Christmas Fruit Cake {With Cake Mix}

Easy Christmas fruit cake recipe with cake mix, homemade with simple ingredients. Soft and moist but firm. Full of candied fruits, nuts and aromatic spices.

Don’t knock down this cake if you haven’t tried it! It is a classic and actually quite delicious and brings back wonderful Christmas memories for me. This recipe is a must-try for the holidays, along with: Gingerbread Cake, Easy Christmas Cake, Easy Christmas Tree Cupcakes and Christmas Candy Cane Sleds.

Slices of Fruit Loaf on White Background

How to make rich and easy Christmas fruit cake recipe with cake mix?

  1. Mix wet ingredients- This includes eggs and applesauce.
  2. Add spice cake– And mix until combined.
  3. Coat nuts- In flour.
  4. Stir- Into cake batter.
  5. Pour batter– In loaf pans.
  6. Bake– Until golden brown.
  7. Remove from oven- And cool completely.
  8. Enjoy– As is or top with frosting, syrup or glaze.

Toppings for xmas cake

Closeup Shot of Christmas Fruit Cake With Cake Mix on White Background

What are candied fruits? Is candied fruit mix same as dried fruit mix?

No! Dried fruit mix is typically just natural dehydrated fruit whereas whereas candied fruits are small pieces of fruits or peels that are are added to a heated sugar syrup. They absorb the moisture and sweetness and the sugar eventually preserves them. This process can take a few weeks to a few months.

What are the green things in fruitcake?

Believe it or not, these are actually green candied cherries and they add more color variety to the cake.

Partially Eaten Tutti Frutti Cake With Candied Fruits

Variations for Tutti Frutti Cake

Add zests– Such as grated orange, lime, or lemon. This will bring in a tangy, fresh flavor.

Dry fruit cake- Candied fruits can be replaced with finely chopped dried fruits but the result just won’t be the same. I don’t recommend it. There would be moisture and sweetness lacking in the cake. 

Chocolate fruit cake- Use chocolate cake mix instead of yellow cake mix and even add in some mini chocolate chips to the batter.

Use alcoholic candied fruits– For a boozy twist to spice up the party!

Fruitcake cookies- Make these Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies, using a spice cake mix instead of the chocolate cake mix and toss in some candied fruit and peel mix. The rest of the instructions will be the same as that recipe card.

Xmas Cake on White Background

Tips and techniques for Fruit loaf 

Where to find candied fruit and peel mix? You can find them in baking aisles at your local grocery store or online. Be aware that some have peels and some don’t, but either will work well for this recipe.

What nuts to use in cake? I used pecans and walnuts, but you can also use almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, or Brazil nuts. It’s entirely up to your preference.

Can I replace yellow cake mix? Yes, you can, but will have to add spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice to bring more flavor to the cake.

Do I need to rinse candied fruit mix? No! Because that will also wash out the flavor and sweetness.

Nuts must be chopped small– Because otherwise they will all sink to the bottom instead of giving that nice look of being distributed throughout the cake.

Fruits and nuts must be coated in flour– Because this helps them not to sink to the bottom and distribute evenly. Learn How to Stop Chocolate Chips from Sinking for more help in your baking.

Note the baking time and temperature- A good fruit cake needs to be baked at a low temperature for a long time, so don’t try to cut corners!

If the top starts to brown more than you expected– Loosely cover it with foil during baking, but just be sure not to tightly seal it. Some ovens run hotter than normal and this can be possible.

Baking time can vary– It depends on your oven and the pans you are using. If you use dark pans, cakes tend to cook faster than on glass or lighter colored pans. Just make sure to keep a close eye on your cake after 1 hour-ish.

Use unsweetened applesauce– Because there is plenty of sweetness coming from the candied fruits and cake mix.

Don’t slice a warm cake– Because it will fall apart! Be sure to allow it to cool, and then you will be able to cut cleaner slices.

Don’t aggressively mix the batter- Because the floured nuts will lose their coating and can potentially sink or clump together during baking.

Why is my cake dry and crumbly? There is not enough liquid. So, measure ingredients correctly. Over-baking can be another reason.

Why is my cake soggy? Again, measure ingredients correctly. Too much applesauce will make it soggy and unable to set up. Soggy cakes may also mean it is undercooked.

Why did my cake sink in the middle? This can happen if you over-mix the batter or you don’t cook it long enough.

Why is my cake dark?– It should be slightly dark because of the spices. However, it should not be burnt looking (Don’t forget the foil technique mentioned above to prevent burning).

Why did my fruits sink in the cake? Be sure to use flour to coat the fruits and don’t over-mix so that the flour can stay intact before baking.

How to keep cake moist for longer? Cover in saran wrap and then place in a Ziploc bag. Some people prefer brushing this cake with simple sugar syrup to make it super moist too.

Storage for classic Christmas cake

Fridge- Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Freezer- Store in a sealed container in the freezer for up to 1 month.

More Doctored cake mix recipes

Easy Christmas Fruit Cake Made With Cake Mix on White Background
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Christmas Fruit Cake (With Cake Mix)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Easy Christmas fruit cake recipe with cake mix, homemade with simple ingredients. Soft and moist but firm. Full of candied fruits, nuts and aromatic spices.
Yield: 24 Slices


  • 4 Eggs, Large
  • 1 1/4 cups Applesauce, Unsweetened
  • 1 Spice cake mix
  • 1 container Candied fruit and peel mix, 16 oz. container, Equivalent to about 1.5 cups
  • 1/2 cups Roughly chopped nuts, I used pecans and walnuts
  • 1/4 cup All-purpose flour


  • In a large mixing bowl, add eggs, applesauce and mix until smooth.
  • Add spice cake mix and mix until just combined.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together candied fruits, nuts, flour until nuts and fruits are properly coated.
  • Stir this fruit and nut mixture (along with any excess flour) into the cake batter gently. Do not rigorously mix!
  • Pour batter into 2 greased and floured or lined loaf pans (Dimensions: 8×4).
  • Bake at 275 degrees F for about 1 hour 45 min or until an inserted toothpick in the center comes out clean. Keep a close eye from the 1 hour 30 minutes point.
  • Remove from oven and allow it to cool completely.
  • Run a knife along the sides of the cakes and remove from pan.
  • Enjoy as is or top with frosting, syrup or glaze. Enjoy!


  • Read all my tips above.
  • Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. ho


Calories: 115kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 27mg, Sodium: 152mg, Potassium: 94mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 44IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 25mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 115
Author: Abeer Rizvi

9 comments on “Christmas Fruit Cake {With Cake Mix}”

  1. It was easy and I made with cherry icing. I checked it at an hour and 30 minutes but I think that five minutes less would’ve been better. 4 stars

  2. would i be able to poke holes and add some brandy?

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