Since discovering this fruit cake recipe in a German cookbook about ten years ago, I’ve made this cake every winter at least once. I just love its heartiness and rich spicy, fruity flavor.
I’ve modified the original recipe a little, to match my own preferences, and now it is free of several common allergens.
This fruit cake is:
- free of refined sugar
- potentially nut free, if you omit the almond flour
Spiced Apple Fruit Cake
This recipe yields a very dense, hearty loaf, filled to the brim with juicy fruits and seasonal spices. While this cake doesn’t contain any refined sugar, it’s still sweet enough for my taste buds, thanks to all the dried fruit and grated apples. If you prefer your baked goods to be on the sweeter side, feel free to add honey, maple syrup, or your favorite wholesome sweetener.
Prep time: 20 minutes + a few hours of soaking time
Baking time: 45-50 minutes
Yield: One big loaf
- 3 cups mixed dried fruit, chopped (e.g. raisins, figs, apricots)
- 1 cup water or apple juice
- 1 Tbsp rum (optional)
- 3 medium-sized sweet apples (e.g. gala, fuji, pink lady)
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour (optional)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cloves, ground
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or ground vanilla bean
Chop up the dried fruit into 1-inch pieces, put into a bowl and add water or juice and optional rum. Mix and let soak in the fridge for a few hours or over night.
Combine flours, baking powder, cocoa powder, and all dry spices in a separate bowl. Grate the apples (note: I like to leave on the skin, but feel free to peel them) and add them to the dried fruit. Mix wet and dry ingredients, including soaking liquid, and stir until just combined. The dough will be very dense and heavy.
Pour the cake batter into a greased loaf pan, and bake at 350°F (175°C) for 45 to 50 minutes. The cake is done when the top starts to brown and the edges come away from the pan. The inside of the cake will still be very wet and appear undercooked, but that’s okay.
Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Then flip the pan and remove the cake, and wrap it in tin foil while it’s still warm. Let it rest for a few hours.
This cake is best kept in the fridge, tightly wrapped in tin foil.
Note: I recommend using unsulfured, unsweetened dried fruits. A mix of raisins, apricots, and figs is what I normally use in this cake, but you could also add cranberries, dates, mangoes or any other kind of dried fruit.