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Recipe Swap Friday–Fruit, Nut and Spice Cake

Welcome, friends. So glad you’ve joined us for our Recipe Swap Friday.

This week kicks off our Sweet (Enough) Treat Swap. Everyone in our house indulged (perhaps over-indulged??) in sweet treats over the holidays, had an unofficial sugar fast in January just because we were sick of sugar, and are now starting to crave little treats again. However, our time of plenty is still within recent memory and we aren’t really eager to send ourselves into sugar comas again.

So for the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing treats that are just-sweet-enough. Mine will be sweetened with alternative sweeteners (honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar…..) but yours can be any treat that’s not-too-sweet.

Join me? As usual, you can link up to your favorite recipe below, either on your blog or in your Plan to Eat account. If linking up to your Plan to Eat account, just cut and paste the url from the recipe in your recipe book.

This week I’m bringing:

Don’t be put off by the words “fruit” and “cake” used together like that. This cake isn’t one of those fruitcakes. It’s dense (in a good way) and chock full of dried fruit and spices and nuts and is so delicious with a cup of coffee on a cold winter day. The sweetness comes from the fruit, the molasses, and the applesauce.

There’s some refined sugar that comes with the crystallized ginger. If that bugs you, just replace it with grated fresh ginger. I also sprinkled some powdered sugar on top, just to make it pretty. But you can leave that off, too.

Our family makes this cake every year to celebrate Epiphany–the day that ends the Christmas season when we celebrate the wise men completing their journey. King cakes are a traditional part of Epiphany celebrations, but they are usually sugar- and candy-laden concoctions. Since Epiphany so closely follows Christmas, I’m always loathe to celebrate with sugar. I found this recipe a few years ago. It pleased the palates of our kiddos, and we’ve made it every year since.

We say the dried fruit represents the jewels of the “kings”, the spices remind us that the wise men came from the east, and we bake it in a bundt pan so that it looks like a crown. Of course, one can debate whether or not the three kings were literal kings or simply learned scholars. Our kids are young. We have lots of time ahead of us for theological debate. For now, we enjoy the simplicity of our celebration.

Obviously, you can enjoy the cake without the symbolism, too. I’m sure it tastes just as good without a plastic baby falling out of it.

As you seek out ingredients, try to find dried fruit that doesn’t have added sugar. I buy mine in bulk at our local natural grocery store, where sugar-free options abound. Many applesauce brands have sugar added, so be sure to read the labels.

For those who are on restricted diets, I feel sure this could be adapted to be allergen-free, but I’ve never tried it. As it is, it’s egg and dairy free. Someday I’ll experiment with alternative flours, but I haven’t yet. If you decide to make an attempt, would you please share the results with us? I’d love to know what worked or what didn’t.

Oh, and if you decide to add the plastic baby, be sure to stick him into the bottom of the cake after baking.

Plan to Eat users, click on the recipe title below to import the recipe into your account.

Fruit, Nut and Spice Cake

Source: Vegetarian Times


  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 Tbs baking powder
  • 12 tsp baking soda
  • 18 tsp salt
  • 12 tsp cinnamon
  • 12 tsp cloves
  • 12 tsp allspice
  • 12 tsp mace
  • 12 cup crystallized ginger, chopped
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 12 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 cups dried apricots, diced
  • 2 cups sliced almonds
  • 12 cup applesauce
  • 23 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 18 cup white vinegar


  1. Preheat oven to 300. Grease and flour a bundt pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, baking powder, soda, salt and spices until well combined. Add all fruits and nuts to flour mixture, and toss until well coated.
  3. Blend together applesauce, oil, barley malt and vinegar. Working quickly, mix wet ingredients into dry, stirring only until mixed thoroughly. Pour batter into pan and place in center of oven.
  4. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until done. Cook cake completely on rack.


Share Your Just-Sweet-Enough Treat with the Rest of Us



Rules for Sharing:

This is a sharing post. So...please share.

The rules for sharing are simple: If you take a taste (link from this post to your blog) you should share a taste (link from your blog back to this post).

If you're linking to a recipe in your Plan to Eat account, you don't need to bother with "sharing a taste". Just copy and paste the web address for your recipe from your Plan to Eat account.

How to Get Your Dish Onto the Goodie Table:

I really want this to be easy and accessible to everyone, so leave me a comment if you have trouble. I'll do my best to help you out. It's a little bit harder than just setting a bowl of veg on the table, but I promise it's pretty easy. Just click on the link below that says "Click to view/add link" and follow the directions from there.

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