Chocolate Fruitcake


  1. The day before you plan to bake the fruitcake, prepare the fruit base. Place the raisins, cranberries, apricots, cherries, dates and candied orange peel into a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Cut the navel orange into quarters (do not peel), remove any seeds and purée the orange (skin and pulp). Measure ½ cup (125 mL) into the bowl of fruits (add any leftovers to a smoothie or whisk it into a salad dressing), add the brandy and orange liqueur and stir to combine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit overnight on the counter.
  2. Preheat the oven to 300 °F (150 °C). Grease a 10-cup (2.5 L) Bundt pan.
  3. For the cake, beat the butter and brown sugar together in a large mixing bowl with electric beaters, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition (the mixture may not seem smooth, but this is OK). Beat in the melted chocolate until smooth.
  5. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Add all at once to the butter mixture and blend on medium-low speed until evenly combined.
  6. Stir in the walnut and chocolate chips by hand. Add the fruit in two additions, stirring by hand after each one, until all of the fruit is covered in batter.
  7. Spoon into the prepared tin and spread the batter to level it. Place a sheet of parchment paper directly on the surface of the batter.
  8. Bake for 3 to 3 ½ hours, until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 30 minutes on a wire rack, and then turn the cake out onto the rack to cool completely.
  9. For the ganache glaze, stir the chocolate, butter and corn syrup in a bowl placed over a pot of barely simmering water until it is smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the orange liqueur. Let this mixture cool to room temperature.
  10. Place the fruitcake on a platter and pour the ganache over it.
  11. Sprinkle a few dragée candies on the ganache before it sets. Let the cake set for an hour before slicing to serve.

Make Ahead

You can bake this fruitcake weeks or months ahead of time and freeze it, well wrapped, without the ganache glaze. Thaw the cake at room temperature and then prepare the glaze the day you wish to serve it. The glazed cake will keep at room temperature for 6 hours. Leftovers can be wrapped and stored at room temperature for up to a week (no need to refrigerate).

Recipe from Set for the Holidays with Anna Olson, Appetite by Random House, 2018