April 1, 2011

Chocolate Cherry Fruitcake

I have recently had several requests for my Chocolate Cherry Fruit Cake Recipe.  If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, or know much about our family, you know my thoughts on fruit cake.  If not you can read about by clicking over to this True Story Tuesday post.

In fact, I think it is wrong to call this delicious confection fruit cake because it just gives a bad image to something fabulous... but it's not my recipe, so what am I to do?  I can take no credit for this recipe... I found it in the King Arthur Catalog and because of my love for chocolate and cherries together, I just had to give it a whirl.  We made two loaves and gave one away, before we'd even tasted it.  Afterwards, we were saying... gee, we should've kept that other loaf.

It is important to keep it moist.  If it does dry out, just brush it with some more of your syrup.  We wanted ours to age as traditional fruit cake does, so we made it right after Thanksgiving and brushed it every couple of days until Christmas.  No need to wait, however, if you are dying to eat it right away.  Just remember to brush the left overs so they aren't dry.

I made a few changes to the recipe and they are noted in parentheses as you read through the ingredients and instructions.

2 cups dried cherries, chopped if very large
1/2 cup brandy or rum, or 1/3 cup water
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract, optional
2 tablespoons Cake Enhancer, optional  (I omitted)
3 large eggs
2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (I used good old fashioned unbleached flour)
3/4 cup milk, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups candied red cherries
1 1/3 cups Raspberry Jammy Bits or Blueberry Jammy Bits (I used dried blueberries)
2 cups chocolate chips or chunks
2 1/2 cups diced pecans or walnuts, optional

3/4 cup simple syrup, brandy, or rum

1) Combine the dried cherries with brandy, rum, or water. Cover and microwave for 1 to 2 minutes, stir, then set aside to cool.
2) Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease the pans of your choice: two 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pans, five 7" wooden bakers, six 7" paper bake & give pans, one 12-cup bundt-style pan, or two 6-cup bundt-style pans.
3) In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, baking powder, salt, flavors, and cake enhancer.
4) Beat in the eggs one at time. Stir in the flour alternately with the milk.
5) Combine the dried cherries and their liquid, candied cherries, Jammy Bits, chocolate chips, and nuts. Stir into the cake batter.
6) Spoon the batter into the lightly greased pans, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake for 50 to 100 minutes; the smaller the pan, the shorter the baking time. When done, the cakes will be a light golden brown all over, and a cake tester inserted into the center will come out clean.
7) Remove the cakes from the oven. If you're removing them from the pan(s), wait about 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a rack. If you've baked them in paper pans, they can stay right in the pan.
8) If you're using simple syrup, brush the warm cakes all over, continuing to brush until you've used it all. If you choose not to use the syrup, you may wish to brush the warm cake(s) with brandy or the liquor of your choice.
9) When completely cooled, wrap well and let rest at least 24 hours (or for up to a month, brushing with liquor or syrup weekly), before serving.

Yield: 1 large bundt-style cake; 2 small bundt-style cakes; 2 standard loaves; or 5 to 6 smaller loaves.


  1. Yippee! I love this! We should make it when it's not Christmas in loving memory of Christmas time. :)

  2. These are delicious. Thanks for sharing.