Apricot Fruitcake

Posted on Dec 18 2015 - 9:24am by Barry C. Parsons

Apricot Fruitcake – This light apricot fruitcake recipe takes our very popular Apricot Raisin Cake and turns it into a moist and delicious Christmas fruitcake.

Apricot Fruitcake

Apricot Fruitcake

As promised to my followers on the Rock Recipes Facebook Page, here is the light fruitcake that I have been working on based upon the Apricot Raisin Cake that is so popular here in Newfoundland, especially during the holiday season. I’ve always liked the texture of that cake, so I bumped up the amount of fruit in it, adding some glace cherries and mixed fruit as well. I’ve added no nuts here but if you are so inclined, add your favorite chopped toasted variety to this recipe. This just may destined to be a new family favorite for the holiday season.

Apricot Light Fruitcake

Apricot Light Fruitcake (Original 2009 photo)

The recipe upon which this light fruitcake is based is very popular here in Newfoundland, especially around Christmas. Find the original moist, rich Apricot Raisin Cake here.

Apricot Raisin Cake

Apricot Raisin Cake (The original recipe used as a base for this cake)

Originally published Nov 18, 2009. Updated Photos December 18, 2015.
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4.67 from 3 votes
Apricot Fruitcake
Apricot Fruitcake
Prep Time
2 hr
Cook Time
1 hrs
Total Time
3 hr
This moist, spice-less fruitcake is one of our family favorites. It is not nearly as heavily flavored as dark fruitcake. Since no spices or molasses are used this cake relies purely on the flavor of the dried fruits.
Course: Cakes
Author: Barry C. Parsons
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups light raisins or sultana raisins
  • 2 cup dried apricots chopped
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 ounces cream cheese 1/2 cup
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pound glace cherries chopped
  • 1 pound mixed dried fruit
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. In a medium saucepan combine the water, apricots, 1/4 cup sugar and raisins and simmer slowly for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool completely to room temperature.
  2. Cream the butter, cream cheese, vanilla extract and 1 cup of sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Sift together the flour and baking powder.
  5. Fold half of the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture.
  6. Fold in the cooled boiled apricot mixture.
  7. Fold in the remaining dry ingredients.
  8. Fold in the cherries and dried fruit.
  9. Bake in a greased and floured tube pan or 2 greased and parchment lined small loaf pans at 325 degrees F for about an hour or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  10. A tube pan will probably take over an hour depending on size. My small aluminum loaf pans took about 55 minutes. The toothpick test is the most reliable way to test if the cake is baked.
  11. Cool in the pan/s for a 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  12. Store in a cake tin or other airtight container. Freezes well too.
Recipe Notes
The prep time here includes cooling time for the boiled raisin base.
I recommend using light raisins in this recipe if you want to keep the golden color of the cake crumb. Using darker raisins can affect the color but not the flavour of the cake.

Apricot Fruitcake

51 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Anonymous November 19, 2009 at 1:40 am - Reply

    I love a good fruit cake, so I’ll be making this later in the week.
    Thanks. Teresa

  2. Anonymous November 23, 2009 at 11:45 pm - Reply

    I love the texture of apricot cake also and I am very excited about making this cake in a few days!

  3. Michelles Life November 30, 2009 at 1:56 am - Reply

    I made this fruitcake today. It is the first time that I’ve tried to make one and it turned out wonderful!!! I love it! I used one large loaf and I had a pan that has 8 small loaves. They are so cute, I hope they freeze well because I wanted to wrap them and give as little Christmas gifts! Thank you so much for sharing. I will be trying some of your other delightful dishes in the future! Michelle D

    • Sheila August 12, 2016 at 10:24 am - Reply

      When you make the cakes in smaller pans do you adjust the temp

  4. x.infinite April 7, 2010 at 10:06 am - Reply

    if i was to make the fruit cake with some nuts like almonds would i need to boil the almonds too? thanks !

  5. Barry C. Parsons April 7, 2010 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    I definitely would NOT boil the almonds. I might toast them lightly in the oven first though for extra flavor and texture.

    Thanks for reading, Barry.

