Last Updated on May 25, 2023
If you are looking for a delicious gluten free fruit cake recipe that is made with dried fruits instead of candied fruits, you’re going to love this. And if fruit cake isn’t your thing, this might change your mind!
Fruitcake has gotten a bad rep. Now don’t get me wrong! I’ve ignored fruitcake most of my life. I’m personally not a fan of citron or candied fruits. To me, fruitcake was just the joke of the holidays. That is, until Barbara’s Fruitcake came on the scene. Barbara! Where’ve ya been all my life?!?
A friend of mine watched an episode on the Food Network and they featured Bailey’s Mills Bed & Breakfast, located in Reading, Vermont, where they make and serve Barbara’s delicious fruitcake. She said that people came from all over to get it – even people who typically hated fruitcake.
So, my friend and I decided we would try the recipe. My eyes were opened. I fell in love with this stuff. We started making loaf cakes to give away as gifts (we’d put them in a cute cake tin). When the Christmas season would roll around, I’d have friends and family ask, “So, are you making THE FRUITCAKE?” They loved it.
Many folks associate fruit cake with the holiday season, but trust me, this gluten free fruit cake is one that you will want to make and eat any time of the year – not just on holidays. But, if you are planning out a gluten-free Christmas then be sure this is on your menu.
I’ve eaten my share of fruit cakes and I have found this to be the best gluten-free fruit cake that I’ve ever tasted.
Gluten Free Fruit Cake
I tried making this recipe grain free, but it was an epic failure. I turned the flop into fruitcake bread pudding just to salvage all the work I did! My apologies, SCD and GAPS friends, that I couldn’t pull it off – but the gluten-free alternative version worked like a charm first time and since I can tolerate it, happy days are here again!
This gluten free fruit cake recipe is made without refined sugar and has the perfect sweetness to it. It’s not too sweet, perfect with a cup of tea (or coffee) and my son and I slather it with butter. Also, my gluten-free fruitcake is made using dried fruits, not candied fruit.
Gluten Free Fruit Cake Ingredients
This fruit cake uses healthier ingredients than classic fruitcakes and is sweetened with fruit juice, a dried fruit mix of my own making, and coconut sugar. There isn’t a super high ratio of fruit; it’s just perfect.
The dried fruit mixture will soak in Brandy, Triple Sec, and Port overnight. Some people prefer to use cherry brandy, and that’s totally fine.
Here’s the ingredients that I use in this gluten free fruit cake.
Traditional fruitcakes use nasty candied fruits that often have added food coloring, hence the green you normally see in white fruit cake. The fruit mixture used in this recipe uses dry fruits instead. Much better!
- dried apricots
- Medjool dates
- raisins (regular or golden raisins)
- dried cherries
- port (a sweet fortified wine)
- Triple Sec
- Brandy – Brandy is a common alcohol to use when making a fruit cake. Most brandy is naturally gluten free, being made from grapes or other fruit, but check the label for additives just to be sure.
- apple juice (or any fruit juice)
- lemon juice
- Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Flour – you could try another gluten-free flour blend, but I cannot promise it will work.
- xanthan gum
- baking powder
- coconut palm sugar – the only sweetener used in this recipe to keep it refined-sugar free.
- pecans – you can also use a combination of nuts or a different nut if you prefer.
- eggs – the eggs used in this gluten-free fruitcake recipe help the cake to be light and fluffy.
- butter – the butter in this gluten free fruitcake recipe helps to keep the cake moist and gives it a nice buttery taste.
How to Make Gluten Free Fruit Cake
This recipe will make 4 mini loaves of gluten free fruit cake.
1.) Start out by soaking the fruit. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients listed under “Fruit Mixture” and allow to sit overnight.
2.) Preheat oven to 350F. (If using metal pans, preheat to 325F.)
3.) Prepare 4 mini loaf pans (you don’t want to use a cake pan for this). Grease pans with coconut oil then line long sides and bottoms with parchment paper. (Like I do in my grain free bread recipe.)
4.) Whisk together all dry ingredients.
5.) Cream together butter and coconut palm sugar in a large mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
6.) Add eggs one at a time, beating until smooth. (Scrape sides down once or twice then beat again.)
7.) Add dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
8.) Add nuts to the fruit mixture and mix well.
9.) Scoop batter into large mixing bowl with fruit and nut mixture. Mix together by hand, folding the batter into the fruit and nuts.
10.) Scoop cake batter into prepared loaf pans, filling to the top, and bake in the preheated oven 40-45 minutes.
11.) Turn oven down to 300 and bake another 15 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
How to Make Gluten Free Fruit Cake Dairy Free
If you’d like to cut the dairy out of this recipe, you can use vegan butter in place of butter.
Can I Leave Out the Nuts in Gluten-free Fruit Cake?
If you need to skip the pecans in this recipe, you can leave them out.
For my gluten free fruit cake recipe I use Brandy, Triple Sec and Port. You can mix up the combination of alcohol if you prefer, but just know it will change the flavor profile of the cake. Bourbon, rum, and cognac are common spirits used in fruitcake recipes.
Gluten Free Fruit Cake Variations
If you have a hankering for some added spice, feel free to try adding a bit of ground or grated ginger. I’d recommend trying the cake with the recipe as-is, and then next time you can experiment with flavor additions. Some people like to top their cake with some fresh citrus zest before serving.
Is Christmas Cake the Same as Fruit Cake?
When you hear people talk about a gluten free Christmas cake, I’d bet money they are talking about a gluten free fruitcake. Trust me, my fruit cake is something that people won’t toss if you give it as a gift though!
This gluten-free fruit cake is moist and full of flavor and makes a great dessert for your holiday dinners.
How to Store Leftover Gluten Free Fruit Cake
Some fruitcakes get cured with alcohol after it has been baked and the alcohol will allow your cake to be stored at room temperature. This recipe only uses alcohol to soak the fruit, so since we are not “curing” the cake afterwards, it’s important to keep refrigerated.
To keep the cake moist, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. You can also freeze the fruit cake, just be sure to wrap it before placing it in a ziploc bag. It freezes well for up to 3 months. Allow to defrost on the counter or in the refrigerator before serving.
Delicious Bread Recipes You May LikePrint
World’s Best Fruitcake (gluten free, refined sugar free)
- 6 oz. dried apricots, chopped
- 6 oz. prunes, chopped
- 6 oz. Medjool dates, chopped
- 6 oz. raisins
- 6 oz. dried cherries
- 1/3 cup port
- 1/3 cup Triple Sec
- 1 tablespoon Brandy
- 1/4 cup apple juice (or any fruit-sweetened juice)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped
- In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients listed under “FRUIT MIXTURE” and allow to stand overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350F. (If using metal pans as I do, preheat to 325F.)
- Prepare 4 mini loaf pans. Grease pans then line long sides and bottoms with parchment paper. (Like I do in my Grain Free Bread.)
- Whisk together all dry ingredients (GF flour mix through baking powder).
- Cream together butter and coconut palm sugar in a large mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating until smooth. (Scrape sides down once or twice then beat again.)
- Add dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
- Add nuts to the fruit mixture and mix well.
- Scoop batter into large bowl with fruit and nut mixture. Mix together by hand, folding the batter into the fruit and nuts.
- Scoop into prepared loaf pans, filling to the top, and bake 40-45 minutes.
- Turn oven down to 300 and bake another 15 minutes. Allow to cool.
- Keep refrigerated.