Gluten Free Fruitcake is a lovely, moist Christmas Cake loaded with dried cranberries, cherries, currants, dates, apricots, and raisins. Slivered almonds and pecans add some crunchy bites. Everyone can enjoy this!
In my part of the world, we call this Christmas cake. It might be dark or light and is filled with a variety of dried and/or candied fruit and nuts. People seem to either love it or hate. Family gatherings are divided over the fruitcake on the goodie plate. Many stores sell a usually-disappointing version in a package.
I'm proud to say that this recipe was featured as number 8 of "35 Best Fruitcake Recipes to Complete Your Christmas Dessert Table" by Country Living in 2019!
My mother made a dark cake filled with lots of raisins that most people really enjoyed. Then I found a recipe in a friend's cookbook, copied it out by hand, and made that fruitcake for years. Recently, as my diet has become healthier, I’ve learned that I can enjoy even better food than what I used to eat. The development of this recipe has followed that path. I hope this recipe will turn some haters into lovers! Some call it the Christmas Cake that People Actually Eat!
Fruitcake has also been a traditional wedding cake in Canada. It's seldom served this way anymore, but in decades past, fruitcake was baked weeks before the big event, sliced into little pieces, wrapped up, and given as a party favour to each guest. My mother made her own and then made mine several years later.
How to Make Gluten Free Fruitcake at Home
While you won't likely be making gingerbread cookies for awhile, now is the time to make Christmas cake! For best flavour and moisture, Christmas cake needs to sit for four to six weeks after you make it. Hallowe’en is my reminder that it’s time to get my ingredients and make my Christmas cake. If you didn't get started that early, it's still pretty good after two weeks. For that matter, it's good right out of the oven!
While the list of ingredients is a little lengthy, you simply combine the dry ingredients, stir in the fruits and nuts, and then add a liquid – much like any muffin recipe. I encourage you to gather the ingredients and give it a try!
Editor's Note: Since developing this recipe, I've replaced the orange juice with pineapple juice to accommodate my husband's sensitivity to citrus. I use pineapple juice both in the cake and to moisten the cheesecloth wrapping. Some of us even prefer the cake with pineapple juice!
Let me know if you make this! I'd love to see a picture of yours on Instagram! If you tag it #CathysGlutenFree I'll see it.
- Instant-read thermometer
- loaf pan
- ½ cup (45 g) almond flour
- ½ cup (65 g) coconut flour
- ¼ cup (33 g) arrowroot flour or tapioca flour
- ¼ cup (41 g) potato starch
- 1 teaspoon (4 g) gluten free baking powder
- 1 teaspoon (2 g) ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon (1 g) xanthan gum
- ½ teaspoon (3 g) baking soda
- ½ teaspoon (4 g) fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon (0.5 g) ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon (1 g) ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon (0.5 g) ground cloves
Fruit and Nuts
- 1 cup (145 g) sultana raisins
- ½ cup (45 g) slivered almonds
- ½ cup (63 g) pecan pieces
- ½ cup (61 g) dried cranberries
- ½ cup (65 g) dried currants
- ½ cup (66 g) dates pitted and chopped
- ¼ cup (40 g) dried cherries
- ¼ cup (45 g) unsulfured dried apricots chopped
- ¼ cup (57 g) butter melted
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup (100 g) organic raw sugar
- ½ cup (118 ml) orange juice or pineapple juice
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) molasses
- Preheat oven to 275 F. Position oven rack in the centre of the oven.
- Line a 5" X 9" loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Melt the butter and allow it to cool a little.
- Whisk dry ingredients together.
- Stir in fruits and nuts.
- Beat eggs until foamy. Add sugar, orange juice, molasses, and lukewarm butter. Beat until blended. Stir into fruit mixture.
- Turn batter into prepared pan and place into preheated oven. Cover with foil after about an hour. Bake for 1 hour and 30- to 1 hour and 45-minutes or until a fork inserted into the centre comes out clean. On an instant-read thermometer, the centre should have reached 205°F (96° C). Cool thoroughly on a wire rack.
- Remove loaf from pan and parchment paper. Wrap in fruit juice-moistened cheesecloth. Overwrap with foil or store in a plastic bag. Store in refrigerator 2 - 4 weeks before serving. Remoisten cheesecloth once a week.
- This is a dense cake and must be baked slowly in the middle of the oven, so the bottom and sides don't get burned before the centre is done.
- Fruitcake becomes more moist with time as it sits in fruit-juice-moistened cheesecloth in the refrigerator for a few weeks.