Southern Fruitcake Recipe: Indulge in a Festive Delight

Welcome to my kitchen, friends! Today, I’d like to share with you a recipe that’s been passed down for generations – the Southern Fruitcake. Before you turn your nose up at the mention of fruitcake, please hear me out. This isn’t your average dry, tasteless fruitcake. No, no, no. This is a moist and indulgent treat that’s perfect for Christmas or any occasion that calls for something special.

For years, fruitcake has gotten a bad rap. Some people associate it with the stale desserts that you might find in an old attic or hidden away in the back of a cupboard. But this Southern Fruitcake is different – it’s packed full of flavor and loaded with delicious dried fruits and nuts. The spicy aroma of nutmeg, allspice, ground cloves, mace, and cinnamon wafts through the kitchen as soon as it goes into the oven.

I have a secret that I’d like to share with you – this fruitcake recipe has been taste-tested, refined, and perfected over the years by true Southerners who know what they’re doing when it comes to baking. It’s a true family favorite and has become a holiday tradition in many households across the country.

So whether you’re looking for a gluten-free option or just want to indulge in a moist and delicious fruit cake – this recipe is definitely worth trying out. Trust me; once you try this Southern Fruitcake recipe, you’ll never go back to store-bought cakes again!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Fruitcake
Southern Fruitcake

If you, like me, are a fan of traditional Southern cuisine that fills you up but also delights your taste buds, then you must try the Southern Fruitcake Recipe. Trust me when I say this is not your average fruitcake; it’s bursting with flavor and will leave you wanting more.

First off, let’s talk ingredients. This recipe includes some of the most classically Southern ingredients that perfectly tie in the flavors of warm spices and sweet fruits. The mixture incorporates hearty flour, light brown sugar, eggs, and butter as a base for a plethora of bright and sweet fruits like lemon peel, citron, dried figs, dates, currants, and raisins. Plus, the perfect balance of bold spices like cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ground cloves and mace all come together to create an explosion in your mouth!

But perhaps my favorite part of this recipe is how versatile it is. You can customize it depending on the season or occasion. For example, add in candied cherries or pecans to make it Christmas-y or white chocolate chips to create a twist on a classic flavouring. But even if you keep it simple with just the raisins and pecans, the result is still out-of-this-world delicious.

The final product is moist yet firm texture that produces a satisfying crunch from the nuts with every bite.It’s truly addicting! And not too sweet or dry like other fruitcakes on the market.

If you’re hesitant about trying fruitcake because of preconceived ideas that they’re dry or tasteless, fear not! This Southern Fruitcake Recipe will change your mind forever. Believe me when I say this recipe has made me a fruitcake convert – now I’m convinced it’s one of the delicacies that defines Southern cooking excellence!

Ingredient List

 Golden brown fruitcake fresh out of the oven
Golden brown fruitcake fresh out of the oven

Here is the ingredient list for my southern fruitcake recipe. Make sure you have everything ready before starting the baking process. The cake is packed with dried fruits, candied pineapple, and pecans, so get ready for a flavorful ride!

Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp mace
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

Fruits and Nuts:

  • 3 cups raisins (use dark or light)
  • 3 cups currants
  • 1 cup candied cherries
  • 1 cup candied pineapple
  • 1 cup chopped dried figs
  • 1 lemon peel, finely grated
  • 1/2 cup citron, chopped
  • 2 cups pecans, chopped

Wet Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature (16 tablespoons)
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 10 eggs, separated and at room temperature
  • 4 cups brandy

Note that some of these amounts may seem like a lot since this is a large cake meant to feed many people. If you want to make a smaller cake or adjust some of the ingredients, consider following the proportions in the recipe rather than decreasing everything by half.

The Recipe How-To

 Generously glazed fruitcake slices on a rustic wooden board
Generously glazed fruitcake slices on a rustic wooden board

Now, for the fun part! Get your apron on and let’s get baking. Here is everything you need to know to make a delicious southern fruitcake at home.


First things first, we need to preheat the oven to 250°F. Then, grease and flour two 10-inch cake pans or line them with parchment paper. This will ensure the fruitcake doesn’t stick to the pan while baking.

Mixing ingredients:

In a large bowl, combine 4 cups of all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of nutmeg, 1 tablespoon of allspice, ½ tablespoon of ground cloves and ½ teaspoon of mace. Mix well with a spoon.

In a separate bowl, cream 2 cups of unsalted butter with 2 ½ cups of light brown sugar using an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy.

Then add in sixteen large egg yolks (beaten) one at a time while still mixing using the electric mixer at medium-low speed. Be sure to reserve the egg whites in another bowl.

Now we’re going to add half of our dry ingredients mixture (flour & spices) slowly into our creamed butter mixture; mix well until it’s fully combined.

