A common Christmastime tradition is fruitcake, and there’s so many varieties to choose from. This version is free of alcohol and loaded with both candied and dried fruit, as well as walnuts. Christmas Apricot and Walnut Fruitcake just might be your new favorite Christmas tradition!
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups raisins
2 cups dried apricots, roughly chopped
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 cup salted butter, softened
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
4 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups glace cherries, roughly chopped (I used one cup red and one cup green)
1 cup mixed peel
1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Prepare to loaf pans by lightly coating with non-stick cooking spray and lining with parchment paper.
In a sauce pan, over medium heat, combine 1/4 cup white sugar, the chopped apricots, raisins, and the water. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and allow to cool. In the meantime, cream together the butter, cream cheese, vanilla extract, and the remaining 1 cup sugar.
Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition.
Add the cooled apricot and raisin mixture, including the liquid. Mix well.
Add the flour and baking powder. Mix well.
Fold in the cherries, peel, and walnuts.
Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pans. Tap the pans on the counter top to ensure the cake batter has settled into the corners.
Bake for 55 minutes. Check to see if the loaves are done by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the loaves are done; if not, then bake for an additional 5 minutes and try the toothpick test again.
Once the cakes are done, remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before transferring out of the loaf pans to a wire cooling rack. Allow cakes to completely cool before slicing.