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Gumdrop Fruitcake: Easy Fruitcake Recipe

Updated on September 8, 2014

Gumdrop Fruitcake: An Easy Fruitcake Recipe

Think you don't like fruitcake? Wait until you try this one, filled with candy fruit!

This very easy fruitcake recipe originated in Texas. The recipe was published in the Courier-Journal Magazine on November 6, 1955. My Aunt Madaline kept the page from the magazine and wrote some notes about the recipe in the margins. She could not have guessed that someday these notes would be shared worldwide by the power of the internet.

Surprise your friends and family this Christmas by making fruitcake using this vintage recipe!

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Easy Fruitcake Poll

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gumdrop fruitcake
gumdrop fruitcake


  • 1 lb. pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup candied cherries
  • 3 slices candied pineapple
  • 5 red regular size gumdrops
  • 5 green gumdrops
  • 3 orange slices - gumdrop candy pieces
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cans moist coconut - 9 ounces in all
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk


  1. Cut the fruit and candy into small pieces. Cover with flour. Add the coconut, pecans and milk. Mix well.
  2. Line an 8-inch tube pan or a 4-1/2 inch loaf pan with waxed paper. Pour batter into lined pan.
  3. Bake in a 250 degree oven. The recipe states this will be done in about an hour. Aunt Madaline made a note that it takes 1 hour 20 minutes.
  4. Cool after baking. Slice and serve in finger-sized pieces with egg nog.
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Easy Fruitcake Poll II

Do you think you would like fruitcake better with candy in it?

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Gumdrops for Your Fruitcake - ingredients for an easy fruitcake recipe

Gumdrops were a popular Christmas candy in the middle of the 20th century. Today they can be hard to find. You can order them here if you cannot find them in your neighborhood.

These large gumdrops can be hard to find, but they are still available from Amazon. These are the ones you will need for this recipe. Order enough to have 5 green and 5 red gumdrops.

Ingredients for Gumdrop Fruitcake - Here's what you need to make this easy fruitcake recipe.

Here are the remaining ingredients you will need to make this easy fruitcake recipe. I am not listing flour, as you can easily find this locally.

Pitted Dates for your Fruitcake

These are enough pitted dates for two fruitcakes. If you are only making one cake, these will keep in the freezer.

Candied Red Cherries

You only need 1/4 lb. per fruitcake, so this will make 4 cakes. One nice thing about these is that they are already chopped.

Candied Pineapple

This is also more than you. You will only need 3 slices of these to make this fruitcake, so you will have more than enough to make some additional recipes.

Orange Slices

These orange slices are generally still widely available. You can order them here if it is easier.

Flaked Coconut

This is one that is hard to find locally, and at Amazon they make you order 24 cans at a time! Sorry, that's a little awkward! Still, you are going to need to use almost 3 cans of this to make your fruitcake. The vintage recipe calls for 2 4.5 ounce cans. Of course, over the past 56 years these cans have shrunk. So you will need a total of 9 ounces. Maybe you can find something closer to this in your area. If not, buy the box and you will have enough for a few fruitcakes!

You can also try this coconut. Remember, you need a total of 9 ounces to make this recipe. You may be able to find this in your local grocery store.

Sweetened Condensed Milk

This is the kind of milk you will need. You can probably find it locally. Make sure you buy sweetened condensed milk and not evaporated milk which is different. I would buy two cans as the cans have no-doubt gotten smaller since 1955 when they were probably a full 16 ounces. You may want to add those additional two ounces to your cake so it will not be dry.

Chopped Pecans

You will need 2 cups (8 oz.) of chopped pecans for this recipe. You can probably find these locally, although remote areas may not have them available.

Do You Need a Tube Pan? - You'll need one for this easy fruitcake recipe.

Do you need a tube pan for this recipe? You can also use a loaf pan that is 11x4.5x2.5.

Fat Daddio's Anodized Aluminum 8-Inch Angel Food Cake Pan
Fat Daddio's Anodized Aluminum 8-Inch Angel Food Cake Pan

This is a hard-to-find 8-inch tube pan which is the correct size for this recipe. Don't forget to line with waxed paper to prevent the cake from sticking to the pan and make removal a cinch!


Please share your fruitcake memories with us! Good or bad, we want to hear them! Do you think you will make a fruitcake this year?

Fruitcake Memories

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    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is something new. It sounds like a great idea, though.

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 5 years ago

      My grandmother had to have her Claxton fruit cake every Christmas. I never saw the appeal.

    • profile image

      marsha32 5 years ago

      I can't honestly say that I've tried fruit cake--afraid to with so many giving it a bad wrap. However, I bet it is good with the gumdrops over the dried fruit.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I don't like regular fruit cake but I do like this Gumdrop Fruitcake and the one made with orange slices.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 6 years ago from United States

      I never even considered putting gumdrops in a fruitcake! Seems like a great idea to me :) I love gumdrops!

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I visited before and liked this lens, so I came back to bless!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      This really does sound easy to make. I haven't had fruitcake in years.

      You inspired me to publish some old recipes of my family too (Heritage Recipes). Thanks.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I like orange slices (not gumdrops so much) but I don't want to ruin them by putting fruitcake all around them!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I love fruitcake. I've never made it, though.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I will not be making a fruitcake this year...I much prefer my Mom's Date Nut Bread. But I enjoyed your lens...thumbs up!