Homemade Leach’s Fruitcake

Fruitcake often brings mixed feelings, but this Homemade Leach’s Fruitcake will convert even the staunchest skeptics. Rich, flavorful, and packed with a medley of fruits and nuts, it’s perfect for holidays or any special occasion. Let’s dive into this delectable recipe!


To create this mouth-watering fruitcake, gather the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup halved candied cherries
  • 1 cup chopped candied pineapple
  • 1 cup raisins


Follow these steps to make the perfect fruitcake:

  1. Preheat the Oven
    Set your oven to 275°F (135°C). Grease and flour two 9×5 inch loaf pans to prevent sticking.
  2. Cream Butter and Sugar
    In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. This typically takes about 3-5 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, ensuring each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next.
  3. Prepare Dry Ingredients
    In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg. This step ensures that the dry ingredients are evenly distributed.
  4. Combine Ingredients
    Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, alternating with the orange juice. Mix just until incorporated to avoid overmixing, which can make the cake dense.
  5. Add Fruits and Nuts
    Gently fold in the chopped pecans, walnuts, halved candied cherries, chopped candied pineapple, and raisins. These additions give the fruitcake its signature texture and flavor.
  6. Bake the Cake
    Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans. Bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. The low baking temperature ensures that the cake cooks slowly and evenly.
  7. Cool and Serve
    Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before removing them. Then, transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool completely. This step is crucial to set the cake and enhance its flavor.

Preparation and Cooking Times

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours

Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 250 kcal per serving
  • Servings: 24

Serving and Storage Tips:

To ensure your Homemade Leach’s Fruitcake remains delicious and fresh, follow these serving and storage tips.

Serving Tips

  1. Slice with Care
    Use a sharp, serrated knife to cut the fruitcake. This helps to avoid crumbling and ensures clean, neat slices.
  2. Serve at Room Temperature
    For the best flavor and texture, serve the fruitcake at room temperature. Allow it to sit out for about 30 minutes before serving if it has been refrigerated.
  3. Accompaniments
    Pair your fruitcake with a dollop of whipped cream, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or a slice of sharp cheddar cheese for a delightful contrast of flavors.
  4. Presentation
    Garnish with a few extra candied cherries or a dusting of powdered sugar for an attractive presentation, especially if serving at a festive occasion.

Storage Tips

  1. Cool Completely
    Ensure the fruitcake is completely cooled before storing. This prevents condensation, which can make the cake soggy.
  2. Wrap Well
    Wrap the fruitcake tightly in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil. This double-layer wrapping helps to keep the cake moist and prevents it from drying out.
  3. Refrigeration
    Store the wrapped fruitcake in the refrigerator. It will keep well for up to 4 weeks. For longer storage, fruitcakes can also be frozen.
  4. Freezing
    For extended storage, wrap the fruitcake slices individually in plastic wrap, place them in a ziplock freezer bag, and store in the freezer. The fruitcake can be frozen for up to 6 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
  5. Alcohol-Soaked Option
    For an extra moist and flavorful cake, consider soaking the fruitcake in alcohol (like brandy or rum) before storing. Brush the cake with your choice of alcohol, wrap it tightly, and store as usual. You can reapply the alcohol every week for up to a month if desired.

By following these serving and storage tips, your Homemade Leach’s Fruitcake will stay fresh and delicious, ready to be enjoyed whenever the craving strikes. Enjoy this classic treat with friends and family, knowing it will remain tasty and delightful for weeks to come.

Variations :

Fruitcake is a versatile dessert that can be customized to suit different tastes and dietary preferences. Here are some creative variations to try with your Homemade Leach’s Fruitcake recipe:

1. Tropical Fruitcake

  • Ingredients Substitution: Replace the raisins with dried mango, papaya, and coconut flakes.
  • Flavor Boost: Add 1 teaspoon of coconut extract to the batter.
  • Presentation: Garnish with toasted coconut flakes for an extra tropical touch.

2. Chocolate Fruitcake

  • Ingredients Addition: Mix 1/2 cup of cocoa powder with the dry ingredients.
  • Extra Treats: Fold in 1 cup of dark chocolate chips along with the fruits and nuts.
  • Serving Suggestion: Serve with a drizzle of melted chocolate on top.

