Gluten Free Fruitcake Recipe

Searching for a gluten free fruitcake recipe? You’ve come to the right place!

The much maligned fruitcake is actually quite a holiday treasure, symbolic in so many culture, with versions as plentiful as the varied ingredients comprising each recipe. From my research, it seems like you really can’t make a fruitcake wrong, although true connoisseurs may argue the point.

gluten free fruitcake on rack overhead

My actual only hesitation in making my first gluten free fruitcake was not in making it gluten free, but rather that I knew myself well enough to know I could never wait weeks or months for the cake to be ready! You see, most traditional fruitcakes are made using fruits soaked in liqueur over a period of months, culminating in the final baking step at this time of year.

In stark contrast to this sort of advanced ingredient planning, I am a notoriously last minute baker. “So how does one make a gluten free fruitcake last minute?”, you might ask. Judging by the fruits of my labor, deliciously!

Follow along with the recipe as written, or choose your own fruity additions and liqueurs or fruit juices. The first time I made this gluten free fruitcake recipe, my father actually commented that he wished I’d used some pineapple and perhaps some candied cherries as well – more of an Americanized version of the fruitcake. So this year, I did it his way, and it was equally delicious!

citrus banner cu

Another variation on the theme is to actually grind or process the fruits before mixing them in, to create a richer batter without any chunks which can be disconcerting to the un-fruitcake-initiated. Try my recipe for candied citrus peels. Or, if you lack the time or enthusiasm for that ingredient, simply use freshly grated citrus peels.

I will caution against skimping on any ingredients listed. My gfJules Flour keeps the cake lighter and never gritty; quality wine imparts a subtle but noticeable taste that could be off-putting if the wine is sour, too sweet or just plain yucky; the citrus liqueur and spiced rum work so well with the fruits and spices … everything listed is here for a reason, so keep that in mind.

And if you’re concerned about finding gluten free liqueur or rum, check out my article on gluten free alcohol –I cover it all!

Fiona's Gluten Free Fruitcake CottageCake2

Reader Fiona V. shared this adorable picture of her family’s fruitcake made with this recipe and said,

I used this fruitcake recipe, and it was *wonderful*!  Moist, rich, and just a little boozy.    🙂

With the rectangular cake, I made our family’s traditional Irish cottage cake – see pics attached.

I first covered it with jam, then a layer of almond paste and then roll-out fondant for the walls, with an almond paste “thatch” roof. 

It’s been a Christmastime treat in our family since my grandmother’s time.  (My own kids loved helping to make the marzipan flowers and stack of peat.)

Many thanks for this scrumptious recipe!

And here’s what another reader had to say after trying my recipe:

I made your fruitcake recipe using cranberries, dates, golden raisins and candied cherries. I was surprised at the 1 cup of wine. I would suggest a comment that communicated the influence the wine selection makes on the final product’s flavor. The gfJules Flour performed wonderfully. I am enjoying my first fruitcake in many years, Thank You! ~P.W.

My FAST gluten free fruitcake recipe is also easier love because it’s not so dense and heavy. It’s more like a rich, flavorful cake with dots of spiked fruit. I happen to love that, but if you’re more of a traditional fruitcake fan, either add tons more fruit to this recipe, or simply use your family’s favorite fruitcake recipe with my award-winning gfJules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour. It makes converting favorite recipes to gluten free, easy!

On the off chance that you and your guests don’t finish the entire cake right off, it can be enjoyed well into the New Year by simply pouring a bit more liqueur/liquor onto the top of the cake once and awhile to preserve it. My kinda leftovers. Cheers!

(If you’re looking for another quick and boozy recipe to share this holiday season, check out my easy gluten free Rum Balls recipe!)

Gluten Free Fruitcake on rack with fruit

Yield: serves 10-12

Gluten Free Fruitcake Recipe

gluten free fruitcake on rack overhead

A gluten free fruitcake recipe should be a little boozy and a lot fruity. But it's even better if it's FAST to make! This recipe is all that and delish!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 1/2 cup (8 Tbs.) butter or non-dairy alternative (e.g. Earth Balance® Buttery Sticks)
  • 1 cup granulated cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup Cointreau, Grand Marnier or other citrus flavored (preferably) liqueur plus additional liqueur for brushing on finished cakes OR orange juice
  • 2 cups dried/candied fruit*
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (202 grams) gfJules™ All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 cup spiced or regular rum (I used Captain Morgan's)
  • 1/2 Tbs. lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Tbs. almond extract (optional)
  • 1 tsp. grated lime zest (approximately 1 lime)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 cup dry red wine (don't skimp with icky wine - use something that actually tastes good!)
  • 1/2 cup molasses or dark agave nectar or coconut nectar


In a small saucepan, gently heat the 1/4 cup of liqueur and add the dried (but not candied, if using) fruit, like raisins and cranberries. Heat and stir occasionally until the liquid is nearly absorbed.

