Best Christmas Fruitcake Recipe 

 Originally Written: December 5, 2013

By  Hanna Trafford

Last Updated on December 22, 2022 by Hanna Trafford

Ever thought that mango is great in a Christmas  fruitcake? And for sure – the recipe you are using rum does say to use just a little bit of rum…Here is one of my favourite recipes – and what would Christmas baking efforts be without a real fruitcake? This one is full of fruits and nuts and is sweet and moist….. real treat! Especially if you serve it with French Vanilla Ice Cream or real whipping cream (just forget the calories for once – this one is worth it!


  • 1/8 cup chopped Maraschino cherries
  • 1/8 cup chopped dried or candied mango
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 2 tablespoons chopped candied lemon
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup dark rum, divided


  1. Start by soaking the cherries, mango, cranberries, currants, and lemon by covering them in a bowl with in 1/4 cup of rum. Cover tightly and let the mixture sit for at least 24 hours in room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  3. Butter a 6×3 inch round pan (or a small loaf pan if you don’t have a round one) and line with parchment paper.
  4. In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg until nicely mixed together.
  5. Mix together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and add to the butter and sugar mixture in three batches, with alternatively adding molasses and milk.
  6. Stir in soaked fruit and chopped nuts.
  7. Transfer batter into prepared pan.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes.
  9. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons rum.
  10. Cut out one piece parchment paper and one piece cheesecloth, each large enough to wrap around the cake. Moisten cheesecloth with 1 tablespoon rum. Arrange cheesecloth on top of parchment paper, and unmold cake onto it. Sprinkle top and sides of cake with remaining rum. Wrap the cheesecloth closely to the surface of the cake, then wrap with paper. Place in an airtight tin.

This cake is great if you age it for a while – you could make it as far ahead as 10-12 weeks – but it will be just as good in a week!

Please send in your comments, suggestions and experiences, your input is always welcomed and very much appreciated!

Hanna Trafford

Hanna is the mother of two grown sons Dan and Dusan Nedelko, and is also the Grandmother to Jax, Cohen and Mila. She is the lead editor of Mama Knows and is hoping to create an exchange of communications with other grandmothers, mothers and daughters - giving everyone the opportunity to learn and share about everything that is "Mama"

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  • The recipe sounds so good I am preparing to make it. One question: It’s a bit unclear how much rum is used. When you soak the fruit in the 1/4 cup of rum, will there be any rum remaining to be used after it’s baked?

    Thank you

    • Hello Anna! Thanks so much for your message – you will notice that the 1/4 cup of rum is in the recipe twice – once to soak the fruit and second time to add to the cake. Happy baking – I am sure you will love the result!

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