Traditional Christmas Fruit Cake With A Twist

Looking for a traditional Christmas fruit cake recipe that tastes great? Try this one that uses tropical fruit instead of traditional citrus peel. | Traditional Christmas Cake (with a twist)

This Christmas Fruit Cake recipe was adapted from a recipe I found on and has become a family favorite.

The “twist” is that it uses tropical dried fruits instead of the usual citrus peels which makes the cake colorful and delicious!

Preparation is a little lengthy but do not be put off, there is a lot of lapsed time between the prep stages. It you can make a cake mix you can easily make this, once you have the fruit ready.

Christmas Fruit Cake
Christmas Fruit Cake

This cake tastes best if made a few weeks (or even months) ahead of Christmas and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or fruit cellar to let the flavors mellow.

Christmas Cake

Traditional Christmas Fruit Cake With a Twist

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Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours
Servings: 2 loaves
Calories: 2745kcal


  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut Hint: I buy my fruit at the Bulk Barn and take a measuring cup with me so that I only purchase the amounts I need
  • cups dried papayas chopped
  • cups dried mangoes chopped
  • cups candied pineapple chopped
  • 1 cup golden raisins carefully checked to remove any little stems
  • 1 cup red glace cherries halved
  • 1 cup rum
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups blanched almonds slivered

Pots and Utensils

  • Paring knife or scissors and measuring cups for cutting the fruit
  • Large bowl
  • Electric mixer and mixer bowl
  • 2 4" x 8" loaf pans
  • Parchment paper
  • Wire cooling racks
  • Cheesecloth
  • Saran Wrap
  • Foil


Prepare The Fruit

  • Chop and shred the fruit.
    Christmas Cake Ingredients
  • In a large bowl, combine coconut, papayas, mangoes, pineapple, raisins, cherries, and ½ cup of the rum.
    Christmas Cake Fruit
  • Cover and let stand for 1 day, stirring occasionally.

Prepare The Oven

  • Set a shallow pan on the bottom rack of the oven and pour in enough water to come halfway up the sides.
    Fill a shallow pan with water
  • Preheat oven to 250 deg. F.

Cut Parchment Paper To Fit The Pans

  • Draw the bottom of the pan onto the parchment paper.
    Measure the pan on the parchment paper
  • Fold the paper around the lines you drew
    Fold the parchment paper to the size of the pan
  • Cut in the edges of the parchment paper.
    Cut the parchment paper
  • Use the parchment paper to double line the loaf pans.
    Fit the parchment paper into the pans

Put The Loaves Together

  • Gently stir ½ cup flour into the fruit. Set aside.
  • Sift together 1 ½ cups flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • With electric mixer on high, cream the butter.
  • Add the sugar gradually and beat until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Add the eggs one at a time and beat well.
    Mix the batter
  • Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture.
  • Add the almonds to the fruit mixture (I find I need to transfer it to a larger bowl at this point.)
    Mix the batter into the fruit
  • Now stir the cake batter into the fruit/almond mixture with a wooden spoon. It will be very stiff.
    Christmas Cake Batter
  • Pack into the prepared loaf pans, smoothing the tops with the back of the spoon.
  • Bake in center of oven for 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hrs., until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. If the top begins to crack, shield it with foil.
  • Let cool in pans on wire rack.
  • Remove cakes from pans and peel off the parchment.
  • Soak 2 double thicknesses of 16-inch square cheesecloth in the remaining rum.
  • Poke a few holes in the cakes with a skewer (which will let the rum run into them).
  • Wrap cakes in the cheesecloth.
  • Then wrap with plastic and foil.
  • Refrigerate for at least 1 month, or up to 3 months...and then be prepared for it to disappear quickly!
Nutrition Facts
Traditional Christmas Fruit Cake With a Twist
Amount Per Serving (1 loaf)
Calories 2745 Calories from Fat 855
% Daily Value*
Fat 95g146%
Cholesterol 398.7mg133%
Sodium 1030.5mg45%
Carbohydrates 339.4g113%
Sugar 207.3g230%
Protein 25.9g52%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @EntertainingDiva or tag #entertainingdiva!
Christmas Cake
Christmas Cake

Have you tried our Traditional Christmas Fruit Cake recipe? Rate it in the comments section below.

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2 Responses

  • 5 stars
    Could I make the cake without rum so children can share the cake.?

    Could I use a traditional round or square tin instead?

    What do you mean by all purpose flour? Self raising or plain?

    • Hello Chris. Thank you for your interest in making our Christmas cake. The alcohol in the rum will evaporate during baking, leaving only the rum flavor. If you prefer to use a teaspoon of artificial rum flavoring I think that would work. However, I have not tried this, so do not know for sure. If you leave off the rum soak at the end, the cake will be less moist but still very good — especially if you bake it now and wrap it well to age in the refrigerator until Christmas.

      You could use one round or square cake pan instead of two loaf pans. You may need to bake the cake a little longer. Test for doneness with a toothpick or skewer.

      I use regular or plain unleavoned flour.

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