To make the fruit & nut mix, chop up an assortment of dried fruits and nuts of your choice. Typically, my mom uses raisins, pineapple, papaya, green & red glacé cherries, and pecans. Smaller dried fruits like raisins don't need to be cut, but dice up the other fruits and the nuts. Now measure out 3 cups worth of the mixture and mix it up with the remaining 1/2 cup of flour (this is done so that the fruits and nuts won't all sink to the bottom of your cake when baking).
Preheat the oven to 325°F
Cream the butter and sugar together. Mix in the cream cheese.
Add the eggs in one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add the vanilla extract.
In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients: 2 cups flour, the baking powder, and the salt.
Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients; the batter will be quite thick.
When barely any streaks remain, mix in the flour-covered fruit & nut mix. Only on few strokes of your spatula are needed; do not overmix.
Spray a loaf pan (9x5 in) with nonstick spray and line the bottom of the pan with a rectangle of parchment paper.
Scrape your batter into the loaf pan, smoothing the top.
Place in the oven and let bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.
If near the end of baking, the inside of the cake is still wet but the top is browning too quickly, cover the top with a sheet of foil.
Let your cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooking.