German Fruit Cake

12 servings
2 hr 30 min

A 70+ year old tried and true family recipe that has been passed on through the generations. A densely rich cake bursting with sweetened fruit and robust spices that is a must make recipe every Christmas season.

Every year for Christmas my mother-in-law makes a fruit cake that she and her mother-in-law used to make. To be honest, I’m not really a fan of fruit cake, but this one I truly do love! In fact, I’m a bit embarrassed to admit how much I ate this year! This recipe comes from my husband’s grandma’s mother, who came to the USA from Germany. Just like my family. Rich in German heritage. (In fact, a fun little side note, my grandparent’s on my dad’s side managed one of Amling’s flower shops in Forest Park, IL, just outside of Chicago after my grandpa retired from teaching. My husband’s dad’s uncle was the General Manager for all of the Amling’s stores and would have known my grandparents! What a small world!)

For Christmas 2019, we took our little family of five to Germany (and Austria, France and London)! We had been so looking forward to our first Christmas in the new house after our cross country move, but with the lightning strike/fire, we weren’t able to live in it, so we used this as an opportunity to pull a Christmas With The Kranks and “skip Christmas”. It was a trip of a lifetime, full of memories that we will all cherish for forever!…especially now, with world travel bans, it truly was a blessing in disguise, that we now realize! This was the view from our room in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany! A cobblestone road town nestled in the mountains of Bavaria.

So this year, now that we just moved back home, in the nick of time for Christmas, we are making the most of it and making it a very “family oriented” Christmas season. Full of hand-me-down family recipes, and spending time with the ones we love the most. … something that is so needed after a long and very trying 18 months.

Crock Pot Holiday Ham

Grandma’s Gingerbread Boy Cookies

Mom’s Classic Sugar Cookies

Christmas Breakfast Casserole

Mom’s Mini Cheesecakes

For Thanksgiving, my mother-in-law and daughter made the very special fruit cake – and was one of the very first things to be baked in my new oven (that came the night before Thanksgiving!)

Happy baking my friends! Wishing you the merriest of seasons filled with delicious hand-me-down family recipes!

· In: Christmas, Featured Article, Holidays, Recipes

Recipe details
  • 12  servings
  • Prep time: 30 Minutes Cook time: 2 Hours Total time: 2 hr 30 min
Show Nutrition Info
Hide Nutrition Info

  • 2 lbs candied mixed fruit
  • 1/2 lb red candied cherries
  • 1/2 lb green candied cherries
  • 1 can crushed pineapple, well drained
  • 15.5 oz unsweetened apple sauce
  • 3 tsp baking soda, mixed into the applesauce)
  • 1 box seedless raisins
  • 1/2 lb walnut meats
  • 2 tsp allspice
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 c sugar
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 4 c flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
Cream butter with electric mixer
Add sugar, cream well
Add spices and salt
Add eggs and beat well
Add the fruits, alternating with flour – the mixture will become VERY thick. You will need to switch to a heavy duty wooden spoon to mix
Stir in applesauce
Line tube pan or large bundt pan with wax paper
Fill pan 1/2 – 3/4 full
Bake around 3 hours, checking regularly around the 2 1/2 hour mark with a toothpick. When the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is ready
Let cool until you can carefully unmold the cake
*Optional: the original recipe calls for cherries and pineapple rings to be placed on top of the cake once it comes out of the oven. My mother-in-law does not do this
This recipe makes about 2 cakes! We baked 1 large bundt cake and 1 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pan with this recipe
Gathered In The Kitchen
Want more details about this and other recipes? Check out more here!