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Best Rum Fruitcake Recipe Ever

I love baking, and I love this Rum Fruitcake recipe! I look forward to its delightful taste every year.

Best Rum Fruitcake Recipe Ever for the Holidays

Best Rum Fruitcake Recipe Ever for the Holidays

There was a sweet elderly lady who shared her secret fruitcake recipe. I was not a fruitcake fan but when I tasted her recipe, I became an instant devotee. Over the years, I have made some adjustments to the ingredients to make it more to my liking. I hope that you will enjoy the recipe and put some smiles on the faces of your loved ones. It is simply marvelous!

What Is the Best Rum Fruitcake Recipe?

I believe I have perfected this recipe for you to make for more Christmas holiday cheer. The recipe produces fruitcakes that are flavorful and colorful fruit desserts, that packs a little punch from the rum alcohol ingredient.

A Perfect Any-Occasion Cake

I bake up a batch of these cakes to decorate for St. Patrick's Day and St. Urho's Day holidays. They are awesome to have on hand for birthdays and other special occasions. People even use fruitcakes as wedding cakes, and they are a lovely treat for a wedding anniversary.

I have some very colorful and fancy photos for you below.

Fruitcakes are not just for Christmas. They are special treats for any day.

Prep and Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

48 hours

1 hour 45 min

49 hours 45 min

10 small loaves

  • Prep time will vary depending on how long you decide to soak the fruit in rum.
  • Cook time will vary depending on the size of baking pans you use.
Ingredients For Recipe

Ingredients For Recipe


  • 16 ounces pitted dates
  • 32 ounces candied red whole cherries
  • 24 ounces candied green whole cherries
  • 24 ounces candied pineapple
  • 16 ounces pecans, optional nuts you choose
  • 3 cups apple sauce
  • 1 cup coconut oil, or, 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar, or, raw sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 3/4 cups coconut rum, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups brandy, to taste

A Note About Sugar, Eggs, and Fruit

  • Sugar: The sugar you use in this recipe is your personal choice: white sugar (refined) vs raw sugar (unrefined). I prefer to use raw sugar in my original recipes because it is a healthier choice than white sugar. I have used both, and these turned out tasting yummy with either.
  • Eggs: This recipe contains no eggs, and if you use coconut oil rather than butter, you will have a delicious cake that is even healthier.
  • Fruit and Nuts: Remember to reserve some fruit and nuts for the toppings or just use extra ingredients of your choosing and personal taste. Knowing what loved ones think is your best fruitcake recipe ever is important when it comes to celebrating the Christmas holidays.


  1. Soak the fruit (the dates, cherries [red and green], and pineapple) in 2 cups of coconut rum for 24–48 hours or more covered, stirring occasionally. I eat an ounce or two during the soaking to see if it is done! I generally add lots of fruits to the recipe because it looks so yummy and tastes delicious.
  2. Combine 3 cups boiling applesauce, 1 cup coconut oil (or 1 cup butter), and 1 ½ cup sugar (either white or raw).
  3. Pour applesauce over sugar and butter (or coconut oil, whichever you used). Blend together well.
  4. Add 4 ½ cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 4 teaspoons baking soda, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 2 teaspoons vanilla to your applesauce/butter mixture.
  5. Toss in the fruit and (reserve cherries and about 50 pecans for toppings).
  6. Fill 10 small, buttered loaf pans. Use parchment paper liners on the bottoms for easy removal.
  7. Top with one cherry in the center and five pecans for flower petals (optional). Or cover cakes with fruit. Cut them in half and place them cut side down to make the fruit stretch further.
  8. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Do the toothpick poke, and if it comes out clean, they are done. Miniature loaves will take less time than larger loaves.
  9. (Optional) Cool loaves in the pans, then drizzle 2–3 tbsp coconut rum on tops, cover, and allow to rest several hours or overnight until the loaves absorb the rum. Repeat up to 1–4 times over a week's time.
  10. (Optional) Remove cakes from pans. Wrap each loaf with brandy-soaked cheesecloth (then, tightly wrap with plastic cling wrap and then in aluminum foil). You can use more coconut rum for the cheesecloth.
  11. (Optional) Wrap (or use brandy). Wait two weeks or longer for the cakes to mellow. The fruitcakes taste better with age when the tannins are released from the fruits.
Colorful and Delicious Fruity Desserts

Colorful and Delicious Fruity Desserts

White vs. Raw Sugar

Getting fancy with rum fruitcakes.

Getting fancy with rum fruitcakes.

Optional: A Fancy, Pureed Topping

I made a candied cherry puree with an immersion blender. Then I put the puree in a bundt pan to create a fancy topping for this rum fruitcake recipe. The end result was this stunningly beautiful, fancy cake for Mom's Christmas gift.