  6. Anonymous July 17, 2010 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    I first made this recipe last Christmas & it turned out great. I made it again for my mother’s 80th birthday cake & everyone raved about it.I now have 2 more requests from my husband & son for this DELICIOUS fruitcake as their birthday cakes. I have made it in a tube pan but now will do them in loaf pans.
    Thanks for the recipe Barry.

  7. Barry C. Parsons July 17, 2010 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    You’re so welcome. This recipe has been in my family for many years and I expect will survive for generations to come.

  8. Anonymous November 6, 2010 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    Just wondering how long this keeps? Is it like other fruit cakes that last forever? Does it freeze well? Thanks.

  9. Barry C. Parsons November 7, 2010 at 10:29 am - Reply

    I never try to keep fruitcake for longer than a week or so. I just usually freeze it in loaves and take it out of the freezer as I need it….and yes this one freezes very well.

  10. Anonymous December 9, 2013 at 12:58 am - Reply

    I tried making this cake and it did not turn out at all like the one in the picture. It was still good and tasted great, but the colour and texture was very different than your pic. Mine was much darker in colour, because after coking the raisins for 30 minutes the liquid turned dark and therefore caused my dough to be much darker than your pic. Also mine is very crumbly….and dense. It still got eaten mind you but I’d love to know what I did wrong. Also there was way too much dough for a tube pan, I had quite a bit left over??? Would appreciate feedback.

  11. Barry C. Parsons December 11, 2013 at 1:40 pm - Reply

    I suspect that you boiled the mixture too rapidly. It needs to be slowly simmered. I have never had that result. The type of raisins probably also contributed to the color, try using golden raisins next time. Sizes of tube pans vary so I can’t comment on that but mine more than accommodates this recipe. Any excess can always be baked in a small loaf pan and even given as a gift.

  12. Anonymous December 22, 2013 at 1:25 am - Reply

    Oooo! This looks and sounds sooooo yummy! I think that this is one fruitcake that I will definitely make and like! Thanks for the recipe!

  13. Marlene November 18, 2014 at 11:11 am - Reply

    can you soak this cake with rum or apricot brandy and wrap to keep longer? Or would it need to be a more dense recipe?

  14. Ruby crane November 23, 2014 at 12:52 pm - Reply

    What are dry fruit I always use glacé fruit .is it the same

  15. Judy December 7, 2014 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    Made this cake yeasterday and it is amazing. I will be making this one every christmas for sure!

    • Barry C. Parsons December 12, 2014 at 12:03 pm - Reply

      One of the moistest fruitcakes I’ve ever tried. So glad you approve.

  16. Louise December 8, 2014 at 10:33 am - Reply

    This is my go-to Christmas Fruitcake. I sent 2 of these off to Alberta to our sons living there & I know it will be a little of being home for the holiday-great recipe!
    P.S. I had to put another 1 in the freezer for hubby.

    • Barry C. Parsons December 12, 2014 at 12:00 pm - Reply

      Very popular here on the Rock at Christmas for sure.

  17. Charmaine November 15, 2015 at 5:58 am - Reply

    Hi Barry! This recipe sounds awesome! Could you please let me know if you use salted or unsalted butter? Thanks so much.

    • Barry C. Parsons November 16, 2015 at 12:49 pm - Reply

      I generally bake with salted butter then omit any salt in the recipe if called for but you can use unsalted if you choose.

  18. Violet Windspear December 13, 2015 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    I just made this WONDERFUL cake for the first time this year. Thank you for the recipe. Everyone who has tried it loves it! Highly recommended for something a little bit different, but very tasty.

    I’ll be trying some other recipes here for sure.

    • Barry C. Parsons December 14, 2015 at 10:10 am - Reply

      I’m actually making this today! Glad you enjoyed it.

  19. Sarah December 18, 2015 at 10:10 am - Reply

    This looks like a delicious cake but I am wondering if it is really sweet. Can you use a little les sugar and it would still be ok?

  20. Linda December 18, 2015 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    After simmering the Apricots, do you ad the liquid left over too or drain it. I love all your ideas and fab recipes.. thank you

    • Barry C. Parsons February 14, 2016 at 11:58 am - Reply

      There should not be a lot of liquid but you do add it.

