Pecan Fruit Cake

You know the brick of a fruit cake every one makes jokes about at Christmas? This is not it! This fruit cake converts fruit cake haters and is the joy of fruit cake lovers.

Pecan Fruit Cake 1

I never understood the aversion to fruit cake. Until I realized it was because I was spoiled by my dad’s version (seems to be a trend when it comes to anything my dad cooked/baked). I doubt I will ever stray away from this recipe, unless he finds some inconceivable way to improve it. It’s dense and moist like a pound cake, but filled with an insane amount of fruit and nuts. This is one fruit cake that will not be pawned off.

Pecan Fruit Cake 3

Seriously, this fruit cake is coveted. My brother’s and my friend’s used to steal pieces of it when our dad would send us some when we were in school/graduate school/law school. Family friends are disappointed if we don’t bring it to a holiday party. Heck I’ve even converted someone into liking fruit cake after trying a piece. It’s just magical.

Post updated 12/22/16, pictures just above and below recipe are the originals


Makes 2 cakes


2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature

2-1/4 cups sugar

6 large eggs, beaten

4 tsp lemon juice

4 cups flour, divided

2 tsp baking powder

1 lb (2-1/2) cups candied red and green cherries, cut in pieces

1 lb candied pineapple, cut in pieces

1 lb golden raisins

1 lb (4 cups) chopped pecans

1/2 lb (2 cups) whole almonds (I opted to chop mine a little)


  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees for tube/bundt pans or 275 degrees for loaf pans. Generously grease and flour two pans and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together 3 cups flour and the baking powder.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar. Add beaten eggs and lemon juice until incorporated, then add the flour/baking powder mix.
  4. In a separate extra large bowl, mix candied fruit and raisins with the remaining cup of flour until well coated. Add nuts and then the batter and mix well.
  5.  Pour evenly into the two prepared tube or loaf pans. Tube pans cook the best. Do not use glass pans.  Bake tube pans at 250 for about 1.5-2 hours; loaf pans cook at 275 for about 1-1.5 hours.
  6. Cook times are approximate. Test for doneness with a toothpick after one hour and as needed afterward. Do not over cook! Slow baking keeps the cake moist. Let cool completely before removing from pans. Keep covered in fridge.


Source: My dad

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31 Responses to “Pecan Fruit Cake”

  • Filled with an insane amount of fruit and nuts–that sounds perfectly delicious to me! I like that this is made in a bund cake pan instead of a loaf. The cake makes for a lovely presentation with all those vibrant colors of the fruit. I think your dad knows his fruitcakes very well-hats of to your dad for coming up with this recipe! Glad you shared it here!

    • spiffycookie:

      I think my dad knows how to bake anything, but that coming from a completely unbiased daughter O:-)

  • My step-father randomly requested I make him a fruitcake this holiday season, and since I’ve never made one before, I had no idea where to start. This looks like a great one, glad you shared! 🙂

  • I’ve only had fruitcake once and actually liked it! This cake sounds so moist adn I love all the festive colors!

  • So I can’t really admit that I’ve ever had a fruit cake that I love but I would go for it if it has pecans in it, they are my favorite. It looks totally moist and Delicious!

  • So I can’t really admit that I’ve ever had a fruit cake that I love but I would go for it if it has pecans in it, they are my favorite. It looks totally moist and so delicious, Erin!

  • I have never been a fan of fruit cake – but this looks good. Looks moist and full of yummy stuff!

  • Jennifer @ Mother Thyme:

    You know I have never made fruit cake before and a few weeks ago I think I saw Alton Brown or someone on either Food Network or Cooking Channel talking about fruit cakes and it got me thinking of making one sometime. Now after seeing this fabulous recipe I really want to give it a try. I’m hoping that I can squeeze it in to my crazy schedule this week and make this. It would be perfect for everyone coming while we entertain for Christmas. 🙂

  • Kathy:

    Can’t wait to try this fruitcake – I love the picture with all those yummy fruit and nuts!!

  • Oh yum! You made a fruit and nut bundt cake! That sounds absolutely delicious!

  • I totally agree! Fruitcake gets a bad rap, but my mother in law makes amazingly moist fruitcake and I love it! Yours looks fabulous!

  • That does look like a good fruit cake!!

  • Dorothy:

    I make one very similar to this and everyone absolutely loves it, even if they don’t like regular fruitcakes. My recipe calls for 3 Tablespoons (correct) vanilla instead of lemon juice, and 1 pound box of brown sugar,1 teaspoon baking almonds. You let the batter set for a few hours before baking 3hrs and 15 min to 3.5 hours at 225 degrees. These freeze quite well too! It should set about 20 min before removing from pan. I am going to make sure I try this version next!! Since these can be pricey to make, I buy the fruit after Christmas (after it is discounted) and freeze till the next year.


  • Wow, My Daddy always made the fruitcake each year! Now that he has passed, my mother and I get together near the holidays and make his cake in honor of him. I think that because my Dad made his homemade fruitcake from scratch and put in all the fruit, nuts and love into it that the pan could hold made all us kids a lover of fruitcake. We don’t understand why everyone throws off on fruitcake! At least not the homemade versions. Our recipe has cinnamon and nutmeg along with Brazil nuts, pecans and loads of candied fruit. I also make fruitcake cookies! It’s a yummy tradition! Your recipe looks delishious, maybe you will encourage others òòo

    • spiffycookie:

      Aw I love that you and your mother get together to make fruit cake in honor of your father during the holidays. I will say I have had some bad fruitcakes in my day, but my dad’s has always been my favorite and I love converting people every year with it!

  • Terrie:

    You’re not kidding. This is the BEST FRUITCAKE EVER. I do love fruitcake in general, but I had a few people try this last year when I made it and converted at least two of them! I’m going to try it again this year, using a little bit less sugar and soaked dried fruit instead of candied, just so my diabetic husband can have a larger piece. I think the insane amount of BUTTER may be one of the reasons I love it, by the way!

  • Sami:

    Can this recipe be cut in 1\2 to make 1 fruitcake?

  • Sheila:

    Did I miss understand you can make one bunt pan cake or two loaf pan cakes and how long for each just want to make sure I understand . It sure looks great.

    • spiffycookie:

      Hi Sheila, sorry for any confusion it should make 2 tube/bundt cakes or 2 loaves. The batter will fit in one bundt pan but you don’t want to fill it all the way up or else it’ll take too long to bake. As for time, in the directions it says “Bake tube pans at 250 for about 1.5-2 hours; loaf pans cook at 275 for about 1-1.5 hours.” Hope you enjoy it!

  • Sheila:

    I thank you so much for your quick responds I can’t wait to make it. You have a wonderful Christmas and may God bless you always. 🙏

  • Sheila:

    Sorry I do want emails with new recipes

  • Aida:

    Our recipes ended up next to each other on YG and instantly I fell in love. I have been looking for a good fruit cake recipe for ages, and it came in the form of your recipe after so much time!
    Can’t wait to try it out. Great blog btw!

    • spiffycookie:

      Thanks for checking out out Aida! I do hope you love it as much as my entire family and extended family does.

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