Fruitcake-Inspired Brownies

October 20, 2011
3 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes a 9 x 13" dish of brownies
Author Notes

Brownies with all the classic fruitcake goodies...well, okay, not those scarily colored red and green mystery candied fruits, but you get the point. Lots of dried fruit and nuts surrounded by melt-in-your-mouth deep chocolate brownies.

The method used here to make the brownies is a more old-fashioned one where you whip the "wet" ingredients together to incorporate air into the batter. I also add a touch of baking powder due to the weight of the nuts and fruit, but the end result is much better than what I typically find. —JessicaBakes

Test Kitchen Notes

We know what you’re thinking: Fruitcake? Blech! But before you move on, let us reassure you that JessicaBakes has taken the best elements of fruitcake -- okay, not the booze, but lots of different dried and candied fruit and nuts -- and crammed them into a rich, gooey chocolate brownie. It’s an embarrassment of riches. The brownies are intensely chocolatey, and almost mousselike (they call for 5 whole eggs and a mere ¾ cup of flour); the extreme chocolate factor might even be overwhelming without the tartness and crunch of the fruit and nuts, which are an ideal counterpoint. Fruitcake-haters, rejoice! – A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
  • 1 pound bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup
    1 tbsp. AP flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup candied orange bits
  • 1/4 cup dates, chopped coarsely
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 cups lightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup roasted unsalted walnuts, chopped coarsely
  • 1/2 cup roasted unsalted hazelnuts, chopped coarsely
  • 1 cup roasted unsalted pecans, chopped coarsely
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9x13" glass baking dish (metal will do in a pinch).
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Set aside to cool.
  3. Sift the flour, nutmeg, cinnamon and baking powder into a small mixing bowl. Don't skip the sifting or you will have to fold the batter more later on to fully incorporate the flour in. Sift sift sift! (If your dried fruit is sticking together, toss it around in the flour mixture to help keep it from clinging together in the batter.)
  4. Using a mixer with the whisk attachment (or, if you like pain and labor, just a whisk) beat the eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla on high speed until the mixture thickens and becomes pale in color and falls from the beater in a wide ribbon that folds back on itself, about 4-5 minutes.
  5. Using a rubber spatula, fold the cooled chocolate into the egg mixture. Add the flour, dried fruit, and nuts EXCEPT the pecans; fold it in quickly but gently with the spatula so that you don't deflate the air you just incorporated into the eggs.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth with the top of the spatula. Sprinkle the pecans over the top. Bake until the top looks slightly cracked and feels soft to the touch, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Ceramic
  • LeBec Fin
    LeBec Fin
  • Bevi
  • fiveandspice
  • Ms. T
    Ms. T

16 Reviews

Ceramic December 23, 2013
Made these over Thanksgiving weekend. They were delicious, but next time I might not bother with the dates/cherries-- the orange flavor overwhelmed them-- in a good way.
LeBec F. November 14, 2011
jessica, i forgot to commend you for using the dk br sugar and no white. also, figs might sub well for dates(less sweet too!)
LeBec F. November 14, 2011
this looks terrific. were you inspired by panforte? When I make it i will sub dried cranberries if i can't find dried sour cherries, to help cut the sweetness. I am tempted to cut the walnuts too, to simplify the nut flavors a bit. And i will add espresso powder and coarse ground black pepper. Have you ever tried alice medrich's brownies? they are the best i have ever had, and she has you chill the batter overnight; says it makes a huge difference. I bet you made this recipe so many times- to perfect it for the contest- that you never want to eat brownies again, but if not, you might want to try the chilling step! thanks so much for this inspiration; can't wait to make it.
Bevi November 8, 2011
So pretty! Congrats!
fiveandspice November 4, 2011
Chocolatey decadence meets fruitcake, what a great idea. I can see myself accidentally eating the whole pan of these and deciding that it was totally worth the stomach ache. Congrats on being a finalist!
Ms. T. November 3, 2011
I never thought fruitcake could make me drool, but this sounds really good. Congrats and good luck :)
JessicaBakes November 3, 2011
Thanks! Best of luck to you too! Rosemary and pine nuts AND caramel? Divine.
sexyLAMBCHOPx November 3, 2011
JessicaBakes November 3, 2011
Thanks everyone! I really hope you all enjoy them!
BlueKaleRoad November 3, 2011
Congratulations on being a finalist! Love all the nuts in these decadent brownies.
aargersi November 3, 2011
Congratulations - extra special tasty brownies!!
Savour November 3, 2011
Oh yum. I'm thinking these would be extra delicious with a chocolate brandy glaze.
drbabs November 3, 2011
Wow, these sound amazing. Congratulations on being a finalist!
gingerroot November 3, 2011
Congrats on being a finalist!
EmilyC November 3, 2011
Congrats on being a finalist! What a unique, clever way to combine two holiday staples!
hardlikearmour November 3, 2011
Congrats! These brownies sound sinfully decadent & perfect for the holidays!