Free Range Fruitcake

"This recipe is from Alton Brown; it comes from"
Free Range Fruitcake created by Pastryismybiz
Ready In:




  • Combine dried fruits, candied ginger and both zests.
  • Add rum and macerate overnight, or microwave for 5 minutes to rehydrate fruit.
  • Place fruit and liquid in a non-reactive pot with the sugar, butter, apple juice and spices.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil stirring often, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and cool for at least 15 minutes.
  • (Batter can be completed up to this point, then covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before completing cake.).
  • Heat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Combine dry ingredients and sift into fruit mixture.
  • Quickly bring batter together with a large wooden spoon, then stir in eggs one at a time until completely integated, then fold in nuts.
  • Spoon into a 10-inch non-stick loaf pan and bake for 1 hour; check for doneness by inserting toothpick into the middle of the cake.
  • If it comes out clean, it's done.
  • If not, bake another 10 minutes, and check again.
  • Remove cake from oven and place on cooling rack or trivet.
  • Baste or spritz top with brandy and allow to cool completely before turning out from pan.
  • When cake is cooled completely, seal in a tight sealing, food safe container.
  • Every 2 to 3 days, feel the cake and if dry, spritz with brandy.
  • The cake's flavor will enhance considerably over the next two weeks.

Join The Conversation

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  1. Stephanie C.
    I make this every year. It is so delicious. Everyone likes it even if they don't like fruitcake!
  2. bonnielee8823
    This is not your Granny's fruitcake. It is delicious. I did make a few changes. I used Grand Marnier instead of rum to macerate the fruit and also to spray on the cake. I could not find dried blueberries or currants, so I used mango and pineapple, and just increased the other fruits to make 4 cups. Fantastic recipe!!!!
  3. Cheryls Home Cookin
    I have been making this recipe for YEARS and I can't believe I haven't rated it yet!! THIS IS THE BEST fruitcake recipe you will get. Every year I have to make more than I did the previous year, it is that good!! Thanks for posting!!
  4. crescendogal
    Very good fruitcake....liked the inclusion of ginger...something different. It is rather $ to make however. I made 2 batches of this up after Halloween and have been basting with apricot brandy every week. Just had to have a taste before giving as Christmas gifts! Thanks for sharing.
  5. Lookaboo
    Best ever. Never liked fruitcake, but loved this one. Everyone at our Christmas party raved over it and consumed it all. Thanks for a wonderful recipe.


I am a school psychologist and enjoy cooking, traveling, dancing, sports and music. Recently, I have remarried and moved to New Jersey. Like many of the mothers on Recipezaar, I have two precious boys, a 7-year-old and I have just given birth to my second son. I love to try all kinds of food, particularly from other countries, because for that nationality, that food is the most delicious for them. After moving to New Jersey, I have had the wonderful opportunity to try food from all over the world, especially authentic Italian-yummy! Cooking is one of the most wonderful things that a person can do. My son loves to mix and help in the kitchen; it brings everyone joy when he is creating his masterpiece.
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