Best Ever Fruit Cake Gifted in Treat Bags

  • ½ cup dried apricots, chopped
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup dried cherries
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup bourbon
  • ½ cup pistachios, chopped
  • ½ cup hazelnuts, chopped
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Raw sugar, for garnish

Best Ever Fruit Cake

We often think of fruit cake as being overly rich and packed with boring, dried ingredients. This recipe will change the way you feel about fruit cake and you'll be baking it for years to come - guaranteed! 


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease 4 mini round pans with nonstick spray.
  • PREPARE THE FRUIT: In a medium-size heat-safe bowl, toss the apricots with the cranberries, cherries and raisins. In a small pot, bring the bourbon to a simmer. Pour it over the fruit and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Drain the fruit, reserving the bourbon. Transfer the fruit to another medium bowl and toss with the pistachios, hazelnuts, pecans and almonds. Set aside.
  • MAKE THE BATTER: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the side of the bowl well after each addition.
  • Beat in the vanilla extract, orange zest and cinnamon. Add the flour and baking powder; mix just until combined.
  • BAKE THE CAKE: Add the fruit-and-nut mixture to the batter and mix to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the surface. Garnish with a sprinkle of raw sugar, almonds and pecans, then bake until golden and cooked through, 1 to 1½ hours.
  • While the cake is baking, bring the reserved bourbon to a simmer and reduce to about ¼ cup. Pour the reduced bourbon over the warm cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. Let the cake cool completely.
  • Assemble the cardboard bottom confection bags and write your personal holiday message onto a gift tag. Wrap each cake with parchment paper and place a single cake into each treat bag and seal closed. Your delicious home-made fruit cake is now ready for gifting. Happy Holidays!

    Recipe adapted from:   Real Simple Magazine

Creative Packaging
Creative Packaging


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