Downarrow-small-lineGroupStaff FaveGroupClose IconEmailLike Cooking Light on FacebookShapeFollow Cooking Light on InstagramMenu IconPrintSearch IconSpeech BubbleFollow Cooking Light on SnapchatFollow Cooking Light on TwitterWatch Cooking Light on YouTubeWatch Cooking Light on Youtube

Fruitcake: Recipe Makeover

Butt of jokes, doorstop heft: Time to trade in the old stuff for a truly tasty holiday treat. By Sidney Fry, MS, RD
Image Credit: Photo: Randy Mayor

Though some folks, including a few on our staff, think the holidays are not complete without a slice of fruitcake with a cup of coffee or snifter of bourbon, most people dissent. The neon-fruit-studded, brandy-soaked brick is a thing Most Likely to Be Regifted. Nutritionally, it does no favors: Densely packed with candied and dried fruits, nuts, and a stick or two of butter, this cake can deliver 575 calories and 17 grams of fat in a slice.

In the spirit of sharing, we decided to develop a cake that's lighter (in calories and heft) yet delivers those warm holiday flavors that are so treasured. Candied fruit—heavily sugared and expensive—gets swapped for a combo of fresh apple and pear; plus dates, golden raisins, and tart dried cherries. Whole-wheat flour, citrus zest, and a trio of spices build a warm, hearty base, while low-fat buttermilk and the bright, crisp flavor of apple brandy keep our cake moist. The light, buttery brandy glaze delivers a rich final hit, yet our version has almost 300 fewer calories than the original. This may become your new family favorite, and it's a gift you'll be proud to share—and that won't be regifted.

Classic
575 calories per slice
8 grams saturated fat
17 grams total fat

Makeover
283 calories per slice
2.9 grams saturated fat
8.9 grams total fat

View Recipe: Lighter Fruitcake