Enjoy a holiday classic in a new way with these chocolate-coated fruitcakes. Filled with fruits and nuts, these bite-sized fruitcakes are fun to make and gift.
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Table of Contents
About Bite-Sized Fruitcakes
Fruitcake is a holiday tradition, but it’s also a labor of love. Because there’s a lot going on when you’re making a quality fruitcake, from the impressive list of ingredients to the time it takes to prepare, but there is a (very delicious) shortcut you cake take:
This recipe pays homage to all the glory that is fruitcake but trims it down into candy-sized portions.
Plus, these fruitcake bites are also coated in chocolate, and how can you possibly go wrong with that?
What type of chocolate should you use?
There are many different brands of chocolate chips – even some made by popular candy companies – but from my experience, the best chocolate for baking, fudges, or truffles is Ghirardelli. It consistently performs well while baking, has a great texture (never chalky), and has a delicious flavor. This brand is a little more expensive, but trust me, you’ll appreciate the flavor and consistency you’ll get from the premium quality.
You can find their semi-sweet chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate bar either in the bakery aisle of most grocery stores or you can buy it online.
How much orange zest do you need?
This recipe calls for about two tablespoons of orange zest, which you should be able to get from one medium-sized orange.
How long are fruitcake bites good for?
Once prepared, these bite-sized fruitcakes can be stored in a sealed container on the counter for up to two days. If stored in the refrigerator, they will last up to six days.
For best results, I would recommend storing them in the refrigerator. In my taste testing, these fruitcake bites tasted better slightly chilled.
Can you freeze fruitcake bites?
Yes, you totally can!
For best results, wrap each fruitcake bite with plastic wrap or wax paper and store in an air-tight container or freezer bag.
Bite-sized fruitcakes can be frozen for up to one month.
Notes & tips for fruitcake bites
- Fruitcake is almost like a “bread cake,” and as with most breads and cakes, it’s important that you don’t overmix the flour into the batter. Overmixing will cause the gluten to over develop, resulting in the baked good having a rubbery texture instead of moist and tender. If this part worries you, you can mix the dry ingredients in by hand (with a spoon or spatula as opposed to a mixer) so you have more control.
- And like with most breads, these bite-sized fruitcakes will taste better on the second day, as the extra time allows for the spices and fruits to settle together and become more congruent and rich.
- If you can’t find candied cherries, you can use maraschino cherries instead. Just be sure to drain and dry them very well.
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How to make bite-sized fruitcakes
This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.
Step 1 – Get started by whisking together all of the dry ingredients: flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cloves. You can set this bowl aside for now.
Step 2 – Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl), cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and light brown sugar until nice and fluffy.
Step 3 – Drop the mixer speed to low and slowly mix in the eggs, egg yolks, orange juice, milk, orange zest, and vanilla extract.
Step 4 – Working in batches, mix in the dry ingredients. Be careful with this part; you only want to mix until the dry ingredients just start to look incorporated. It’s okay if it doesn’t look perfect as the most important part is to avoid overmixing. Overmixing can cause the baked goods to have a rubbery texture and you still need to be able to mix the batter more in the next few steps.
Step 5 – Turn off the mixer and grab a spatula. Add the dates, raisins, green cherries, red cherries, and pecans to the bowl, then gently mix and fold them into the batter.
Step 6 – Pour the batter into a 9×13 baking dish lined with parchment paper and sprayed with cooking spray. If needed, use the spatula to smooth out the top.
Step 7 – Bake! And once baked, allow the fruitcake to cool completely.
Step 8 – When ready to decorate, remove the fruitcake from the baking dish and cut it into 1-inch squares. Melt the chocolate per package instructions, then toss a fruitcake square in the melted chocolate, flipping it a few times to coat. Place the coated fruitcake bite on a piece of parchment to dry. If desired, top each fruitcake bite with a sliced cherry while the chocolate is still wet. Repeat this step until all the fruitcake bites are coated in chocolate.
Step 9 – Chill the fruitcake bites until the chocolate coating is set.
Step 10 – Serve and enjoy!
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 10 tablespoon salted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 4 egg
- 2 egg yolk
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 3 tablespoon milk
- 2 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup dates, pitted and chopped
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup candied green cherries, chopped, plus more for decoration (optional)
- 1 cup candied red cherries, chopped, plus more for decoration (optional)
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper, extending pieces over the sides for easy handling, then spray with cooking spray. Set dish aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cloves. Set bowl aside.
- Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl), cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and light brown sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 5-7 minutes.
- Drop mixer speed to low and mix in the eggs, egg yolks, orange juice, milk, orange zest, and vanilla extract until just combined, about 2-4 minutes.
- Keeping speed on low, quickly scoop in flour, adding about 1/3 to 1/2 cup at a time. Once added, continue to mix until flour first appears to be incorporated; be careful not to overmix.
- Remove bowl from mixer. Add the dates, raisins, green cherries, red cherries, and pecans to bowl, then use a spatula to gently fold them into the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish, spreading out the top into an even layer.
- Bake fruit cake for one hour or until a tester toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with a few crumbs.
- Transfer baking dish to a wire cooling rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.
- Once cooled, lift fruit cake out of baking dish and cut the fruitcake into roughly 35 1-inch squares.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, add semi-sweet chocolate chips. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds on 50% power, then stir. Continue to heat for 15 second intervals, mixing in between, until chocolate completely melted.
- When ready to decorate, lay out a piece of parchment paper. Dip a square of fruitcake into the melted chocolate, then toss to coat. Transfer coated fruitcake to the parchment. If desired, top each bite-sized fruitcake with a sliced green or red cherry while chocolate is still wet. Repeat this step until all the fruitcake bites have been coated and decorated.
- Refrigerate fruitcake bites for at least 30 minutes or until chocolate coating is set.
- Serve immediately.
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.