Fruit Cake Recipe



Due to severe food allergies, I can’t have store-bought fruit cakes and I am not really very fond of alcohol-steeped desert.  I recently happened on a recipe from the President Truman household that was posted by the National Park Service.  I made a few modifications to fit our taste and we really love it.

I am sharing both the original and my modified version.


A few notes

I don’t like my desserts to be too sweet, so they are a bit on the low sugar side.   My sugar is adjusted for the sweetness of dried fruit I used.  I suggest you taste your dried fruit and adjust the sugar accordingly.

I also substituted some of the sugar for clover honey to keep the cake more moist.

I used sweetened lemon peel instead of citron.  I wanted more lemon flavor, so I added extra lemon peel and balanced the taste by adding dried cranberries.

I am writing the ingredients followed by the steps; that way you don’t have to go back and forth between the two.  It is so much easier to follow when you are making a new recipe.


Ingredients are listed below as Original / My modified version


Preheat oven to 350F

Line a bread loaf pan with parchment paper so the cake can be easily lifted out once baked.



  • 1C brown sugar /  1/2 C sugar + 1/4C honey
  • 1 1/4 C water
  • 1 C seeded raisins / 1/2 C golden raisins
  • 2oz Citron / 1 C sweetened lemon peel
  • None / 1/2 C dried sweetened cranberries
  • 1/3 C butter
  • 1 tsp nutmeg  / skipped
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Add these ingredients into a saucepan and boil for 3 minutes.  Allow to cool.



  • 2 C flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs

For this part you can use a spatula to mix everything together directly in the saucepan.  I suggest sifting the flour to avoid lumps.  I transfer the liquid from the saucepan to a stand mixer bowl and use the mixer for the next step.

Add the eggs, flour and baking powder to the stand mixer bowl.  Mix well.



  • 1 tsp lemon zest  ( I added this)

We have a lemon tree and I freeze lemon zest for baking.  If you have some at hand and want to a bit more lemony aroma, mix in the lemon zest with a spatula.


Pour the batter in the lined pan and bake in the preheated oven.  In my oven it takes about 40 minutes.  Oven temperatures can vary, so please check a few minutes early if you are unsure and bake until it’s done.  Cool on a cooling rack.  


Our favourite way to eat it is to gently toast the slice in a toaster oven, then butter it.   As I mentioned earlier, it is a huge favourite at home. I hope you like it too!



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