Here comes the exciting part! Start adding in some southern flair starting with 4 cups of chopped pecans followed by 1 cup each of chopped dried citron, dates and candied pineapple; finally add 1 1/2 cups each of raisins and candied cherries.

Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Make sure each piece of fruit is evenly coated with flour before stirring it into our batter adding a bit more flour if necessary – this ensures that they don’t sink down to the bottom during baking.

Beat the reserved egg whites until stiff peaks form with the electric mixer; then, fold it gently into the mixture in batches.

Baking the Cake:

Pour equal parts of fruitcake batter into each cake pan you’ve prepared earlier.

Bake in the preheated oven for 4 to 5 hours. Always check your oven at regular intervals during baking to prevent overcooking.

Amazing! You’ve just made an old southern fruitcake recipe that will knock your guest socks off.


Now that our cakes are ready, take them out the oven and let them cool in their pans for 20 minutes before releasing and transferring them onto cooling racks.

Let them cool completely to room temperature before storing.

Congratulations! You’ve just baked a delicious fruitcake that would impress even Randy Scott from Southern Supreme Fruitcake Company.

Substitutions and Variations

 A slice of southern fruitcake topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon
A slice of southern fruitcake topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon

Hey, friend! Are you looking for some ways to switch up the traditional Southern fruitcake recipe? Well, look no further! Here are some substitutions and variations that you can use to create your own unique twist on this classic dessert.

1. Gluten-Free: For those with gluten intolerances or allergies, you can easily swap out the flour in this recipe for a gluten-free alternative. Try using almond flour or coconut flour in place of regular flour for a nutty and sweet flavor.

2. Swap out the Fruit: While the classic recipe calls for citron, dried figs, currants, raisins, candied cherries and candied pineapple—all of which you can still use—feel free to swap them out for your favorite dried fruits or nuts. Consider apricots instead of dates, cranberries instead of raisins or pecans instead of almonds.

3. Lighten It Up: If you’re looking to cut back on the calories in your fruitcake, try reducing the amount of butter and sugar called for in the recipe. You could also try using brown sugar instead of light brown sugar as it has a slightly deeper flavor.

4. Add Boozy Flavors: While brandy or rum is commonly used in fruitcakes, feel free to try other liquors like whiskey or bourbon for different spiced notes.

5. Make a White Fruitcake: If you’re a fan of lighter flavors, try making a white fruitcake which swaps out molasses and spices for a vanilla and almond extract mixture.

6. Bake it in a Bundt Cake Pan: For an easy way to serve your fruitcake at parties, try baking it in a bundt cake pan before adding any additional decorations to spruce it up even more!

Remember that regardless of how you modify the Southern Fruitcake recipe, be sure to chop all ingredients into uniform sizes so they bake evenly throughout the cake. Have fun experimenting and enjoy the delicious Southern flavors in every bite!

Serving and Pairing

 A traditional southern fruitcake, adorned with a festive ribbon
A traditional southern fruitcake, adorned with a festive ribbon

Congratulations on making it this far into the southern fruitcake recipe! Now that your delicious masterpiece is ready, you might be wondering what the best way to serve and pair it is.

First things first, let’s talk about how to slice your fruitcake. A good fruitcake should be moist and dense, making it slightly tricky to slice. Use a serrated knife and make sure to wipe it clean between each cut to prevent it from sticking. You can slice it into thin wedges or thicker slices depending on your preference.

Now let’s talk about pairing. Many people might assume that fruitcake is best served with coffee or tea, but don’t be afraid to experiment with other drinks as well. Milk, hot chocolate, spiced cider or even a glass of wine all pair beautifully with your southern fruitcake.

For those who prefer a more savory pairing, try serving your fruitcake alongside cheese or charcuterie. Its sweet and spiced flavors complement salty cheeses like cheddar or blue cheese perfectly.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try crumbling parts of your fruitcake over yogurt or ice cream as a topping for a delicious dessert. And for those who want to keep things traditional, enjoying a slice of fruitcake on its own by the fireplace is always a cozy option.

Overall, there are many ways to serve and enjoy this classic southern treat. Whatever you decide to pair it with, just remember that the most important thing is taking your time to savor each bite and appreciate all of the flavors and textures in your fruitcake. Enjoy!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Savory pecans and candied cherries dotted throughout the fruitcake
Savory pecans and candied cherries dotted throughout the fruitcake

Southern fruitcake is one of those sweet delicacies that gets better with time. It is recommended to make this cake at least a month ahead of time so that the flavors can blend together to form a moist and flavorful cake. This also makes it an ideal dessert to prepare ahead of time for holiday gatherings or celebrations.

To make ahead, allow the cake to cool completely before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can place it in a tin or wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Be sure to drizzle some brandy over the top for extra moisture and flavor.

