Orange Brandy Fruitcake – a rich cream cheese batter serves as the base for this simple but delicious citrus infused fruitcake that will be the absolute star of your Christmas baking.
This orange brandy fruitcake recipe is a reminder to try something new whether you are baking for the Holidays or making it as a special celebration cake. Preserving family recipes at Christmas is important but I’ve come to believe that creating new ones is equally so. I could never do without my decades old recipe for Old English Fruitcake for example, but I always try to bake one new fruitcake at Christmas that could become a new family favourite. With this new orange brandy fruitcake, I think I nailed it! This was undeniably one of the best fruitcakes I’ve ever tasted.
It was easy to know where I wanted to start with this cake. I wanted a rich batter that would add a great creamy flavour which goes so well with the citrus in the recipe. My answer was to use the base of another old family recipe for Cherry Pecan Cake. To that base batter, I added a good amount of finely minced citrus zest along with the fruit in the cake. When it was baked and cooled, I then soaked it twice in orange brandy for extra flavour and to keep it super moist. I could not have been more pleased with the result!
If I am going to recommend one new thing to bake for this Holiday season, this Orange Brandy Fruitcake is it. It is just that delicious, and all your friends and family will be clamouring for the recipe, I guarantee it.
Like this Orange Brandy Fruitcake recipe?
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1 cup cream cheese 8 oz
- 1 cup butter
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract optional
- 4 eggs
- zest of 2 oranges finely minced
- 2 ¼ cups flour reserve ¼ cup to dust the fruit at the end
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 2 1/2 cups glacé cherries chopped in half (or drained maraschino cherries)
- 3/4 cup sultana raisins
- 3/4 cup golden raisins
- 1 cup mixed candied citrus peel or mixed glacé fruit
- ounces Up to 8 of orange brandy or other orange liqueur 35-40% alcohol
This cake can bake in a large bundt pan, or in 2 regular loaf pans. If using a bundt pan, grease it very well and lightly dust with flour. If using loaf pans, lightly grease them and line with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Chop the cherries in half and toss them together in a bowl along with the raisins and mixed peel. Set aside.
Sift together 2 cups of the flour with the baking powder and set aside.
Cream together the sugar, cream cheese, butter, vanilla and almond extracts for several minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl a couple of times during this process.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating for a minute or so between additions. Stir in the orange zest.
Gently fold the flour and baking powder into the creamed mixture until the flour is almost fully incorporated.
At that point toss the cherries and other fruit in the ¼ cup reserved flour and add them to the batter. Any flour that doesn't stick to the fruit gets added too. Fold until the flour is fully incorporated and the fruits are evenly dispersed throughout the batter.
Bake for about an hour in the loaf pans or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. The bundt pan may take several minutes more, mine took 1 hr 20 minutes; the loaf pans may need a little less, depending on your oven and the type of pans you are using. Always check your cakes a few minutes ahead of time and then every five minutes thereafter to make sure they do not over bake.
When fully baked, let the cakes rest in the pans for 10-15 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely.
When cooled completely, take a large wooden skewer and pierce the bottom of the cake in a couple of dozen places, pushing the sewer about half way through the cake.
I use a pointy nozzle squeeze bottle to soak the orange brandy into the cake. Add 2 ounces of brandy to the bottle and screw the nozzle on. Slowly disperse the orange brandy over the bottom of the cake, taking care that it soaks into the holes that you created with the skewer. Let the brandy soak in for 30-60 minutes, then turn the cake over and repeat the same process on the other side.
Wrap the cake in plastic wrap or in a sealed container and leave for a couple of days.
After a couple of days, you can repeat the entire soaking procedure again. Let the cake rest after the second soaking for a couple of days if you plan on freezing this cake. If not, then baking it a couple of weeks in advance of Christmas is enough.
However you plan to store it, wrap it in several layers of plastic wrap before freezing or storing in an airtight tin or other container.