This Christmas Fruit Cake with brandy is a moist and sweet treat for the holiday season, and it makes a great gift too! Enjoy this classic cake with brandy-plumped fruit and a zesty and sweet cake base. This delightful cake is sure to be a new family favorite!
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Why I Love This Recipe For Fruit Cake with Brandy
There are so many different types of fruit breads, but for some reason fruit cake seems to get a bad rap. Well, I can assure you that this fruit cake recipe is not the one of your childhood – it’s new and improved!
The sweet cake base has orange zest and holiday flavor with the textured mix-ins of brandy soaked dried fruit and nuts. There’s no chance of this cake getting dry because the sour cream in the batter keeps everything moist, and balances the flavor with a little bit of a tang.
And we certainly can’t forget everyone’s favorite part: the brandy! It contributes an additional moisture and accompanies the sweetness to balanced everything perfectly. Serve this cake up to your guests fresh, or save and thaw it when you get a craving.
Key Ingredients For Nut and Fruit Cake
Flour: all-purpose flour works best for this fruit cake.
You will need both baking soda and baking powder for this cake recipe, and a little bit of fine sea salt.
Sour cream: make sure it’s at room temperature.
Butter: unsalted butter at room temperature.
Egg: one large egg at room temperature.
Sugar: You will need both white and brown sugar. Both are added with wet ingredients.
Orange zest: Zest a fresh orange, any variety.
You can add or substitute for whatever mix-ins you would like. I use walnuts, raisins, glazed cherries, dried apricots, and cranberries.
And then, arguably the most important ingredient: Brandy.
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
How to Make Christmas Fruit Cake
Step 1: Prepare Dried Fruits
The day before you make your fruit cake, wash, chop, and drain the dried fruits. Then, soak them in brandy overnight so they plump up.
Step 2: Prepare Pan and Oven
When you’re ready to make your fruit cake, line a 9×5 loaf pan with parchment paper and then preheat your oven to 325F.
Step 3: Mix Wet Cake Ingredients
Using a mixer, beat the room-temperature butter with both types of sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the sour cream, egg, and orange zest. Mix until all of the ingredients are well combined.
Step 4: Mix Dry Cake Ingredients
In a separate bowl, mix the flour with the baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Step 5: Combine Wet and Dry Cake Ingredients
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix them until they’re combined.
Step 6: Add the Mix-ins
Add the previously soaked dried fruits to the batter along with the chopped nuts. Mix until homogenous.
Step 7 and 8: Bake
Transfer the batter to your prepared pan and bake it for 1.5-2 hours, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let your fruit cake cool for about 20 minutes before taking it out of the pan. Enjoy!
How To Enjoy Fruit Cake
- As an hors’ devours. Fruit cake makes a great addition to a charcuterie board!
- Enjoy fruit cake as a dessert because it’s sweet and delicious.
- Serve a small square of fruit cake with an aperitif.
- I’m always a fan of cake for breakfast and fruit cake is no exception.
- Have fruit cake as a snack with a mug of fresh coffee, tea, hot cocoa, or cider on a chilly day!
In this recipe we use brandy, but many other recipes call for everything from sherry, to rum, to whiskey, to flavored liqueur. It depends on your preferences and you can feel free to try a few different options to see what you like best! Check out this guide on choosing the best brandy for fruitcake.
At least a day in advance so that the dried fruit can soak and plump up!
No, you do not need to age it! This fruit cake is enjoyed fresh in my house. But if you’d like to age it, you can wrap it in brandy-soaked cheesecloth, then wrap it again in some plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Store it in an airtight container in the dark. If you intend to age it for several months, you’ll have to rewrap the cake in freshly soaked cheesecloth every so often.
You can explore using different types of dried fruits. Be sure to remember they will yield different flavors. You may have to practice trial and error to find the perfect combo. If you’d like to customize your fruit cake further, you can also add in touches of different ingredients. These could be cinnamon, pumpkin spice, and nutmeg.
Yes, you can in theory, but keep in mind that the baking times will differ.
This recipe doesn’t have this issue. If you like, you can always toss your fruit and nuts in a light coating of flour before mixing them into the batter.
You can store it at room temperature in an air-tight container for about a month. If you want to refrigerate it, you can store it in the fridge for about 6 months. Or, you can freeze it for about a year. If you store it in the fridge or the freezer, be sure to allow the cake to cool to room temperature before storing it.
Additional Fruit Recipes To Try
Fruit is so versatile and can be used in any season. For on-the-go or a healthy pick-me-up snack my gluten-free dried fruit bars with nuts and dates.
Start the weekend with fresh, warm fruit muffins, it’s an easy recipe. If you are looking for a fruit recipe, other than bread make sure to try a sweet fall dessert fruit salad.
More Tasty Bread Recipes
If you tried this Christmas Fruit Cake with Brandy or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and leave your 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you!
Christmas Fruit Cake with Brandy
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup sour cream (at room temperature)
- ½ cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- 1 large egg (at room temperature)
- ½ cup white sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1-2 Tbsp orange zest (zest of 1 orange)
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- ¾ cup raisins
- ¾ cup dried apricots, chopped
- ¾ cup glazed cherries
- ¾ cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup brandy
Wash and drain dried fruits, and soak them in brandy overnight.¾ cup raisins, ¾ cup dried apricots,, ¾ cup glazed cherries, ¾ cup dried cranberries, 1 cup brandy
- Line a 9×5 loaf pan with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 325F.
Using a mixer, beat the butter with both types of sugar until light and fluffy. Add the sour cream, egg, and orange zest and mix until well combined.½ cup sour cream, ½ cup unsalted butter, 1 large egg, ½ cup white sugar, ½ cup brown sugar, 1-2 Tbsp orange zest
In a separate bowl mix flour with baking soda, baking powder, and salt.2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp baking soda, ½ tsp baking powder, ½ tsp salt
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix.
Add dried fruits and chopped nuts and mix the batter.1 cup walnuts,
Transfer the batter to your prepared pan and bake it for 1.5 hours-2 hours until a toothpick comes out clean.
Let the cake cool for about 20 minutes before taking it out of the pan.
- You don’t have to use all the mix-ins mentioned. Substitute to what kind you like, but make sure to measure.
- Store the fruit cake in a Ziploc or air-tight container in the pantry or on the counter, preferably not in the refrigerator.