When ready to serve, remove the cake from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for at least an hour before slicing. This allows the cake to come to room temperature and become easier to slice.

If you happen to have leftover slices, you can store them in an airtight container or wrap them tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Keep them in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

To reheat individual slices, wrap them in a damp paper towel and microwave for 10-15 seconds. This will help soften the cake and bring out its flavors. If you’d like, you can also drizzle some more brandy on top before microwaving.

In conclusion, this Southern fruitcake recipe is an ideal dessert for holiday get-togethers and celebrations due to its make-ahead feature. It’s delicious served cold or warmed up, making it perfect as a snack, a breakfast item or as part of a festive meal.

Tips for Perfect Results

 A slice of fruitcake, perfect for a mid-afternoon snack
A slice of fruitcake, perfect for a mid-afternoon snack

As a chef specializing in Southern cuisine, I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve when it comes to baking the perfect fruitcake. Here are a few tips to ensure your Southern fruitcake turns out moist, flavorful, and delicious:

1. Use quality ingredients: The key to any great baked good is using high-quality ingredients. Make sure you’re using fresh nuts, dried fruits, and spices for the best flavor.

2. Soak the fruit: To ensure your fruitcake is moist and flavorful, soak your dried fruit in brandy, rum, or another spirit of your choosing overnight or for a few days before mixing into your batter. This will also help the fruit break down during baking.

3. Don’t overmix: When combining your ingredients, be careful not to overmix the batter or it can become tough. Mix until just combined for the best texture.

4. Grease and flour your pan: Fruitcakes are dense and heavy, which means they can stick to the pan if not properly prepared. Generously grease and flour your pan before adding the batter.

5. Bake low and slow: Fruitcakes take a long time to bake due to their density. Bake at a lower temperature (around 300 degrees Fahrenheit) for longer (about 2-4 hours) for even cooking.

6. Keep an eye on it: Because of their long cook time, it’s essential to keep an eye on your fruitcake as it bakes. Check it every 30 minutes or so and cover with foil if it starts to brown too quickly.

7. Age it: For even more flavor development, wrap your cooled fruitcake in plastic wrap and let it age for a week or two before slicing and serving.

With these tips, you’ll be well equipped to bake the perfect Southern fruitcake that will make everyone’s taste buds dance with joy!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Southern Fruitcake recipe is a must-try for any baker who loves creating desserts with a twist of art and creativity. The combination of spices and dried fruits makes it the perfect dessert to bake for any occasion – from Christmas to New Year’s Eve, or just as a treat for you and your loved ones at home.

Just a reminder of the key tips for success: use high-quality ingredients, chop the fruits and nuts evenly, follow the steps correctly, and allow enough time for baking and resting. And don’t forget to experiment with variations to find out what suits your taste buds.

With this delicious fruitcake recipe in hand, you’ll have a unique dessert that is both full of flavors and history. You’ll impress your guests with a slice of moist, syrupy cake that’s bursting with fruits and spices — perfect for enjoying alongside tea or warm brandy.

So go ahead, give it a try – you may just discover that you love Southern-style fruitcake more than you ever thought possible. Happy baking!

Southern Fruitcake

Southern Fruitcake Recipe

A very spicy, fragrant cake from the Southern chapter of the United States Regional Cookbook, Culinary Arts Institute of Chicago, 1947
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Course Dessert
Cuisine Southern American
Servings 2 cakes
Calories 7924.9 kcal


  • 3 cups light brown sugar
  • 3 cups butter
  • 12 eggs, separated (room temperature)
  • 2 cups almonds, blanched
  • 3 cups raisins
  • 2 cups currants
  • 2 cups candied cherries
  • 2 cups dried figs, chopped
  • 2 cups dates, chopped
  • 1 cup citron, chopped
  • 2 cups candied pineapple
  • 1 cup lemon peel, chopped
  • 1 cup orange peel, chopped
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons mace
  • 2 tablespoons ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons allspice
  • 2 tablespoons nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda


  • Preheat oven to 275F and grease a 10" tube pan plus a loaf pan.
  • Beat egg whites stiff.
  • Cream sugar and butter; add egg yolks and beat.
  • Fold in egg whites.
  • Sift the dry ingredients together.
  • Dredge the nuts and fruit with a little of the flour mixture.
  • Add dry ingredients to batter; fold in nuts and fruits.
  • Add brandy and blend thoroughly.
  • Pour into prepared pans and bake 3 3/4 hours to 4 hours for the tube pan; 3 to 3 1/4 hours for the loaf.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 4274gCalories: 7924.9kcalCarbohydrates: 1050.5gProtein: 116.9gFat: 397.1gSaturated Fat: 195.3gCholesterol: 2001.1mgSodium: 4962.1mgFiber: 91.9gSugar: 741.4g
Keyword Dessert, Fruit, Sweet
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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