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Best Rum Fruitcake Recipe Ever

Best rum fruitcake recipe ever for the holidays.

Best rum fruitcake recipe ever for the holidays.

Secret Fruitcake Recipe

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 pack 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 use). 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 (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

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

Christmas Fruitcake Recipe With Rum

© 2015 Susie Lehto