• A Christmas Fruit Cake You’ll Love


Christmas Boiled Fruit Cake

By Andrew Zimmern

When I went to Newfoundland last year, I went to Bidgood’s Market and ate fruit cake—boiled fruit cake, to be precise. It had a very profound effect on me. I raced home, tinkered a little with some recipes and developed this gem. It’s the perfect tea bread for Christmas Day, Christmas gifting, Christmas brunch…or any day of the year. Boiling the dried fruit with rum, molasses, cream and spices makes the fruit cake deliciously spongy and moist. This cake is easy and forgiving, and you will love it.

Christmas Boiled Fruit Cake

Servings: 8

Total: 3 hours


  • 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 tablespoons 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


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

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.

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.

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.

Originally published in Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen Adventures on foodandwine.com.
Photograph by Madeleine Hill.

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