Originally published December 15, 2011, Updated on 10/9/20
Back in 2011, I blogged my AMAZING recipe for Gluten-Free Fruitcake Cookies. The following day, I posted this sister recipe to it: Gluten-Free Fruitcake!
Fruitcake has a bad reputation, and - IMHO - it’s well deserved. I can’t stand glaceed fruit, and I have no idea how they’ve managed to stick around as a THING for so long.
In no way does any of it look, taste, or feel like fruit. None of it really tastes like candy, either, and I’ve always hated the texture.
Cake with rum (or whatever!) and fruit? Awesome. Cake with weird, noxious Frankenfruit? Pass.
It’s weird how you can feel like you’re “missing out” on something, even when that “something” isn’t anything you want. The whole fruitcake thing - I won’t go near the stuff, and yet somehow it feels like the holidays are lacking without it.
Isn’t social conditioning fun? LOL.
So, I decided to come up with a fruitcake that actually tastes good. Spoilers: I succeeded in that mission!
Forget everything you've heard about fruitcake, and about gluten free baking. This is a gorgeous, extremely tasty fruitcake that will be loved by all - fans of regular fruitcake, fruitcake haters, people with gluten allergies, and even those who aren't restricted to gluten free.
This cake has a wonderful texture - you'd never know it was gluten free. Trust me - I'm the BIGGEST snob about gluten free baked goods!
This cake, though? I'd eat this for *breakfast*, never mind as a snack, or dessert.
I’ve made variations of this throughout the years - any time of year - , to satisfy any urge for baked goods. This is WAY too good to be designated JUST a holiday thing!
The key? Get rid of the glaceed fruit, obviously!
Fruitcake isn’t fruitcake without fruit, obviously... So the glaceed fruit would need to be replaced. Fresh fruit wouldn’t work for the texture / look of a fruitcake though.
The trick? Slightly reconstituted dried fruit!
Let me tell you, soaking chopped up dried fruit in Southern Comfort produces a cake that is *many orders of magnitude* better than traditional fruitcake.
We used a mix of raisins, cranberries, cherries, apricots, and pineapple, but you can use a combination of whatever dried fruit you love. It’s all being boozed up with Southern Comfort, which works SO well with the fruit flavors.
Honestly, even just dried cranberries and dried apricots alone makes a fantastic fruitcake, with this recipe!
Not a fan of Southern Comfort? No problem!
Just swap it out for whatever spirit you do like for Fruitcake - rum, whisky, and brandy are popular options.
Alcohol Free Gluten-Free Fruitcake
While I LOVE Southern Comfort in this, I know that not everyone wants to have alcohol in their cake. Also - contrary to popular belief - it does NOT cook off while baking, btw.
To make this alcohol-free, swap apple juice, white cranberry juice, or white grape juice for the Southern Comfort.
If you’d like to speed the process along: Rather than allowing the fruit to soak in the juice overnight, you can simmer it for about 20 minutes. Allow to cool before using.
About the Eggs
The eggs in this cake are separated - the yolks incorporated into a base mixture, and the whites whipped up to give lift to the cake.
As I’ve mentioned in my Pavlova Recipes, eggs being whipped for structure have to be handled with care!
Two big tips:
- Eggs are easiest to crack when cold, and easiest to whip at room temperature. Plan around these facts :)!
- Be VERY careful to not get any egg yolk into the whites at all - not even a speck of it - or the eggs will not whip up.
For that matter, be very careful to use a very clean bowl and mixer - any kind of oil / fat / etc is your enemy here.
Also, if you're interested in gluten-free cooking and baking, you should definitely check out my gluten-free cookbooks: Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten Free Cooking & Baking, and the sequel... Beyond Flour 2.
More Holiday Treats
Looking for more inspiration for your holiday goodies tray? Whether Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or any of the other holidays, here are a few ideas for you!
Blood Orange Cranberry Toffee
Boozy Chocolate Haystack Cookies
Candied Orange Slices
Creme de Menthe Nanaimo Bars
Festive Easy Fudge
Gluten-Free Fruitcake Cookies
Pecan Pie Cookies
Sweet Ecstasy Cookies
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Now, on to that Gluten-Free Fruitcake recipe!
If you like cooking with alcohol, you should check out my first cookbook, The Spirited Baker. It’s FULL of fun, tasty recipes using spirits and liqueurs for flavour – you should check it out:
Combining liqueurs with more traditional baking ingredients can yield spectacular results.Try Mango Mojito Upside Down Cake, Candy Apple Flan, Jalapeno Beer Peanut Brittle, Lynchburg Lemonade Cupcakes, Pina Colada Rum Cake, Strawberry Daiquiri Chiffon Pie, and so much more.
To further add to your creative possibilities, the first chapter teaches how to infuse spirits to make both basic and cream liqueurs, as well as home made flavor extracts! This book contains over 160 easy to make recipes, with variation suggestions to help create hundreds more! Order your hard copy here on my website, through Amazon, or through any major bookseller.