Preheat oven to 350º F. Oil and dust one 9-inch round cake pan or 1 large bundt pan with gfJules™ All Purpose Flour. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and beat until well mixed.

Whisk dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, then stir into the larger butter bowl mixture, alternating with rum, lime juice, extracts, wine, zest and molasses. Stir in the dried/candied fruits and nuts last.

The batter will be thin. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for approximately 55 minutes, checking to be sure the cake is not burning at the edges. A toothpick or skewer inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean or with a few crumbs attached.

Remove from the oven and brush the top of the cake with citrus flavored liqueur. Cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. If baking in a bundt pan, turn out onto a wire rack and brush the top with more liqueur.

Wrap cooled cake in plastic wrap and then foil, if freezing.


*Dried/Candied fruit should ideally contain a mixture of several fruits such as cherries, cranberries, raisins, sultanas, dates, figs, pineapple, apricot, peach, citrus peel (see my recipe). Dice the fruits like pineapple, peach, apricot, fig ... into small pieces before cooking in liqueur.

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    • I just so love this tradition, Fiona! And that gluten free fruitcake made into a cottage is absolutely precious!! Thank you so much for sharing the photos — maybe we can track this creations every year with photos and see the progress, but I don’t know how it could get much better!!! Merry Christmas!

  1. Hello Jules, I have a fruitcake recipe which I have used for years to make a light batter cake which my family enjoys. My brother and nephew both have celiac disease so I have been using your all-purpose flour for a few years now. Do you have any suggestions on how to make the cake less crumbly? I have to ship the cake to them so crumbling is a challenge. Any ideas will be appreciated. I also plan to try your recipe this year.
    Thank you,

    • Hi Deanna, it sounds like maybe there’s not enough liquid in the recipe when you’re converting it using my gfJules Flour. Check out my article on converting recipes to gluten free, and maybe next time add more liquid to help with the crumbly factor. Also, particularly in a recipe like fruitcake, adding something like applesauce or applebutter could help with moisture retention. I hope these tips make a difference! It’s such a nice thing you’re doing for your brother and nephew to ship them gluten free fruitcakes!!!

    • Hi Fiona, wrapped well, I think it would last at least a week in the fridge. I ordinarily don’t recommend refrigerating baked goods as it just tends to dry them out, but this one is fairly moist already. If you plan on keeping it for awhile, maybe cut it in half and freeze half?

    • Hi Yvonne, you could certainly do that, but understand that it will make the cake even sweeter. That might be a good thing, though — it’s all in what you like!

  2. Jules, this fruitcake looks good! I was searching for a GF blond fruitcake recipe; have you ever made one? Can this recipe be adapted to make one?

    • Hi Jackie, I’m so glad this recipe looks good to you! You can make this recipe much “blonder” by opting for honey or light agave in place of molasses and dry white wine in place of red. Also, use regular rum instead of spiced for an even lighter look. Happy Baking!

  3. SO delicious.! Every bite of this impeccable gluten free fruit cake is different, and the cake itself is so moist and wonderful. No reason not to make this ALL year round!

    • Hi Angela, I have reduced the recipe to one-half and changed the measurements so it’s easier to make a smaller portion. Go with the new measurements I’ve updated in December 2018 and use two loaf pans or one bundt pan. Enjoy!

  4. The dry ingredients are omitted from the recipe process. I presume they are to be mixed together and added to the ingredients mentioned?

    • Hi Martine, somehow that was deleted in the transfer from our old site to the new one — some of the directions here and there are missing and I don’t catch them all, so thanks for pointing it out! It’s fixed now. Enjoy the recipe!

  5. Pingback: Gluten-Free Bundt Cakes for Every Season, Every Occasion, and Every Diet | All Gluten-Free Desserts...All the Time
  6. Does the cake need to be refrigerated if I plan to baste it every couple of days with alcohol? I made a big cake to let it age before Christmas, but I’m not sure if it’s okay just on the countertop.

    • Hi Simerai – when I checked their site, they had this disclaimer: “Gluten is present in our traditional recipe fruitcakes. While preparing the traditional fruitcakes, small gluten particles could remain on the bakers hands or baking utensils and could transfer to the gluten-free items. Due to the handcrafted nature of our products and because we do not have a separate gluten-free area in the kitchen, a possibility for gluten exposure can occur. As a result our gluten-free fruitcakes are not recommended for people with celiac disease. We take great care to reduce the risk of gluten exposure which makes our gluten-free fruitcakes a great option for individuals with mild gluten sensitivities.” Have you talked with this company to see if they do any gluten testing since it’s a shared environment with wheat flour fruitcakes? It would be great to have a pre-made GF fruitcake option, but their disclaimer concerns me.

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