Cranberry, Apricot & Walnut Fruitcake

This isn't your grandmother's fruitcake! By replacing the usual candied fruit with nutrient-dense unsweetened dried cranberries and apricots, we've cleaned up and reduced the sugar in this often-regifted gift. Plus, adding a shallow pan with water to the oven during baking ensures an intensely flavorful and moist cake.

Find more homemade holiday gifts here! 

Serves: 24
Makes: 2 cakes
Hands-on time: 45 minutes
Total time: 2 hours, 30 minutes (not including fruit marinating time)


  • 2 cups unsweetened dried cranberries
  • 3 cups unsweetened dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 cup organic crystallized ginger, chopped
  • 1 cup no-sugar-added organic apricot nectar, divided
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour, divided
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup powdered stevia
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups unsalted walnuts, toasted and chopped


  1. In a large bowl, combine cranberries, apricots, ginger and 1/2 cup nectar. Let stand for 1 day, stirring occasionally, so fruit can soak up nectar and produce a more flavorful cake (don’t skip this step or cake will be too dry).
  2. Line 2 8 x 4-inch loaf pans with parchment.
  3. Preheat oven to 250°F. Sprinkle 1/2 cup flour into dried fruit mixture; stir just to combine. Set aside.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together remaining 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, lemon zest, cinnamon, allspice and salt. In a separate bowl, beat oil with stevia until well combined. Beat in egg, egg whites and vanilla. Stir in flour-lemon zest mixture until just incorporated, followed by dried-fruit mixture and walnuts. Scrape into prepared pans, smoothing tops. Cover each pan well with foil.
  5. Set a separate large shallow pan on bottom rack of oven; pour in enough water to come halfway up sides (this will produce extra moisture for cakes while they bake). Then place cake pans in center of oven and bake until cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 hours. Let cool on racks in pans.
  6. Meanwhile, in small saucepan, bring remaining apricot nectar to boil over medium-high heat. Cook until liquid has reduced by half, about 15 minutes; spoon over hot loaves. Let cakes cool completely before removing from pans. Wrap well with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Fruitcake will keep for up to 1 week in fridge or can be frozen for up to 3 months. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Nutrients per 1.2-oz serving: Calories: 150, Total Fat: 6 g, Sat. Fat: 0.5 g, Carbs: 24 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugars: 12 g, Protein: 2 g, Sodium 25 mg, Cholesterol: 5 mg