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Dried Fruit and Nut Cake

This dried fruit and nut cake is chock-full of crunchy nuts and moist dried fruit. A new, and maybe even better, twist, on that holiday favorite.

Dried fruit and nut cake in slices on a wooden cutting board with parchment paper, beside a red and white dish towel.

My friend Christine Blaine gave me this recipe many years ago when she was the retail director of my dessert company. Chock-full of crunchy nuts and moist dried fruit, it was especially appealing for having no artificially colored (and universally reviled) bits of candied fruit.–Alice Medrich

Dried Fruit and Nut Cake FAQs

Can I make this cake gluten-free?

Given that the amount of flour is only 3/4 of a cup, we’re sure a gluten-free version would be just fine. Swap in your favorite pre-mixed flour substitute and you’re good to go.

How do I keep the fruit and nuts from sinking my cake?

In step 2, Medrich directs you to add “all the dried fruit, and the nuts, and mix thoroughly with your fingers” and she means it. That coating of flour on those little nuggets is what helps to keep them suspended in the batter.

Will this cake last as long as a fruitcake?

Sadly, no. Because it hasn’t been soaked in alcohol, it won’t last for years. But it also tastes a heck of a lot better, so that’s the trade-off. However, because there’s no dairy in it, the cake will keep, wrapped airtight in foil or plastic wrap, for several weeks at room temperature or at least three months in the refrigerator. That’s right, three months! It can also be frozen for at least six months.

Dried Fruit and Nut Cake

Dried fruit and nut cake in slices on a wooden cutting board with parchment paper, beside a red and white dish towel.
Now that there are so many more dried fruits with which to create variations, this is an even more treasured recipe. (For the cake in the photograph, I used dates, dried Angelino plums, and dried pears.) And now, why not add some homemade (and really delicious) candied citrus peel? Please be inventive with this fantastic recipe. Add slices to the cheese tray, or serve with after-dinner liqueurs. Or keep some in your desk for an emergency burst of energy.

Alice Medrich

Prep 20 mins

Cook 1 hr

Total 1 hr 20 mins



12 servings

376 kcal

5 / 6 votes

  • Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Spray the loaf pans (either one 9-by-5-inch 8-cup loaf pan or two 8-by-4-inch 4-cup loaf pans) with vegetable oil spray or line the bottom and sides with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the baking soda, baking powder, and salt to combine. Add the brown sugar, all the dried fruit, and the nuts, and mix thoroughly with your fingers. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, beat the eggs with the vanilla until light. Pour the egg mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon or your hands until all the fruits and nuts are coated with batter. Scrape into the prepared pans.
  • Bake until the top is deep golden brown and the batter clinging to the fruit seems set, about 1 hour for smaller loaves, 10 to 15 minutes longer for a large loaf. Tent loosely with foil if the cake appears to be browning too much. Cool completely in the pans on a rack.

  • When completely cool, remove the cake from the pans.

  • To serve, cut into thin slices with a sharp heavy knife.

Serving: 1servingCalories: 376kcal (19%)Carbohydrates: 48g (16%)Protein: 8g (16%)Fat: 20g (31%)Saturated Fat: 2g (13%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 14gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 47mg (16%)Sodium: 143mg (6%)Potassium: 463mg (13%)Fiber: 5g (21%)Sugar: 34g (38%)Vitamin A: 466IU (9%)Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 66mg (7%)Iron: 2mg (11%)

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Originally published April 21, 2007


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