Orange-Glazed Cranberry Fruitcake

Orange-Glazed Cranberry Fruitcake

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I enjoy making Orange-Glazed Cranberry Fruitcake during the Christmas season. Made with dried cranberries, raisins, dates, figs, and pecans, it’s not your average fruitcake. Plus, it makes 8 small loaves, so it’s perfect for gift-giving for those on your fruitcake-lovers list.

Mini Loaves of Orange-Glazed Cranberry Fruitcake

I’m not sure why fruitcake gets such a bad rap. Maybe because the store bought kind just isn’t very good. A little on the mushy side, and it has those bitter peels in it, which are pretty off-putting to many people.

Hallmark Movie - A Christmas Memory

A few years ago, I watched a Hallmark movie called A Christmas Memory that had Patty Duke in it. It was about an older woman and a young boy who helped her make her annual fruitcake, which she made months in advance and soaked it in alcohol to preserve it. It was quite interesting.

It has been my experience that even those who don’t care for fruitcake, enjoy this recipe. Yay! So, I encourage you to give it a try. Here’s to Fruitcake!!

 

Ingredients Needed for Orange-Glazed Cranberry Fruitcake

  • Dried Fruits (all of these): cranberries, pineapple, dates, figs, and golden raisins
  • your favorite rum or brandy
  • candied red and green cherries
  • butter
  • granulated sugar
  • Fiori di Sicilia (This stuff is amazing…buy some today. It lasts a long time.)
  • large eggs
  • all-purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • salt
  • orange juice
  • chopped pecans

Glaze Ingredients:

  • granulated sugar
  • orange juice
  • more rum or brandy

A Note About the Ingredients

The listed dried fruits should readily be available during the holiday season. You may or may not want to chop the cranberries and/or raisins. I like to use golden raisins for this recipe.

One of the harder ingredients to find in the past several years has been candied cherries. I’m not sure why. It’s easy to find the fruitcake mix, but that is NOT what you want for this recipe. Look for small containers of red and green candied cherries. I have also used candied pineapple instead of the dried pineapple when it wasn’t available in my stores.

While you only use a 1/4 teaspoon of Fiori di Sicilia, you will not want to leave this important ingredient out of the recipe. Trust me, just a smidge works magic in your baked goods. It provides an amazing scent and taste to the fruitcake. If you’re just not able to splurge on the ingredient, then substitute with 1 teaspoon of almond extract or vanilla extract. But it won’t be the same.

Ingredients for Orange-Glazed Cranberry Fruitcake

Fruitcake would not be fruitcake if it wasn’t soaked in “spirits”. For this recipe, you may use your favorite rum or brandy. Either will work quite well. I’ve used dark rum, and this year plan to use a Spiced Rum.

 

Instructions for Making Orange-Glazed Cranberry Fruitcake

Beginning Preparations:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Gather your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

Prepare the dried fruits and nuts. Using a knife and cutting board, chop the dried pineapple, dates, figs, and if desired, the golden raisins. Also chop the candied cherries and set them in a bowl by themselves.

With a nut chopper, coarsely chop the pecans.

Lightly coat with cooking spray, 4-8 small loaf pans.

 

Making the Fruitcake:

In a large microwavable bowl, mix together the dried cranberries, pineapple, dates, figs, and raisins with the rum or brandy. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes. Stir and set aside to cool.

Using a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar. Add Fiori di Sicilia and eggs, beating one-at-a-time.

In a small bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to egg mixture alternately with orange juice. Add to this the undrained infused fruit, candied cherries, and pecans.

Spoon the batter into each loaf pan, filling about three-quarters full. Bake in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes until cakes are golden brown at the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, and then turn out onto a wire rack.

Wilton Mini Loaf Pan
If you don’t have enough loaf pans for the entire recipe, clean the used pan(s) and repeat with remaining dough. You may opt to use disposable foil pans or a special mini loaf baking pan, such as Wilton's Mini Loaf Pan.

Prepare the Glaze:

While the cakes are baking, prepare the glaze in a small bowl. Combine sugar, orange juice, and rum or brandy, whisking often until sugar has dissolved.

Glazing the Orange-Glazed Cranberry Fruitcake

Brush the tops of the warm cakes with a coat of glaze on the tops and sides. When the cakes have completely cooled, wrap in plastic wrap and allow to rest for 24 hours before serving or giving as gifts to let the flavors fully blend.

You may refrigerate the wrapped cakes for up to a month. If they last that long, brush with sugar syrup and rum weekly before serving.

I always refrigerate the leftover glaze in a covered container and use it as needed on the loaves. But you could also make a new batch of glaze to use, too. 

This recipe will make 8 small loaves. You could also bake these in larger loaf pans, but you will need to add extra minutes to the baking time.

See more Cake Recipes Here. Browse more Holiday Baking Ideas Here. 

Recipe for Orange-Glazed Cranberry Fruitcake

Orange-Glazed Cranberry Fruitcake

Here's a recipe I enjoy making at Christmas. It makes 8 small loaves, so works well for your fruitcake-loving friends. It seems, even those who don't care for fruitcake, enjoy this bread. Yay! Here's to Fruitcake!!
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Course: Breads, Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine: English
Keyword: Christmas Food Gifts, Dried Cranberries, Dried Dates, Dried figs, Holiday Baking, Pecans, Raisins
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 57 minutes
Refrigerate:: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 1 hour 32 minutes
Servings: 8 small loaves

Equipment

Nut Chopper
KitchenAid Mixer
Mini Loaf Pan
Pastry Brush

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dried pineapple chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried dates chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried figs chopped
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins chopped
  • 1/2 cup rum or brandy
  • 10 oz. candied red and green cherries chopped
  • 1 cup butter room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia This stuff is amazing. Buy Here. It lasts a long time.
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 cups pecans chopped

Glaze:

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons rum or brandy

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Gather your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.
    Prepare the dried fruits and nuts. Using a knife and cutting board, chop the dried pineapple, dates, figs, and if desired, the golden raisins. Also chop the candied cherries and set them in a bowl by themselves.
    With a nut chopper, coarsely chop the pecans.
    Lightly coat with cooking spray, 4-8 small loaf pans.
  • In a large microwavable bowl, mix together the dried cranberries, pineapple, dates, figs, and raisins with the rum or brandy. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes. Stir and set aside to cool.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar. Add Fiori di Sicilia and eggs, beating one-at-a-time.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to egg mixture alternately with orange juice. Add to this the undrained infused fruit, candied cherries, and pecans.
  • Spoon the batter into each loaf pan, filling about three-quarters full. Bake in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes until cakes are golden brown at the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, and then turn out onto a wire rack.
    If you don't have enough loaf pans for the entire recipe, clean the used pan(s) and repeat with remaining dough.

Prepare the Glaze:

  • While the cakes are baking, prepare the glaze in a small bowl. Combine sugar, orange juice, and rum or brandy, whisking often until sugar has dissolved.
  • Brush the tops of the warm cakes with a coat of glaze on the tops and sides. When the cakes have completely cooled, wrap in plastic wrap and allow to rest for 24 hours before serving or giving as gifts to let the flavors fully blend.
  • May refrigerate cakes for up to a month. If they last that long, brush with sugar syrup or rum weekly before serving. Makes 8 small loaves.

Notes

*Unless otherwise indicated, all butter used on this recipe site is salted.
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