Admiral Nelson's Cherry Spiced Rum and Rondiaz Coconut Rum

Admiral Nelson's Cherry Spiced Rum and Rondiaz Coconut Rum

The Best Rum for Your Cake

For my last batches of rum fruitcakes, I used some Admiral Nelson's Cherry Spiced Rum and some Rondiaz Coconut Rum for the rum ingredients in the recipe. The candied cherries and other fruits are delicious after being soaked in the spiced cherry rum.

You can use the rum you have on hand, or purchase the brand of rum that you want to use. You might want to experiment from year to year to find the rum you love best in the recipe.

Do not be afraid to experiment because the options are many with rum and brandy.

Mini Baking Pans

What Do You Think?

Christmas Fruitcake Recipe With Rum

© 2015 Susie Lehto


Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on January 15, 2017:

Au fait, I hope your holidays were lots of fun and filled with lots of love and traditional things you enjoy. Thanks for coming by. I still have a couple loafs of fruit cake left-over from Christmas. We are celebrating Mom's 90th birthday with an upside down pineapple fruitcake. - Kudos!

C E Clark from North Texas on December 03, 2016:

Thought I would revisit this as it is so festive looking and I'm sure tastes delicious too. Christmas is just 3 weeks away and this would make a lovely addition to a get-together.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on October 31, 2016:

Peggy, thank you for sharing my fruit cake recipe hub. Much appreciated. Oh yes, tis' the season coming once again to enjoy homemade goodness. - Kudos!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on October 26, 2016:

Hi Susie,

This is a perfect time of year to be sharing your hub with others who may wish to make your rum fruit cakes for gift giving purposes. Already pinned but will give it a tweet and share once again on HP. Thanks for letting me know about problems with my snowman hub. Hopefully now fixed! :)

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on October 26, 2016:

Patrica, I really to love this fruit cake recipe, and look forward to enjoying it every year. Other fruit cakes I have tried just do not compare, but then I have been a fan so haven't tried all that many others. - Kudos!

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on October 24, 2016:

Honestly I am not a huge fan of fruit cake but have had one or two that were very good. This one sounds like it might be a new one to give a try....Angels are once again on the way to you ps

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on May 03, 2016:

Hi, ChitrangadaSharan!

Good to see you again and I am glad that you are delighted with the fruit cake recipe. - Thank you so much for stopping by with your report.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on April 10, 2016:

Came back to read this hub another time as I was going to try it this Sunday.

Completely delighted with the results.

Thanks for sharing!

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on February 17, 2016:

Au fait, its the best I have had in the fruit cake line, and I truly do means that. Thanks for visiting! - Kudos!

C E Clark from North Texas on February 08, 2016:

This looks really delicious! I've only had a couple of fruitcakes in my life that I really liked. The ingredients for this one look great!

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on February 06, 2016:

Mom had a slice of fruit cake with whip cream for desert tonight. She loves it and like special treats. I had a bite. Thanks, Sandy!

Sandy Mertens from Frozen Tundra on January 26, 2016:

Been here before but nice to consider if I would like to make it. Does look good.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on December 19, 2015:

Mary, thank you for coming by..you made my Holiday Season Brighter! Enjoy the recipe and a Merry Christmas to you.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on December 13, 2015:

Peggy, it is very nice to have you visit. I think of you from time to time and your highly educational hubs. Its a wonderful fruitcake recipe that I do enjoy giving as gifts all year through. - Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on December 07, 2015:

I will have to keep this recipe and practice first before I do this for next Christmas. I love fruit cake myself and I used to get gifts of these so I never had to make them. But I do want to learn how and your recipe is just what I need.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 01, 2015:

I would never have thought of making Valentine's Day gifts of fruitcake & using it other than around Christmas. Your photos are so beautiful. Usually I make cookies and/or sweet breads to give away as gifts but might have to consider trying this recipe of yours someday. Will pin it to my cakes and sweet breads board so that I can locate it easily. Thanks!

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on November 09, 2015:

Jackie, thank you for stopping by to see the recipe. I love this desert. Gee, Christmas is just around the corner once again. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas. - Kudos!

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on November 07, 2015:

This looks and sounds so delicious! It has been years since I have had fruit cake and of course there is none good without the rum...and pecans! Thanks for sharing this jewel!

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on October 20, 2015:

I have two large round fruit cakes left over yet from last year. With enough alcohol in them they are preserved and mellow with age so well. Now my mouth is watering. I just might have to unwrap one today and and indulge.

Thanks for coming by, Audrey. - Kudos!

Audrey Howitt from California on September 23, 2015:

Oh my mouth is watering!! I will have to try this!!

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on August 03, 2015:

Thank you for coming by, Brandon. I am sure you will enjoy this moist and very tasty recipe.- Kudos!

Sandy Mertens from Wisconsin, USA on July 24, 2015:

I remember those fruit cakes that people would pass around year after year. This does not look like one of those. Good delicious.

