Amish Fruit Cake
This Amish fruit cake recipe makes the best traditional holiday fruit cake ever! It's packed with dried fruit and lots of nuts, and I look forward to it every Christmas.
Now I know that some of you are probably thinking, "Yuck! Fruit cake is disgusting!"
And I agree that some fruit cakes are disgusting because I have had store-bought fruit cake before that was not good. And if that was the only one I had ever tasted, then I would think that fruit cake is disgusting as well.
But bear with me, and don't throw out all fruit cake because the one that you tried was nasty.
Dried Fruit and Nut Cake Recipe
And don't write off this Amish fruit cake just because you don't like those artificial-looking maraschino cherries.
Because, to tell you the truth, I've never cared for maraschino cherries myself. And this cake has lots of red and green candied cherries in it. So why would I like this dried fruit cake if I don't care for the cherries?
I don't know the answer to that question. And the only explanation that I have is that magic happens when the cherries get mixed in with the other ingredients.
And there's something addictive about this cake that's loaded with fruit and nuts. I've fallen in love with it! And even though I only get to eat fruitcake at Christmas time, I certainly savor it while it's here.
Grandma's Fruit Cake Recipe
This is my mother-in-law's recipe for Amish fruit cake. She makes this cake every year at Christmas time, and I always enjoy it.
One year she decided not to make it because of the expense of nuts, etc. And I must say, I was pretty disappointed that there was no fruitcake that year.
So I asked her for the recipe because I can't have another Christmas without homemade fruitcake. lol 😉
And with her permission, I am sharing the best Christmas fruit cake recipe with you!
This recipe makes three loaves, so you'll have enough to share with your family and friends, or neighbors.
And I hope you will consider trying it, to see if you agree with me that it's pretty great! 🙂
Why is it Called Fruit Cake Instead of Dried Fruit Bread?
Christmas fruit cake typically comes in a loaf form and seems similar to quick bread such as zucchini bread, pumpkin bread, or cranberry nut bread. So my question is, "Why don't we call it fruit bread or fruit loaf instead of fruit cake?"
I can't seem to find any answer as to why this particular loaf is called cake. But it appears as if its history may go back as far as the ancient Egyptians.
And for some reason, fruit cake has been a popular Christmas tradition around the world for many years. Of course, there is a lot of variety in recipes that are used, although they usually include dried fruit.
No Alcohol Christmas Cake
You'll find that many fruitcake recipes suggest soaking the dried fruit in alcohol or basting the cake with alcohol.
This Amish recipe is for a non-alcoholic Christmas fruit cake. It includes minimal ingredients and is very quick and easy to make.
It doesn't require any soaking or time to age. Simply mix and bake as you would any other cake or bread.
And this cake has very little batter. It's only enough to hold the fruit and nuts together. But it is Amazing!
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How to Make Christmas Fruit Cake
Amish fruit cake is super easy to make. And there is very little batter, making the dates and nuts the star of the cake.
I've always loved this when my mom-in-law made it, so I'm not going to try changing up the recipe. Although, when I first made it, I wondered if I shouldn't add more batter. There's almost not enough to cover all the fruit and nuts.
But it works, so I haven't messed with it.
To make this cake, I bought two (8 oz.) bags of Sunsweet pitted dates at Walmart and cut them in half. But you may also be able to find halved dates at bulk food stores or have dates shipped from Amazon.
I used pecan and walnut halves. And it takes lots, so you'll need to buy big bags. I also found the red and green candied cherries in plastic containers (without the juice) in the seasonal baking section at Walmart. Although, I have wondered if regular maraschino cherries wouldn't be better.
Add flour to the halved dates, then add the cherries and nuts. Add the dry ingredients and pour the beaten eggs over the top. Use a large spoon or spatula and mix well.
And that's it. All that's left to do now is put the batter in bread pans and bake it.
The recipe says to grease and flour the bread pans, but I have found that it works a lot better to put a piece of parchment paper in the bottom.
I hope you enjoy this Amish fruit cake. If you try it, I'd love it if you left a comment and star rating below.
More Amish Christmas Recipes
Amish Fruit Cake Recipe
- 3 c. halved dates
- 1/2 c. flour
- 3 1/2 c. walnut halves (or large pieces)
- 3 c. pecan halves (or large pieces)
- 1 1/2 c. red maraschino cherries, drained
- 1/2 c. green cherries
- 1 c. flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 1/4 c. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 5 large eggs, beaten
- Preheat the oven to 300°.
- Grease three 8 1/2 x 4 1/2" loaf pans and line the bottoms with a piece of parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine halved dates and 1/2 c. of flour. Stir to mix.3 c. halved dates, 1/2 c. flour
- Add the nuts and drained cherries.3 1/2 c. walnut halves (or large pieces), 3 c. pecan halves (or large pieces), 1 1/2 c. red maraschino cherries, drained, 1/2 c. green cherries
- In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Add to the fruit and nuts and stir.1 c. flour, 1 tsp. salt, 1 1/4 c. sugar, 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- Beat the eggs and pour them over the fruit mixture. Mix well with a large spoon or spatula.5 large eggs, beaten
- Divide the mixture between three prepared loaf pans. (There's not a lot of batter, so you may need to press the fruit and nuts down a bit.)
- Bake at 300° for 1 hour (in the middle of the oven).
- Remove the loaves from the oven and let them rest for about 10 minutes.
- Use a knife to cut around the edges of the pans to make sure the loaves are loose from the sides. Then flip the pans upside down and the loaves should slide out.
- Cool. Store in airtight bags or plastic wrap. Carefully cut it into slices with a bread knife.
- This fruit cake freezes well.