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Light Fruitcake Cupcakes

We've all heard horrible stories about really bad fruitcake. Johnny Carson once said, " "The worst gift is a fruitcake. There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other." Some traditional fruitcakes are easily the most hated things in the existence of baking. Not in Texas. Not this fruitcake. This is a light fruitcake recipe. It is delicate and tender like a rich cake with just enough small pieces of candied fruit to make it delicious, but not so giant that the chunks of fruit take over the world.

One of the secrets to good light fruitcakes is chopping the ingredients really fine.

One key ingredient is candied orange or lemon zest. This can be purchased in most grocery stores during the holiday season.

Our chef prefers using a fine chopped Extra Fancy Fruit Cake Mix.

Many fruit cakes also call for raisins. We prefer the compact size of dried currants. They distribute better in the batter.

Here's the recipe for our amazing light fruitcake.

Light Fruitcake Cupcakes

½ cup candied orange zest

1 cup Extra Fancy Fruit Cake Mixture

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

2/3 cup currents

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup granulated white sugar

6 large eggs, room temperature

2 tsp rum flavoring

1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon pure almond extract

3 cups Texas Pure Milling All-purpose flour

1 cup ground almonds (almond meal/flour)

2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoons salt

Zest of one small lemon (outer skin)

1/2 cup milk

1 cup whole candied cherries (about 48 whole)


  • Preheat oven to 350° F with the oven rack in the center of the oven. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the extracts. Add the nuts and fruits.

  • Beat in half the flour mixture just until incorporated. Then beat in the milk and then the remaining flour mixture.

  • Scoop the batter into prepared mini cupcake tins.

  • Top with candied cherries.

  • Bake for 12-15 minutes for mini's or 20-25 for full sized cupcakes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool 10 minutes before removing from the pan.

  • Larger cupcakes can be individually wrapped for sharing.

  • They are great little fruitcakes for bake sales or cupcake towers. This cake does benefit from being stored a day or two before serving, as this softens the outer crust and allows the flavors to mingle. You can cover and store this cake for about a week at room temperature or it can be frozen. Yield: 4 dozen full-sized cupcakes or 8 dozen mini cupcakes.

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