Quick Fruit Cake (Without Raisins)

So I’ve decided to try two fruit cakes this year — first I did a classic, aged fruit cake (without raisins), and now I’m doing a quick fruit cake (still without raisins).

This is a sort of test to see if fruit cake that’s aged for weeks is really better than one you can make a day or two ahead of time!

Anyways, I finally cut and served my aged fruit cake at my family’s Christmas dinner the other night.

And when my cousin asked me why I hate raisins so much, I told him that I thought raisins were “little black holes of moral fiber” and that I’d “induce vomiting if I ever ate one” — and then he looked at me like I was psychotic. Ahaha!

Although I can’t deny that I enjoy the “this girl is totally bonkers” looks I get on occasion, I often wonder why people can’t tell when I’m joking!

Of course I’d be joking. Raisins aren’t that bad.

Okay, well — maybe they are. Harr harr.

Anyways, this quick cake is actually lots less work and headache than an aged cake. You can even do it in one pot! Win!

I substituted a mix of dried fruits and berries (dried apricots, black currants, blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, cherries) for raisins, but, if you really must have raisins, feel free to add them back into the recipe.

Quick Fruit Cake

*adapted from the Joy of Baking


  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 a stick) of butter
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 2 cups dried fruit (or raisins)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup candied peel and maraschino cherries


Preheat your oven to 350°F (or 175°C). Butter and line a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper.

In a large pot, combine brown sugar, spices, salt, orange zest, butter, hot water, and brandy. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a gentle boil.

Boil for 5 minutes, stirring often. After 5 minutes of boiling, remove the pot from the heat and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.

Once the mixture has cooled, add the lightly beaten eggs, vanilla extract, flour, almond meal, and baking soda to the pot.

Give everything a couple stirs before adding the candied peel and maraschino cherries, then mix everything together until just incorporated.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and then bake for 50 ~ 60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

After you cool the fruit cake, you can either serve it right away, or bundle it up in plastic wrap and tinfoil and store it for a day or two so that its flavours develop.

I’m waiting on mine so that I can frost it with marzipan later! Yum!

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