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Pineapple and Cherry Christmas Cake: Fruitcake without the Candied Bits

Published by Melany Persyn

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The fruitcake has been the traditional Christmas confection for ages, to bake, buy, give and receive. Despite its dubious reputation and jokes at its expense, the dark sticky mass hangs around each year (usually for way too long).

A Different Fruitcake

Surely a better product could be produced that would be not only healthier, but also better received by most people. Most important was to find alternatives for all those gummy candied bits of sugar.

The Basic Recipe

This begins with a basic butter-cake recipe and adds good fruit and nuts. The result is still a festive and unique cake, perfect for the Christmas holidays or anytime.


  • 2 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch cloves
  • 1 c butter or margarine
  • 1 c sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 ½ -2 tbsp pineapple juice
  • 1 #2 can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 c chopped pecans
  • 1 jar maraschino cherries, quartered
  • 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 c raisins



  1. Heat oven to 300 deg., then grease and flour loaf pan.
  2. Next, sift the 2 c flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, and salt together.
  3. In large bowl, with electric mixer at medium speed, combine butter, sugar and eggs until fluffy (about 4 minutes).
  4. At low speed, blend in flour mixture and pineapple juice (amount will vary, depending on your efficiency at draining the pineapple).
  5. Combine pineapple, nuts, cherries and raisins with ½ c of the flour. Add to cake mixture.
  6. Bake at 300 deg. about 2 hours. Be careful not to over bake.
  7. This cake is so moist because of the fruit that you may not be able to accurately judge doneness by sticking a toothpick in it. It’s a good idea to do more than one such test. Makes 16 1/2″ slices.

Number of Servings: 16

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 339.3
  • Total Fat: 17.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 30.5 mg
  • Sodium: 153.1 mg
  • Total Carbs: 45.5 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.8 g
  • Protein: 3.1 g

All nutrition information is taken from Sparkpeople website.

Variations of Basic Recipe

Different fruits could be used, but be sure to adjust amount of liquid. Dried fruit, i.e. cranberries, would be a delicious substitute for the cherries. Canned Bing cherries could replace Maraschino, but more sugar might be needed. If you want a more traditional flavorful dark fruitcake, the usual spices, i.e. allspice, cloves, etc., could be added to the first flour mixture.

Adapting Recipes

Once you know the basics, recipes can be easily changed to suit your family’s taste. For more information, see article on altering recipes. Experience is the best teacher. The more you do it, the better your results will be.

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