Brandon from Houston, Texas on July 24, 2015:

Looks great I will try. Good hub

Arun Dev from United Countries of the World on July 16, 2015:

Looks yummy! It is vegetarian, right?

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on June 21, 2015:

Thank you for the awesome vote on this recipe hub, Suzanne Day. Kids and adults do love these cakes very much. Fruit cake is great for any special occasions or to make any occasion special. - Kudos!

Suzanne Day from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on June 18, 2015:

These cakes sure look a lot more exciting than those I am used to! I can imagine you'd have a lot of kids wanting these all the time, possibly even for birthdays. I really like the decorations with fruit and nuts you've used and your photos are just stunning. Makes me want to do a rumba looking at it! Voted awesome.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on June 12, 2015:

Patrica, I suppose you could experiment with whatever ingredients you would want to substitute. Who knows, you just might hit on a great new recipe idea. Personally, I will use the brandy and rum because its so good!


Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on June 11, 2015:

Hi Colorfulone I have read this before but I came back to ask this: can some fruit juice be substituted for the alcohol? I know some who should have NO alcohol.

Angels are on the way to you this evening. ps Voted up++++

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on June 10, 2015:

Thelma, good to have you stop by, thank you very much m'dear.


Thelma Alberts from Germany on June 09, 2015:

That looks so inviting and delicious to eat. I have not made fruit cake for a long time. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I would love to try this for Christmas.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on June 09, 2015:

Elsie, nice to see your comment, thank you for visiting. I could go for a slice of this yummy desert right now. - Kudos!

Elsie Hagley from New Zealand on June 08, 2015:

Interesting recipe, I would sure love a piece now, fruit cakes, especially moist ones are my favorite.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on June 08, 2015:

Fancy is nice, and delicious is better, Peach.

Thank you for visiting. - Kudos!

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on June 08, 2015:

I do agree that it looks too good to eat, but darn it sure is good, Shyron. Thanks for visiting. - Kudos!

peachy from Home Sweet Home on June 08, 2015:

Sure isa fancy fruitcake but never seen such big amount of ingredients

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on June 07, 2015:

Susie, this looks too beautiful to eat, would be perfect for the holidays.

Voted up, UABI and shared.

Blessings and Hugs

Marlene Bertrand from USA on June 06, 2015:

I have never been a fan of fruit cake, but I'll bet the rum and brandy make a difference. The recipe looks intense. But, if you like it, I'm just going to have to try it. Pinning this recipe so I'll have it handy.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on June 04, 2015:

Patrica, it is the difference of the rum and or brandy that makes the difference in a delicious fruit cake to me.

Thank you, and Kudos!

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on June 03, 2015:

Au fait, the rum and bandy make even a bad fruit cake much better. You can soak any of those dry cakes and let it age and have delicious results.

Thanks for visiting. - Kudos!

C E Clark from North Texas on June 02, 2015:

Very interesting. I have had fruitcake that was good. This looks worth a sho (not talking target practice here) ;). Certainly is pretty and festive. Rum makes everything better, don't you think? Sounds and looks delicious!

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on June 02, 2015:

I must admit I am not a huge fan of fruitcake but my sister makes one that is divine...it is marinated (so to speak over a period of weeks in brandy )...it sounds similar to this one. And hers was delicious so this probably would be too. Great details in the instructions.

Angels are on the way to you this evening ps

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on June 02, 2015:

ChitrangadaSharan, thank you for you visit and up votes on the recipe hub. - Kudos!

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on June 01, 2015:

Alicia, thank you for checking out the recipe, it is delicious.


Matthew A Easterbrook from Oregon on June 01, 2015:

Great hub colorfulone. It definitely deserved to be voted up. The recipe will,be great for parties and the holidays.



Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on June 01, 2015:

I love these colorful fruit cakes. This really sounds delicious too.

A very well presented hub with helpful instructions. Thanks for sharing and voted up!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on May 31, 2015:

This definitely sounds like a delicious cake! Thanks for sharing the recipe, Susie.

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on May 31, 2015:

Flourish, I hope you do try this fruit cake recipe. It is delicious and moist.

Thank you. - Kudos!

Matthew A Easterbrook from Oregon on May 31, 2015:

Wow! What a great hub Susie. I really enjoyed everything about it. Captain Admiral Rum is great by itself and now I have a recipe where I can have fruit cake with it. What more could anyone ask for? Your hub covered all areas and I voted it up for sure. I do agree on adding pecans too. I am excited to celebrate with one of these delicious rum soaked fruit cakes.

Thanks for the recipe!


FlourishAnyway from USA on May 30, 2015:

I would like to try this with lots of pecans. I love rum!

Susie Lehto (author) from Minnesota on May 30, 2015:

Tip: The more rum and brandy used for this recipe, the better it is to most people's liking. Let some fruit cakes age for up to a year so that the alcohol mellows and you will be surprised with what time can do.

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