by Heather Harris Brady

In hopes of making fruitcake more than a punchline, I thought I would post this recipe. After all, it’s a baker’s problem not fruitcake’s problem. And the problem, specifically (in my opinion) is the typical candied fruit. Years from now archaeologists will probably dig up these bits of fruit thinking we embalmed them each season for religious reasons to sustain us in the afterlife. Which may not far from the truth, in retrospect.

However, I have loaded this recipe with lots of delicious dried fruit instead – including tropical dried fruit and pistachios. You can use whatever you want, but I picked mine for a wide range of colors and flavors to make each slice a pretty mosaic. The cake itself is a child of Dorie Greenspan’s coconut tea cake from her fabulous Baking cookbook, which you should own if you don’t already.

Fruitcake, Makes two 9″ loaves

One can coconut milk

3/4 c. shredded coconut, sweetened

4 T. butter

Three eggs

1 c. granulated sugar

1 c. brown sugar

2-1/2 c. flour

2 t. baking powder

1 t. almond extract

2 t. vanilla

2 T. sherry


1 c. dried cranberries (or cherries)

3/4 c. sliced dried apricots

2/3 c. pistachios (roasted, salted)

1/2 c. dried papaya

Minced candied ginger to taste

Preheat the oven to 350. Warm the coconut milk, butter and shredded coconut until the butter melts. Stir and keep warm.


Combine the sugar and eggs, beat until thick, about three minutes. Beat in the sherry, vanilla and almond extract.



Combine the flour and baking powder, beat it into the egg mixture.


Then slowly beat in the warm coconut milk mixture. Fold in the fruit.



Divide the mixture between two greased 9″ loaf pans.


Bake for about 35-40 minutes. While the cake is baking, mix up the glaze:


Leave the cakes in the pans and pour the glaze over the top.  Before the glaze sets, remove the cakes from the pans and finish cooling on racks.



The cake will keep about four days at room temperature. Freeze for longer storage.

One year ago: Gingerbread Thins


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