Light Fruitcake Recipes

Mom's old fashioned light fruitcake recipes are just what you've been wanting. These white fruitcakes with their delicate texture are very tasty, especially so for anyone who doesn't care for a heavier, darker fruitcake.

Try making a light fruitcake for the holidays and enjoy a homemade treat. Light or white fruitcakes can be enjoyed year-round. Frosted or non frosted, they taste naturally fruity and especially good.

Old Fashioned Light Fruitcake Recipes

Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (c. 1920s)

Light Christmas FruitcakeHomemade Light Fruitcake Ready for Christmas Giving
(Source: ©Maksim Shebeko/123RF)

Homemade Light Fruitcake

1 cup butter, 2 cups sugar, 6 eggs, 1/2 cup milk, 3-1/2 cups flour, 3 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 pound seeded raisins, 1/2 pound seedless raisins, 1/2 pound dates, 1/2 pound almonds, 1/2 cup citron peel thinly sliced. Mix and bake in a slow oven (250°F).

Old Time Light Christmas Cake

4 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 pound each of crystallized orange peel, lemon peel, pineapple, and red cherries, finely cut
1 pound blanched almonds, finely cut
1 cup butter or other shortening
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound sultana raisins
1/2 pound citron peel, finely cut
1 tablespoon lemon juice
10 egg whites, stiffly beaten

Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder, soda, salt, and sift together three times. Sift 1 cup of this flour mixture over fruit and nuts; mix thoroughly.

Cream shortening thoroughly, add sugar gradually, and cream together until light and fluffy.

Add remaining flour mixture to creamed mixture, a small amount at a time. Beat after each additional until smooth. Add lemon juice, fruits and nuts.

Fold in egg whites. Pour into a paper-lined tube pan or small bread pans. Bake in a slow oven, 250°F, 2-1/2 hours, then increase to 300°F, for 15 minutes.

This light fruitcake recipe makes a cake of particularly fine texture. Only the whites of the eggs are used, but if you make a dark fruit cake at the same time you can use the yolks of the eggs in the dark cake.

Substitute 2 egg yolks for a whole egg in any dark fruit cake recipe and add 1/2 tablespoonful of water to every 2 yolks.

This substitution would not be satisfactory in a cake where lightness is desired, but it gives a good rich fruit cake.

Light Christmas Fruitcake Ready to EnjoyEnjoy a Slice of Light Fruitcake That's Moist with Fruit
(Source: ©tobi/123RF)

Recipe for White Fruitcakes

One and a half cups white sugar, 1/2 pound butter, 4 eggs beaten light, 3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 pound white raisins, 1/2 pound citron peel, 1/2 pound candied cherries, 1/2 pound blanched almonds. Lemon flavoring to suit. Bake in a slow oven (250°F) about 2 hours in paper-lined tins.

Traditional Dundee Cake

Dundee CakeTraditional Scottish Dundee Fruitcake With Almonds
(Source: ©monkeybusiness/

Cream 1 cup of butter with 1 of sugar, add 5 drops of oil of cinnamon, 2 of oil of cloves, and 3 of nutmeg, 5 beaten egg yolks, the grated peel of 1 lemon and 1 orange, 1 tablespoon vanilla, 1/4 cup of brandy, and 1-3/4 cups of flour sifted with 1 teaspoon of baking powder.

Add the beaten egg whites. Dredge with flour 1/2 cup of seeded and chopped raisins, 1/2 cup of currants, 1/2 cup of shredded almonds, and 1 cup of sultana raisins.

Add the fruit, turn into paper-lined and buttered tube pan, spread a concentrically positioned layer of blanched almonds on top, brush with slightly beaten egg white, dust with salt.

Bake in a slow oven (325°F) 45 minutes. This cake will keep for weeks. —One Hundred Picnic Suggestions (1915)

Mrs. Whaley's White FruitCake

White Fruitcake RecipeMrs. Whaley's Old Fashioned Light Fruitcake Recipe
(Source: Yuletide Favorites c.1950s)

Miss Ewing offers this delicious light fruitcake recipe as her favorite. In her family, it is known by the name of Mrs. Whaley, the person from whom the recipe was received. —Miss Wanda M. Ewing, Charleston WV.

1 pound butter
1 pound sugar
10 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour
1 pound candied pineapple
1/2 pound candied cherries, half red and half green
1/4 pound citron
1 package white raisins
1 cup chopped Brazil nuts
1 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Cream butter, sugar, and salt. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
  2. Add flour a little at a time until three cups have been added. Beat until smooth. Dust chopped fruits and nuts with remaining flour.
  3. Add fruit and nuts and bake in greased and floured tube pan 2-1/2 to 3 hours in 250°F oven.

—Yuletide Favorites c. 1950s

Royal Icing Recipe for Light Fruitcake

Grandma's Tip

The tiniest drop or two of blue coloring added can make white icing appear whiter.


Two and one-half pounds icing sugar (sifted), 4 egg whites (large), juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon glycerine, 1 tiny drop blue coloring to make the icing snowy white.


Place egg whites in a bowl and add sugar very gradually, beating continually until all sugar is added, then add lemon juice, beat again.

Add glycerine and blue coloring and continue beating until very smooth. Don't skimp on the beating.

This Royal Icing will be quite hard on the outside, but will not break or crumble when cut, and is perfect for cake decorating purposes. It will make any cake special.

About the Light Fruitcake Recipes

Let's face it, not everyone likes the rich taste of dark fruitcakes. Comedians even joke about them, calling them boat anchors or doorstops.

However, I often wonder whether those who joke have ever tasted a genuine homemade dark fruitcake like Grandma's.

However, to be fair, while some enjoy the taste of fruit and almonds, they simply prefer a more delicate, lighter flavor in their fruitcakes.

If that describes you, the good news is, you can have your cake and eat it too. Mom's favorite light fruitcake recipes will please almost everybody.

Say, why not give your friends and family a choice this Christmas season? You can make both a light AND a dark fruitcake.

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