  21. peggy December 28, 2015 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    Could I make this cake without cooking the fruit ? Ifollowed your recipe .The cake turned out very soggy .

    • Barry C. Parsons February 14, 2016 at 11:18 am - Reply

      Sounds like you din’t cook it enough and retained too much of the liquid.

  22. Thelma January 6, 2016 at 10:58 pm - Reply

    Hi Barry, when they say mixed dry fruit what does that really mean. Just the ordinary mix fruit?


  23. M O'Neill January 7, 2016 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    Love your site. Just thought I’d pass this along that I tried your apricot light fruitcake for Christmas and was disappointed in the result. I baked it in 1 large and 1 smaller bread pans but it did not cook in the middle of either. I had them in the oven for nearly 2 hours and the middles were still not cooked, but the edges were hard, because of the time in the oven. It tasted good but I had to discard the middle of each as was still doughy. I think I may have used too much fruit as I had trouble converting the pounds to cups and wonder if the 325 degrees was too low. Perhaps I should have used a tube pan. I would welcome your feedback. Thanks

    • Barry C. Parsons February 14, 2016 at 11:05 am - Reply

      It really does sound like too much fruit and liquid ingredients.

  24. Sandy February 4, 2016 at 8:41 pm - Reply

    Do you mind telling me what size you consider to be a ” small ” loaf pan? Also would you advise baking in a tinfoil loaf pan or is metal better. Thankyou

  25. Vincent Alviano October 18, 2016 at 6:48 pm - Reply

    I see a lot of green fruit, what type is that

    • Barry C. Parsons October 19, 2016 at 11:13 am - Reply

      Green glacé cherries. I usually buy red and green to keep it more colourful.

  26. TOODIE Hoover October 24, 2016 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    Can you soak cake in liquor

    • Barry C. Parsons November 2, 2016 at 8:52 am - Reply

      I wouldn’t recommend it for this particular cake. It is one of the moistest I have ever tried.

  27. Brad November 3, 2016 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    as with the original recipe do you let the fruit soak overnight after boiling to keep the fruits moist? or do you just let them come to room temperature after boiling and add it to the batter thereafter?

  28. Dr. Barry Joe November 6, 2016 at 8:18 pm - Reply

    Made three loaves of this recipe this afternoon and it is definitely a keeper! The slow steady simmer is so important in tenderizing the fruit, and I spread the reduced syrup and fruit out on a baking sheet to help it cool faster to room temperature. I made this so we wouldn’t be tempted to cut the traditional dark fruitcake I just made three days ago — so glad I found this recipe!

  29. Eileen November 18, 2016 at 7:18 pm - Reply

    Great cake, easy to make, very tasty! Is the 325 oven regular or convection? In able to get mine com clean on the toothpick test it was browner on the outside than yours looked in the photo.

    • Barry C. Parsons November 19, 2016 at 12:06 pm - Reply

      I use regular heat but you can use convection. Just be sure to test it early it may bake faster.

  30. Kathy November 20, 2016 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    I love the way it looks. I have many friends that are single, would love to make for Christmas gifts. Can I make mini loafs? How long would you bake mini loafs.? I have never made Christmas cakes before, but yours look great & the reviews are awesome. Thanks you. Katt

    • Barry C. Parsons November 21, 2016 at 7:35 am - Reply

      Totally depends on the size of your pans. Just watch them closely and trust the toothpick test to be your guide.

      • Katt November 21, 2016 at 9:54 am - Reply

        Thank you, Can’t wait to try these!

  31. Francis November 23, 2016 at 11:56 am - Reply

    I would like to try this as I have an unsulphured dried fruit mix that I think would be lovely. After simmering the fruit, about how much liquid is left? 2 1/2 cups becomes? 1/2 cup or 1 cup syrup?
    Thank you.

    • Barry C. Parsons November 24, 2016 at 10:03 am - Reply

      The least the better because it means that the moisture is absorbed in the fruit, where it will keep the cake moist over time.

  32. McQueen December 23, 2016 at 7:04 pm - Reply

    I am going to be trying this recipe, But first I was wondering if you have to put the raisins in?

    • Barry C. Parsons December 24, 2016 at 4:55 pm - Reply

      You can just add some additional apricots if you like

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