This Applesauce Spice Fruit Cake is not your grandma's fruit cake! A moist, dense, spiced cake, moistened with applesauce and filled with chopped nuts, coconut, raisins, dates, and orange candy slices.
It's a holiday tradition that just got tastier. This Christmas Fruit Cake is perfect when lightly sprinkled with powdered sugar or go all out and drizzle with a rich caramel sauce.
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Christmas Fruit Cake
Do you want to impress someone this Christmas? Try this incredible Spiced Applesauce Fruit Cake recipe and you'll be the star of the holidays.
I'm not a fruit cake fan, so you can imagine that this fruit cake I'm sharing is like no other fruit cake you've ever had. In fact, my husband said he would just call it an Applesauce Spice Cake because it didn't remind him of fruit cake at all. (another "not a fruit cake" fan).
Why This is the Best Fruitcake
I received this recipe for fruitcake from my husband's college roommate's mom. I've made it often through the years and have always had people tell me they wish all fruit cakes tasted like this.
The big difference is the fruits and nuts that get added to the batter. It's not your typical dried fruits like citron, dried pineapple, or candied orange peel but orange slice candies, chopped nuts, and coconut.
It's one of our family favorites along with Peanut Brittle and Cinnamon Apple Monkey Bread. And so easy to make.
Spike it for a Rum Fruit Cake
It's a delicious cake to serve your guests at a holiday cocktail party, dinner, or for your own Christmas day dessert. Its spicy denseness brings to mind sugar plums and all things Christmas along with its rich seasonings of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Not to mention, a little soak in rum for that extra little something (totally optional but awesome).
- White granulated sugar
- Unsweetened applesauce
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Ground cloves
- Ground nutmeg
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground ginger
- Pecans or walnuts
- Orange slice candy
- Coconut flakes
- Rum (optional)
- Powdered sugar
How To Make Fruit Cake with Applesauce
- Place butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
- Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer, until fluffy.
- Add the eggs and mix well.
- Add applesauce and blend well.
- Mix dry ingredients.
- Add dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients and mix until incorporated.
- Place all nuts, candies, and fruit in a large bowl. Sprinkle in flour.
- Stir to coat. This will help them remain separated in the batter.
- Add flour-coated fruits and nuts to the batter.
- Stir well.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tube pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes in the pan.
- Run a knife around the center post and the outer edge of the cake then invert the cake pan and remove the fruitcake. Turn the fruitcake over so the bottom rests on the wire rack. Let cool completely.
- If you are serving to adults, you can pour ¼ to ⅓ cup of rum over the top and let it soak in. Once dry to the touch, sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar. If not using rum, sprinkle with powdered sugar as soon as it is cool.
Just look at that beautiful slice of spicy deliciousness! This easy fruit cake recipe adds just the right amount of applesauce to keep the cake moist, the best candy and fruit to lend a chewy texture and a nice crunch from your favorite nuts. This Christmas fruit cake is definitely not the norm. Make it and surprise everyone!
And for a decadent over-the-top treat, try drizzling it with your favorite caramel sauce. Believe me, you'll have everyone swearing they love fruit cake now.
- Be sure to coat all the fruit and nuts with flour before adding them to the batter. This will help prevent them from sinking to the bottom while baking.
- Slice a fruitcake with a serrated knife such as a bread knife or use an electric knife.
- For a cherry fruitcake, substitute the dates with dried cherries.
- For a gluten free fruitcake, substitute the regular all-purpose flour with gluten-free all-purpose baking flour.
- For a nutless fruitcake simply leave out the nuts.
- Soak the dried fruit in rum the day before. Drain the fruit and use the rum you soaked them in to pour over the cake after it is baked.
National Fruitcake Day
Did you know there's a special day for fruit cake? There is! National Fruitcake Day is December 27th. So be sure to save some leftover fruitcake to enjoy on that day.
How to Store Fruitcake
Once the cake has cooled to room temperature, wrap it tightly in several layers of plastic wrap. Store it on the counter.
How long does fruitcake last?
The length of time this applesauce spice fruitcake will last depends on if you make it with rum or not:
Without Rum: The cake will last for up to 1 week.
With Rum: The cake will last up to 1 month.
To Freeze: Wrap the cake tightly with a layer of plastic wrap then aluminum foil. Freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw the cake on the counter at room temperature.
More Holiday Desserts That Wow!
- Chocolate Cream Cheese Bundt Cake
- Chocolate Marble Cheesecake
- Chocolate Peppermint Marble Cake
- Creme Brulee
- Death by Chocolate Poke Cake
- Flourless Chocolate Torte
- Gingerbread Cake
Check out more Christmas desserts on 2CM!
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Applesauce Spice Fruit Cake
- ½ cup butter softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 cups all-purpose flour + additional for dredging fruit
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 cup pecans or walnuts chopped
- 1 cup dates chopped
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup orange slice candy chopped
- 1 cup coconut
- ½ cup rum optional
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a tube pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper to make it easier to release.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs and beat until incorporated.
- Add applesauce and beat until well mixed.
- In another bowl, combine 2 cups flour, baking soda, salt and spices.
- Gradually add dry ingredients into wet ingredients, beating until just mixed.
- In a large bowl, combine all nuts and chopped fruit and candy. Dredge with flour. Make sure to mix with your hands and pull apart fruit and candy that it sticking together so each piece is coated with flour. This helps distribute it better throughout the cake.
- Stir the flour-coated fruit and nuts into the cake batter.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for approximately 1 hour and 15 to 20 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean.
- Let rest on a wire rack for 10 to 20 minutes until firm enough that it can be turned out onto a rack to cool the rest of the way.
- If using the optional rum, pour ¼ to ⅓ cup rum over the cake and let it soak in. Once the top is dry, move on to the next step.
- When cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar. You can also serve the cake with caramel sauce on the side to drizzle over the top.
This post has been revised with better instructions and more information. It was first published on December 12, 2018.