and in bakeable paper pans - select to zoom


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  1. To soak the fruit: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, stir together the dried fruits and the 1/2 cup brandy or rum.

  2. Set the fruit aside for 2 hours or longer. Stir occasionally, so the fruit absorbs the liquor evenly.

  3. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease and flour three 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pans. Alternately, line them with parchment, leaving an overhang on each side and securing the paper with metal binder clips.

  4. To make the cakes: In a large mixing bowl, beat together the shortening, sugar, salt and nutmeg.

  5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until fluffy after each addition.

  6. Stir in the brandy or rum.

  7. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.

  8. Add half the flour to the shortening mixture, and mix well.

  9. Add the sour cream, beating all the time, then add the remaining flour and blend well. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally to be sure all ingredients are evenly incorporated.

  10. Stir in the fruits (they should have absorbed all the liquid; if not, don't drain them) and the nuts.

  11. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans.

  12. Bake the cake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until they're golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

  13. Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool in their pans for 10 minutes.

  14. Remove them from the pans and cool completely on wire racks.

  15. Store, well-wrapped, for 5 days at room temperature. Freeze for up to 3 months. (See "tips", below.)

Tips from our Bakers

  • If you're making them well ahead of serving, brush them with brandy or rum before wrapping tightly and storing at room temperature. If desired, sprinkle with confectioners' sugar or frost with a light glaze before serving.
  • If using a 10-cup (10") bundt-style pan or several smaller pans, adjust the baking time accordingly. No matter what pan(s) you use, don't fill them more than three-quarters full, or you'll be cleaning blackened cake batter off the floor of your oven.
  • To make this cake into bars: Lightly grease two 9" x 13" pans; if you don't have two pans, you'll need to bake in batches. For extra insurance against sticking, line the pans with parchment and grease the parchment. Spoon the batter into the pans and bake in a preheated 300°F oven for 55 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean, or showing some moist crumbs. Remove the bars from the oven and cool completely before cutting and serving.