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Fruitcake – The Holiday F-Word

This holiday Fruitcake is loaded with candied cherries, pecans, and pineapple preserves. It is the fruitcake to bake for the season.

Which holiday dessert has a bad rap? You know the one found in countless jokes and comedic situations. It is made fun of in movies, TV shows, and all over the internet. Even hearing or reading the word brings up a negative reaction for most people. I participated in a foodie twitter chat recently and as soon as the word was tweeted it sparked a conversation. Most all the tweets/comments reflected the general not so good feelings toward this one dessert: Fruitcake

The negative feelings are justified by store-bought fruitcake. Those bricks are filled with mystery ingredients of all colors, unpleasant textures, and indescribable flavors. Blech. Just looking at one makes me cringe. Some people do like those fruitcake bricks and my father was one of them. My mom would buy one for him every year. He was the only one in the family to eat it.

There is such a thing as good fruitcake. Yes, it’s true. All it takes is one that is homemade using a tried and true recipe. It does not have mystery ingredients. The main ingredients are pecans, candied cherries, and pineapple preserves. How could that be anything but delicious? Just take a look:


Call it “Cherry Pecan Cake” if you do not want to use the f-word. I won’t tell anyone if you don’t. Your secret is safe with me. Give fruitcake a second chance. You never know, it may be a part of your holiday baking from now on.

3.19 from 11 votes


This holiday Fruitcake is loaded with candied cherries, pecans, and pineapple preserves. It is the fruitcake to bake for the season.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 25 minutes
Servings 12 to 16 servings
Author Renee Dobbs


  • 1 pound candied cherries
  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 jar pineapple preserves 16 ounces
  • 4 cups pecan halves


  1. Preheat oven to 250°F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.
  2. Cut cherries in half and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time mixing well after each addition.
  4. Add vanilla and lemon extracts and mix well.
  5. Whisk together flour and salt in a medium bowl.
  6. Add flour and mix until combined.
  7. Stir in pineapple preserves, cherries, and pecans.
  8. Pour into prepared tube pan. Bake for 3 hours or until a toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean.
  9. Cool cake completely in pan.
  10. Remove cake from pan and transfer to a cake plate.

Recipe Notes

This holiday Fruitcake is loaded with candied cherries, pecans, and pineapple preserves. It is the fruitcake to bake for the season.

Recipe Rating

B. Hawkins

Friday 16th of December 2022

Can you soak this cake? It seems a little dry.

Katie Moseman

Saturday 17th of December 2022

Yes, you definitely can.


Sunday 23rd of December 2018

I use candied pineapple which is at Walmart and most grocery stores.

Rae Schimmel

Sunday 10th of December 2017

Just seeing your pecan and cherry fruitcake recipe now! Not sure what preserves are, Is it jam?

Katie Moseman

Sunday 10th of December 2017

Yes, it's jam. Preserves or jam will have chunks or bits of pineapple in it. That's the kind you want- not a "jelly" which is clear like Jell-o.

Jana Kay

Thursday 18th of December 2014

I really want to make this cake but do not have the type of pan listed and I'm wondering what other pans I might use such as small loaf pans would work. If the small loaf pans would work how long would I need to bake the small pans. Also, I cannot find pineapple preserves in my rural community so need suggestions for substitutions. I'm beginning to wonder now if it wasn't meant for me to make this but I so want to try to make it. Any help would be so appreciated. Thanks!


Thursday 18th of December 2014

I am sure you can use other preserves similar to pineapple and they would work fine (perhaps apricot?). As far as the pan, you really need a tube pan because I have a suspicion it would not come out of a loaf or other pan without the ability to lift out the center like a tube pan. Once the glaze soaks in it is very sticky and may not come out of other pans.


Saturday 14th of December 2013

THANK YOU! My mother made is every year, and I have been searching high and low for the recipe! (We use maraschino cherries in ours).In our family, it is the taste of the holidays!


Saturday 21st of December 2013

You are very welcome! I hope this is the recipe you have been searching for. Enjoy the holiday!