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.
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
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.
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.
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
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%)
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Originally published April 21, 2007