Bourbon Fruitcake

READY IN: 3hrs 30mins
YIELD: 6 loaves


  • 2
    cups mixed candied fruit
  • 12
    cup dried apricot, coarsely,cut in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 12
    cup diced dried pineapple, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3
    ounces packages craisins
  • 1 12
    cups raisins
  • 2 12
    cups very coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 12
    cups butter, softened
  • 1 34
    cups sugar (preferably superfine, but regular granulated sugar is OK)
  • 2
    cups all-purpose flour, sifted after measuring
  • 1
    cup whole wheat flour, sifted
  • 12
    teaspoon salt
  • 2
    teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2
    teaspoons baking powder
  • 1
    teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 13
    cup milk
  • 1 13
    cups Bourbon, bourbon whiskey,divided (or more)
  • vegetable shortening, for greasing pans
  • wax paper
  • 12
    cup dry sherry, about


  • Relative amounts of dried and candied fruit can be varied, but the total amount of fruit should be about 5 cups.
  • Additional fruit and nuts can be added if you like lots in your fruitcake.
  • Chop fruit as necessary.
  • Halve the green and red candied cherries, and very coarsely chop apricots and dried pineapple.
  • Very coarsely chop pecans.
  • Place fruit and nuts in a large bowl, and toss well with the 1/2 cup all-purpose flour.
  • Cream softened butter and sugar, using an electric mixer, until well combined.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition, and set aside.
  • Sift all dry ingredients, and stir until well combined.
  • Stir 1/3 cup bourbon into milk in measuring cup.
  • Using an electric mixer, alternately, add flour mixture and milk mixture to the creamed butter, starting and ending with flour, mixing to combine well after each addition.
  • When thoroughly combined, toss flour coated fruit and nuts again, and fold into batter using a large wooden spoon or spatula.
  • Place rack in middle of oven with second rack below, place a cookie sheet on the lower rack to shield loaf pans from heat.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Grease 5-6 mini-loaf pans (3"x5½”x2") loaf pans or a 10" tube pan (preferably with a removable bottom), and line with greased wax paper.
  • If using mini-loaf pans just press 5 or 5½” wide pieces crosswise in pans; don’t worry about the pan ends.
  • Fill pans just to the top or a little below with batter, dividing evenly.
  • Fruitcakes will rise just a little above the top a little during baking, but they won’t overflow.
  • If using mini-loaf pans, bake for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each loaf comes out clean, If using a tube pan, bake for about 1-1/2 hours or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Pans should be shuffled about and turned after half of baking time has passed to ensure that fruitcake (s) bake evenly.
  • When done, remove fruitcakes from oven, and set on cooling racks to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Turn fruitcakes out of pans, peel off wax paper, and set on cooling racks for another 10 minutes.
  • Brush loaves generously with dry sherry, and return to racks to cool completely.
  • Allow to set overnight, covered, for sherry to soak in to loaves.
  • Cut cheesecloth into pieces large enough wrap each loaf in a double or triple layer, and soak cheesecloth pieces in 1/2 cup bourbon.
  • Wrap loaves in the cheesecloth, and sprinkle any remaining bourbon on top.
  • Wrap in foil, and set in a cool place to age for 1 week.
  • Carefully peel back foil, and brush or spray each loaf with remaining 1/2 cup bourbon.
  • Replace foil, and allow loaves to age 1 more week before eating or giving as gifts.
  • This brushing and aging process can be repeated several more times if desired, assuming that you started well before Christmas.
  • This recipe can easily be doubled if your oven is large enough to handle all the pans.