Holiday Cooking – Alton Brown’s Fruit Cake


For Christmas this year, I decided to make Alton Brown’s delicious fruit cake. I love Alton Brown and all that he does. His recipes are fool proof and he is excellent in explaining the science behind his recipes. His show ‘Good Eats’ is awesome. I only wish he had done more Indian recipes.

The fruit cake is moist with rum soaked dried fruits and nuts. It gets better as it ages over couple of days. Since I made this for my kids, I didn’t do all the steps Alton Brown says but still it turned out great. I had to improvise for some of the ingredients and didn’t use all that Alton Brown says to use. But no matter what, the cake turned out perfect!  You can find the original recipe at



4 cups of dried fruits; I used raisins, craisins and apricots chopped

1/4 cup of candied ginger

1 cup of light rum

Zests of one orange and one lime

1 1/4 stick of butter

1 tsp of cinnamon

1 tsp of ground ginger

1 cup of unfiltered apple juice

1 3/4 cups of flour

1 1/2 tsp of salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 eggs



1. Soak the dried fruits, zests and candied ginger in rum overnight. Now I had asked my husband to get candied ginger but he ended up buying ginger hard candies. Since it was late to go back and get actual candied ginger, I decided to improvise. I pulverized the hard candies and added 1/4 cup of the ginger powder. I got to say it didn’t do anything bad to the cake!

We do not drink any hard alcohol at our house, the most we drink is occasional red wine. So I didn’t want to buy a bottle of rum just for this recipe. So I got rum extract. I added about 4 tablespoons and 4 teaspoons of rum extract and added little bit of water so that the fruit is submerged in liquid. The entire rum extract bottle was over by doing this!

2. The next day, pour out the fruit mixture into a pot, add the butter, spices and apple juice and bring it to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling, turn it down to a simmer and keep it at a simmer for another 5-10 minutes. Let the mixture cool down for another 15 minutes before the next step.

3. To the cooled mixture, add the dry ingredients and bring it together using a wooden spoon. Add the eggs and mix to combine. At this stage, you can also add chopped nuts if you like.

4. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

5. Pour the batter onto greased cake pan and bake it for an hour till a toothpick inserted in the center comes clean. Take the cake out and remove it from cake pan and place on cooling rack to cool down.

6. Alton Brown says to spritz the cake with brandy for more flavor but since I am serving this cake to my kids I opted to not do that. The cake is delicious no matter what!

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