Christmas Boiled Fruit Cake

This easy and forgiving recipe is inspired by a boiled fruit cake Andrew Zimmern tasted when visiting Newfoundland. By boiling the dried fruit with rum, molasses, cream and spices the cake turns out deliciously spongy and moist.

  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8


  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 3 tablespoon unsulfured molasses
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup drained Amarena cherries (in syrup)
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
  • 1 Granny Smith apple—peeled, cored and shredded
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups self-rising flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 9-inch-round springform pan.

  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the butter with the cherries, raisins, cranberries, brown sugar, rum, molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately high heat for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cream and return to a boil. Remove from the heat and let stand for 45 minutes.

  3. Scrape the boiled fruit mixture into a large bowl. Stir in the Amarena cherries, pecans, almonds, shredded apple and eggs. Fold in the flour and baking soda until incorporated. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake in the center of the oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely.

  4. Unmold the cake and transfer to a serving platter. Cut into wedges and serve.

Make Ahead

The cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Contributed By Photo © Madeleine Hill Published December 2014

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