Pecan Fruit Cake

by Erin

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

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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 at a white elephant party.

Pecan Fruit Cake 3

Seriously, this fruit cake is coveted. My brother’s and my friends used to steal pieces of it when our dad would send us some when we were in school/graduate school/law school. And even know in adulthood he sometimes still sends us some if he won’t be seeing us over the holiday. And 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.

So when you see that the recipe makes 2 loaves don’t worry, they will get eaten. But it also freezes well!

Cannot get enough fruit cake? Here are some more ideas:

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

Pecan Fruit Cake 1


Yield: 2 cakes Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat


  • 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 (or regular)
  • 1 lb (4 cups) chopped pecans
  • 1/2 lb (2 cups) roughly chopped almonds


  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.


This recipe can easily be divided in half

Did You Make This Recipe?
I want to see! Tag me on Instagram at @TheSpiffyCookie and hashtag it #TheSpiffyCookie.

Source: My dad

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Jo Jo May 5, 2024 - 5:28 pm

Can you or have you substituted other dry fruit, cranberries , apricots,, peaches,etc. for the candies fruit? The cake components are delicious but I really HATE candied fruit.

Erin May 5, 2024 - 6:20 pm

I have not but I am sure they would work! Just may be less sweet.

Gingerbread Gooey Butter Cake December 29, 2023 - 10:08 am

[…] are you baking for the holidays? Pecan fruit cake and potica are staples in my family (besides sugar cookie cut outs). I know a lot of people […]

Dad November 12, 2021 - 8:49 am

I guess I had better make fruit cake for our trip!

Erin November 14, 2021 - 5:57 am


Gayle Ammerman November 11, 2021 - 3:49 pm

This is so close to my, recipe, Louisiana Pecan Cake. I add 1lb chopped dates and 1\2 cup bourbon to the batter, then after the cake is done and is still warm, drizzle more bourbon on top.

Erin November 14, 2021 - 5:57 am

Oh that sounds good too!

Marlene Wilkins March 21, 2021 - 8:16 am

I have been looking for a Christmas |Cake recipe and now I have one. Thank you ……Marlene Wilkins

Erin March 21, 2021 - 11:50 am


Rum Glazed Fruit Cake Banana Bread December 21, 2020 - 6:01 am

[…] opinion: I love fruit cake. But to clarify, I love my dad’s fruit cake. In fact, most people who hate fruit cake enjoy my dad’s version. It’s not the […]

Pat Stapleton November 28, 2019 - 10:27 am

First time trying this It looks so good.I have learned to love fruitcake over the years and make 5 every year(always 1 new one) Will be hard to wait till Christmas to try it .

spiffycookie December 2, 2019 - 8:01 am

Why wait??

Craig November 11, 2019 - 9:10 pm

I haven’t looked at the recipe yet, but did your dad also wrap it in cheesecloth, and soak it in Rum and if so how mu h and how long?
Please advise.

spiffycookie November 12, 2019 - 3:04 pm

He did not, sorry!

Aida December 30, 2016 - 11:18 am

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 December 30, 2016 - 11:30 am

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

Sheila December 1, 2016 - 8:28 pm

Sorry I do want emails with new recipes

spiffycookie December 2, 2016 - 7:13 am

Shelia, to be added to the e-mail list use this:

Sheila December 1, 2016 - 8:26 pm

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 December 1, 2016 - 2:16 pm

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 December 1, 2016 - 3:17 pm

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!

Lynn November 5, 2019 - 1:17 pm

I have an 18 cup tube pan, can I bake all of the batter in this pan and if so for how long?

spiffycookie November 6, 2019 - 7:33 am

Hi Lynn, it would probably fit but I do not know about cooking time as I have not done that before, but obviously it would take longer. I am sorry I could not give you a complete answer.

Sami December 24, 2015 - 1:58 pm

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

spiffycookie December 27, 2015 - 10:01 pm

Yes, just be sure to cut everything in half!

Terrie November 23, 2015 - 8:22 pm

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!

spiffycookie November 23, 2015 - 9:48 pm

Haha glad to hear it Terrie! Butter is often the answer :-)

Nancy November 3, 2015 - 7:38 am

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 November 3, 2015 - 8:36 am

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!

britney smith November 3, 2014 - 1:54 pm


Dorothy November 20, 2013 - 11:09 am

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.

spiffycookie November 20, 2013 - 11:12 am

Awesome! Thanks for sharing.

Jenni December 20, 2011 - 8:57 pm

That does look like a good fruit cake!!

Stephanie December 20, 2011 - 10:54 am

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

spiffycookie December 20, 2011 - 11:28 am

Glad to know I am not the only one!

Baker Street December 20, 2011 - 12:52 am

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

Kathy December 19, 2011 - 10:16 pm

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

Jennifer @ Mother Thyme December 19, 2011 - 9:16 pm

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. :)

spiffycookie December 19, 2011 - 10:02 pm

You should really try it out! You might be surprised :-)

Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts December 19, 2011 - 5:47 pm

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

Cassie December 19, 2011 - 1:27 pm

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!

Cassie December 19, 2011 - 1:27 pm

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!

Steph@stephsbitebybite December 19, 2011 - 1:22 pm

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

Tracey December 19, 2011 - 1:18 pm

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! :)

spiffycookie December 19, 2011 - 1:30 pm

This is the only fruit cake I’ve truly loved. I hope it comes out great for you too!

Tina@flourtrader December 19, 2011 - 12:01 pm

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 December 19, 2011 - 1:28 pm

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

Craig November 11, 2019 - 9:06 pm

Yes I to like the fact it’s in a bunt pan….


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