Bountiful No-Bake Fruitcake

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“Adapted from Paula Deen's recipe, but with more variety. Substituting the ikky traditional candied stuff for delicious dried fruits makes this fruitcake really shine. Paula's recipe calls for 1/2 cup of bourbon; I prefer to omit it but if you use it, add a couple of ounces of graham cracker crumbs or the dough will be too wet.”
READY IN:
45mins
YIELD:
10 loaves
UNITS:
US

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Read the entire recipe before beginning. Prep *all* ingredients and have *every* bowl, pan, and tool you'll need ready before beginning.
  2. I leave all the fruits whole; it saves a lot of prep time and they're soft enough that it doesn't make the finished cake any harder to slice. Leaving them whole makes for gorgeous slices with an almost stained-glass look, too.
  3. Buying packaged fruits and nuts gets very expensive; buying only the needed amounts in the bulk section saves a LOT of money. You can change the kinds and proportions of the fruits, just don't exceed 36 ounces.
  4. Tools needed:
  5. One large bowl of any kind.
  6. One very large bowl that can be microwaved.
  7. Ten mini loaf pans, or a couple of large baking sheets if you prefer to make logs.
  8. Non-stick cooking spray.
  9. Large cooking spoon with a good strong handle.
  10. Plastic wrap.
  11. Spray the loaf pans or baking sheet with non-stick spray.
  12. Crush the graham crackers into fine crumbs. You can put them in a bag and crush them with a rolling pin (or wine bottle, drinking glass, unopened can of veggies, or whatever you have on hand), but if you have a food processor it's far, far faster and easier.
  13. In a large bowl, add the graham cracker crumbs, nuts, and fruits. Mix well while they're dry so everything is well distributed. Take a moment to check again that you have *everything* else ready before proceeding.
  14. Place the marshmallows in a very large microwaveable bowl, and drizzle the condensed milk over them. No need to stir yet. Microwave, stopping to stir as the mixture softens and melts. Time will vary so keep an eye on it as you go. Once all the marshmallows have melted, stir until the mixture is very smooth and soft.
  15. *While the mixture is still hot* immediately pour the dry ingredients into it (dry into wet, not wet into dry) then work them together with the large cooking spoon. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl so all the dry mix is incorporated, and work as quickly as you can because the dough gets stiffer and harder as it cools.
  16. For loaves, press the dough into the sprayed pans and garnish with a few halved maraschino cherries if desired. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two days before removing from pans, then individually wrap with plastic wrap. NOTE: using a large loaf pan produces a cake that's extremely difficult to slice. I'll never- ever- do that again!
  17. For logs, form into logs two inches thick and however long you wish. Arrange on sprayed baking sheets, without the logs touching each other. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two days before individually wrapping with plastic wrap.
  18. Slice and enjoy, or share. Keep refrigerated.

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