Carrot Fruitcake is an extra special fruit cake recipe for the holidays! Rich, flavorful moist carrot cake with candied fruit, raisins, pecans, and carrots.
This tasty, spiced cake is the best recipe even for people who don’t think they like fruitcake! Unlike a traditional cake soaked in rum, this Carrot Fruit Cake is alcohol-free so there’s no overpowering boozy flavor that normally turns people away. Don’t worry though, it’s still incredibly moist and sweet thanks to shredded carrots, candied fruit, and raisins.
Carrot Fruitcake has all the best parts of a fruit cake like chewy candied fruit and creamy nutty pecans, plus all the delicious flavors of carrot cake. Freshly shredded carrots also release moisture and natural sweetness that keep the dense cake from drying out or being too sugary. The cake batter is lightly spiced, using only ground cinnamon. If you prefer a heavily spiced cake, you can add spices like ground ginger or nutmeg too.
Carrot Fruitcake is a delicious holiday cake that you can serve for Christmas or for Easter dinner, or whenever you want a rich, flavorful cake. This tasty cake isn’t overly sweet so you can serve it with Strawberry Jam or butter for a holiday breakfast. For a sweeter dessert, frost your Carrot Fruitcake with Cream Cheese Frosting or drizzle the cake with Salted Caramel Sauce before serving.
Carrot Fruitcake loaves make a great holiday gift wrapped in festive plastic wrap or in cake tins, either as a full size loaf, mini loaves, or muffins. See the variations section for baking time on the muffins and mini loaves so you get perfectly moist cake every time. These little Carrot Fruitcakes will turn any fruit cake skeptic into a fan with one bite and shoot you to the top of the nice list.
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Tips for Making Carrot Fruitcake
- Carrot Fruitcake is a very dense and moist cake, so to keep it from being too dense you want to make sure you don’t over-mix and lose any of the air. Only stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined and gently fold in the candied fruit, nuts, and raisins.
- Sifting the dry ingredients before adding them to the wet ingredients keeps clumps from forming and allows you to mix the batter easily.
- Coating the candied fruit, raisins, and nuts in flour keeps them from sinking to the bottom of the pan as the batter bakes.
- Use the toothpick method to test the doneness of the cake. Insert a toothpick in the center of cake and remove. The cake is done if the toothpick comes out clean with moist crumbs.
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VARIATIONS ON CARROT FRUITCAKE
- Fruit: You can add other dried fruits like dates, crystallized ginger, candied pineapple, apples, or banana slices. Try fresh or dried berries like cranberries, strawberries, or blueberries.
- Nuts: Swap the pecans with chopped walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, or a mixed nut blend. Toast the pecans or use spiced candied pecans for even more flavor.
- Spices: For more holiday flavors, add up to a teaspoon of warm spices like allspice, nutmeg, ground ginger, or cardamom. You could also swap the cinnamon with Pumpkin Pie Spice.
- Chocolate: Fold in ½ cup chocolate chips or baking chips in flavors like dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, caramel chips, or toffee bits.
- Muffins: This Carrot Cake batter recipe will yield 12-18 muffins. Grease or line a muffin tin, fill each cup 2/3 full, and bake for 22-24 minutes at 350 degrees. Muffins are done when a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean with moist crumbs.
- Mini Loaves: Grease mini loaf pans and fill about 2/3 full. Bake mini Carrot Fruitcake Loaves for 40-45 minutes at 325 degrees, until a toothpick comes out clean with crumbs.
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HOW TO STORE CARROT FRUITCAKE
- Serve: Let Carrot Fruitcake cool before trying to remove from the pan so it holds together and has time to pull away from sides. Carrot Fruitcake can be kept covered at room temperature for up to 4 days. Line a container with paper towels to absorb moisture.
- Store: Cool Carrot Fruitcake completely before storing so that moisture doesn’t collect. Store Carrot Fruitcake wrapped in plastic wrap or in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
- Freeze: Once cooled, wrap Carrot Fruitcake Loaf tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw at room temperature or in the refrigerator overnight before reheating in the oven to serve.
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups carrots , finely shredded
- 1 1/2 cups flour , divided
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup pecans , chopped
- 1 1/4 cup mixed candied fruit , chopped (divided)
- 1 cup raisins
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x5 loaf pan with baking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl add the sugar, vegetable oil and eggs and whisk until smooth.
- Whisk in the carrots.
- Sift together 1 cup flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
- Whisk into wet ingredients until just combined.
- In a small bowl stir together pecans, 1 cup candied fruit and raisins with remaining ½ cup flour.
- Stir into the batter.
- Pour into loaf pan and top with remaining candied fruit.
- Bake for 55-60 minutes.
- Cool for 10 minutes before removing from loaf pan.