3. Nut-Free Fruitcake

  • Ingredients Omission: Omit the pecans and walnuts.
  • Substitutes: Add extra dried fruits like apricots, figs, or dates to compensate for the texture and volume.
  • Texture Variation: Include sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds for a nut-free crunch.

4. Gluten-Free Fruitcake

  • Flour Substitution: Use a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend instead of regular flour.
  • Baking Adjustments: Ensure your baking powder is gluten-free and add 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum to help bind the ingredients.
  • Testing: Check for doneness using the toothpick test as baking times might slightly vary.

5. Vegan Fruitcake

  • Butter Substitution: Use vegan butter or margarine.
  • Egg Replacement: Replace each egg with 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce or 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons of water.
  • Moisture Boost: Add 1/4 cup of plant-based milk (such as almond or soy milk) if the batter appears too thick.

6. Spiced Fruitcake

  • Spices Addition: Increase the ground cinnamon to 2 teaspoons and add 1 teaspoon of ground ginger and 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves.
  • Flavor Enhancement: Incorporate 1 tablespoon of molasses for a deeper, richer flavor.
  • Serving Suggestion: Top with a simple glaze made from powdered sugar and orange juice.

7. Alcohol-Infused Fruitcake

  • Soak Fruits: Soak the dried fruits in 1/2 cup of rum, brandy, or whiskey overnight before adding them to the batter.
  • Brush Technique: After baking, brush the cake with additional alcohol for an intensified flavor.
  • Aging: Wrap the cake in a cheesecloth soaked in alcohol and store in an airtight container for several weeks, re-soaking the cloth weekly.

8. Sugar-Free Fruitcake

  • Sugar Replacement: Use a sugar substitute like stevia or erythritol according to the conversion chart on the product packaging.
  • Fruit Choice: Opt for unsweetened dried fruits.
  • Natural Sweeteners: Include mashed ripe bananas or unsweetened applesauce to add natural sweetness and moisture.

These variations on the classic Homemade Leach’s Fruitcake allow you to tailor this delightful dessert to any taste preference or dietary need, making it a versatile and crowd-pleasing treat. Enjoy experimenting and finding your favorite version!

FAQs :

  1. Can I make this fruitcake in advance?Yes, fruitcake can be made well in advance. In fact, it’s often recommended to prepare it several weeks ahead to allow the flavors to meld. Store the cake in an airtight container and brush with alcohol (like brandy or rum) periodically to keep it moist and enhance the flavor.
  2. How do I prevent my fruitcake from becoming too dry?Ensure you don’t overbake the cake. Baking at the low temperature of 275°F (135°C) helps prevent dryness. Additionally, wrapping the cake tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil helps retain moisture. Periodically brushing with alcohol or fruit juice can also keep it moist.
  3. Can I use different nuts and fruits in this recipe?Absolutely! Feel free to substitute the pecans, walnuts, cherries, pineapple, and raisins with your preferred nuts and dried fruits. Options like almonds, hazelnuts, dried apricots, cranberries, and figs can add unique flavors and textures.
  4. Is it possible to make a smaller or larger batch of this fruitcake?Yes, you can adjust the recipe to make a smaller or larger batch. Simply scale the ingredients proportionally to fit your desired cake size. Ensure to adjust the baking time accordingly and monitor the cake closely.
  5. How can I tell if my fruitcake is done?Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean or with just a few crumbs, the cake is done. Since fruitcake is dense, it’s crucial to bake it slowly and thoroughly to ensure the inside is fully cooked.
  6. Can I freeze my fruitcake?Yes, fruitcake freezes well. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil or place it in a freezer-safe bag. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
This Homemade Leach’s Fruitcake is a timeless recipe that’s sure to become a family favorite. The combination of butter, sugar, spices, and an assortment of fruits and nuts creates a cake that is both rich and moist. Whether it’s for a holiday celebration or a cozy family gathering, this fruitcake is a sweet treat that everyone will love. Enjoy!