A Fruitcake That Everyone will Magically Love? How to Make It

When people are asked what the most hated Christmas food is, the majority will usually chime in unison – fruitcake!  But does it really deserve that kind of reputation?  And have most folk actually tried the real thing, vs the admittedly-not-as-amazing-store-bought variety?  I’m guessing not.

If you want to wow your guests with a fruitcake they’ll be surprised to love, well, as long as you can get them to actually try it, you’re in luck. Here’s our tried and true recipe for an amazing Rum-Soaked and Spiced Fruitcake:

Rum-Soaked and Perfectly Spiced Fruitcake

Note:  You’ll need to set aside about 25 minutes for prep time and allow for overnight soaking. This cake will take an hour and 30 minutes to bake.

Batter Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp ground instant espresso
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 cups unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chopped almonds
  • 4 eggs

Dried Fruit Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp finely grated orange zest
  • 4 cups chopped dried fruit (pineapple, golden raisins, cranberries, crystallized ginger, cherries and apricots)
  • 1 cup spiced rum

Syrup Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup spiced rum
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • A pinch of kosher salt


1. Prepare the fruit by tossing it with the rum and orange zest in a bowl. Cover it, and allow it to soak overnight.

2. The next step is to make the batter, which should be started the next day. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees, and grease a 9-inch-deep cake pan that has been lined in parchment.  Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl, then set aside.

3. Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a small saucepan, then cook while stirring constantly until it becomes aromatic and brown. Transfer the concoction to a large bowl and allow to cool.

4. Grab the cooled brown butter and whisk in the honey, ginger, cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, allspice, eggs, and instant espresso. Fold in the soaked fruits and any remaining liquid, then add and stir in the chopped almonds and flour mixture.

5. Pour the mixture into your prepared cake pan, and smooth with a spatula. Bake for about an hour and 30 minutes until the center has reached 190 degrees, and the cake appears golden brown.

6. Now is the time to make the syrup! In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, vanilla, and rum over medium-high heat.  Cook until the sugar dissolves, which should take around two minutes, then allow it to cool.

7. Once the cake has finished baking, pour the syrup mixture over the top. After it has cooled, remove it from the pan, then slice it up fresh for serving!

You can then sit back and watch your guests be absolutely amazed at how good fruitcake can taste when it’s actually done right!