Gluten Free Vintage Fruitcake Recipe

UPDATE:  We opened the first Fruitcake on Thanksgiving Day, and it did not disappoint!  The taste and texture were spot on, it was very moist.    

This holiday season I am bringing back a beloved family tradition that had gone by the wayside since my Celiac Diagnosis.

This is another heirloom recipe passed down for generations in my husband’s family.  He has fond memories of his mother making this Fruitcake at Christmas, and I have made it many times since.

The original recipe was lovingly handwritten into the back cover of a favorite cookbook.  As with other heirloom recipe adaptations, my intent was to stay as true to the original as possible, changing only those ingredients that had to be gluten free.

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First up, the all-purpose flour.  If you follow me, you know that I am a huge fan of Better Batter Gluten Free Flour.  I used their Original Blend, which I have used with great success in other cakes and desserts.

When you shop Better Batter and use my (affiliate) code MGFC30 at checkout, you will receive 30% off any non-sale item! 

CLICK HERE to take advantage of this incredible opportunity to try the flour that I call my little miracle in a bag!

Next, the fruit.  I decided to try Olive Nation Candied Fruit Mix.  This product is non-GMO, gluten free, and vegan.  Here is the link to the fruit mix I used.

If you prefer a dried fruit mix (not candied), this Sun-Dried Baker’s Fruit Medley from Traina is gluten free and comes in a generous 2-lb. bag, great if you wanted to double this recipe.

The rest of the ingredient list consists of common pantry items and the preparation is straightforward.  There is no special equipment needed, other than a loaf pan.  This recipe makes 1 loaf (9″ loaf pan) or 4 mini loaves.  Here is the pan I used.


Wet Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp. butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1-1/4 cups hot water
  • 1 cup sugar

Dry Ingredients:


  • Crisco, or butter for greasing pans
  • brandy, for brushing


Combine the butter, water and sugar in a small saucepan and boil for 5 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

Whisk together the flour, spices and baking soda in a large bowl.  Add the walnuts and dried fruit.  Toss well with the flour mixture.

Pour the liquid mixture over the fruit and flour mixture and blend thoroughly with a spatula.  Give the batter a few minutes to rest and thicken.

Preheat the oven to 350º.  Grease the loaf pan liberally with Crisco (or butter).  Even though my loaf pan is nonstick, I lined it with strips of parchment for a little added insurance.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.  Smooth the top with a spatula, making sure it gets into all the corners.

If using a 9″ loaf pan, bake for 1 to 1.5 hours, testing for doneness after 1 hour.  The original recipe instructions said 1.5 hours and it will depend largely on your oven and the amount of moisture in the fruit blend.

For mini loaves, the baking time will be 45-50 minutes.  After baking I turned the oven off and opened the door slightly, leaving the loaves in for another 30 minutes to cool.  I used a toothpick to check for doneness, and you can see that the loaves are starting to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Remove pan from the oven and cool on a rack for 15-20 minutes, then run a knife or thin spatula around the edges.  Grasp the sides of the parchment to lift the cakes out of the pan.

I was so glad I used parchment, look how the cakes released perfectly from the pan with no cracks or sticking.

When the cakes have completely cooled, brush them liberally on all sides with brandy.  I used just under 1/2 cup for all 4 cakes.

Tightly wrap each cake in wax paper, pressing the paper into the moistened cake to seal.  Tape the edges.

Wrap again in foil, place in zip lock bags and store in a cool, dark place for about 8 weeks.

I made the fruitcakes in early October, and we will enjoy them from Thanksgiving Day through the New Year.  Our first taste did not disappoint!  After 5 years gluten free, it was such a treat for me to make this old recipe again!

Notes ♪♫ Always reach out to a manufacturer when you are not sure if a product contains gluten.  In past years, I have used King Arthur’s dried fruit blend for my Fruitcakes.  Unfortunately, they confirmed to me via email that they do not test for gluten in their Bakers Fruit Blend and cannot guarantee no cross contact with gluten in this specific product.

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Gluten Free Vintage Blueberry Cake

Vintage Blueberry Cake

An Heirloom Recipe Converted to Gluten Free

Some things in life should never be changed, and this heirloom cake is one of them.  An old family recipe passed down from one generation to the next, just a handwritten note tucked away in a recipe box.

My husband has fond memories of his mother making this cake and I was fortunate enough to inherit the recipe.  Here it is, written in her own hand.

I haven’t made this cake since my Celiac diagnosis 5 years ago, and always wondered what would happen if I converted it to gluten free.  Would it taste as good?  The verdict, YES and the results were amazing!

My husband’s mother was born in 1925 and was by all accounts a phenomenal baker.  To honor her recipe, I did not want to make any unnecessary changes to the ingredient list.  The only gluten containing ingredient was the flour.  I substituted Better Batter Original Blend for the all-purpose flour.

Shortening was a common ingredient in vintage cookbooks (and still recommended today for things like pie crust).  So, I checked it out and in case you were wondering- yes, Crisco is gluten free!

When converting old family recipes, one of the dilemmas is that flour was often measured in cups.  How did the author measure 1 cup?  Scoop and level?  Spoon and level?  Pour and shake?  

For this I put my trust in the experts at Better Batter, who recommend a 120g. per cup conversion for their original gluten free flour blend.  My recipe called for 1-1/2 cups flour, and I converted to 180g. of Better Batter.  I’m happy to say, it worked perfectly!

This post contains affiliate links.

***When you shop Better Batter and use my (affiliate) code MGFC30 at checkout, you will receive 30% off any non-sale item! ***

CLICK HERE to take advantage of this incredible opportunity to try the flour that I call my little miracle in a bag!



Preheat the oven to 350º.  Wash and dry the blueberries on a clean dishtowel.

Size matters!  Using the wrong pan will affect the baking time and overall appearance of the final product.  For this recipe you will need a standard 1 lb. loaf pan like this one.  Line the pan with parchment and mist with cooking spray.

Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) together and set aside.  Separate the eggs (yolks from whites).

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until stiff and set aside.  In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks with a fork.

Switch to the paddle attachment.  Cream the shortening with the sugar thoroughly, then add well beaten egg yolks.

With the mixer running, gradually add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Sprinkle the additional tbsp. of flour on the blueberries before adding to the batter.  This will keep them from sinking to the bottom of the cake as it bakes.

Fold the egg whites and vanilla into the batter, then fold in the floured blueberries.

Spread the batter evenly in the prepared baking pan.  Sprinkle the top of the batter with sugar.

Bake at 350° for 55 minutes, then turn the oven off and leave the cake in for 5 minutes longer.  Cool 10 minutes in the pan.

Grasp the parchment on either side and gently lift the cake onto a cooling rack.  Wait a few minutes then carefully peel away the parchment.

Let the cake cool to room temperature before serving.  Although this cake needs no further adornment, I like to dust the top with powdered sugar.

This cake is so simple, but the flavor and texture are rich and indulgent.  I think I did justice to the original recipe!  My husband loved it and said he could not tell it was gluten free.

Notes: ♪♫ For best results, always use fresh blueberries.  The baking time in the original recipe is 40 minutes, but I have found that it requires closer to an hour.  Check with a toothpick, and if the cake is still a tiny bit moist in the middle you can turn off the oven and leave it in 5 minutes longer.  The cake will continue to set as it cools in the pan.

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