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I’ve been making these Fruitcake Bars more and more as the holidays approach. Not only are they incredibly simple to put together, unlike other fruitcakes, these really do taste great.

They can be made up to a week in advance, which will undoubtedly help alleviate holiday stress. It’s from my archives but thought it worth sharing again since folks enjoyed them so much at a recent Paris book event (and wine-tasting), and because the baking season is quickly approaching and it’s nice to have a recipe for a very easy-to-prepare dessert or snack.

These Fruitcake Bars, which are adapted from Alice Medrich’s wonderful book Pure Dessert, don’t have any icky green cherries or other inedible oddities in there. So you don’t have to worry about people giving you funny looks when you offer them a slice.

They’re packed with lots of healthy dried fruits and nuts, and are one of those great desserts to make when you don’t feel like going shopping, since you’re likely to have these ingredients on hand. There’s no butter either, so they keep for quite some time and could easily to filed under ‘low-fat’ recipes, so you don’t have to feel bad when you polish off the whole pan in one afternoon. But they’re so good, they really deserve to be shared.

And if you have small loaf pans, or other cake molds, the batter can be used to make individual cakes, which make great host or hostess gifts. I should know, because I already gave quite a few away already!

Fruitcake Bars

Adapted from Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich Feel free to use any friendly combination of dried fruits that strikes your fancy in these “Friendship Bars”. The dates really do make the recipe, but I’ve tossed in a scoop of dried sour cherries or cranberries, or candied ginger as well, with great results. Whatever you do, stick with the quantities below when swapping out other dried fruits and/or nuts. For those of you who are gluten-free, I imagine you could substitute another starch for the flour, but haven’t tried it. So if you do, please feel free to leave results in the comments. And if you decide to bake these in individual molds, increase the batter according to the capacity of the molds, and omit lining them with foil and just use non-stick spray.
Course Dessert
  • 6 tablespoons (50g) flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons (80g) packed, light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups (230g) walnuts, almonds, or pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups (170g) dates, pitted and quartered
  • 1 cup (110g) dried apricot halves, preferably from California, snipped in half
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Preheat the oven to 325ºF (160ºC) and position the rack in the center of the oven.
  • In a large bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the brown sugar, walnuts, dates, and apricots. Use your fingers to mix the fruit, separate any pieces sticking together.
  • Beat the egg and vanilla in a small bowl, then mix it with the fruit and nut mixture until everything’s coated with the batter. Spread the mixture in the baking pan and press gently to even it out.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes until the top of the bars are golden brown and has pulled away just-slightly from the sides of the pan. Cool the bars in the pan, then lift out.
  • To cut the cooled bars, use a heavy sharp knife, such as a bread knife, for ensuring neat, clean slices.


Storage: The bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. Individual cakes can be wrapped in plastic.

fruitcake bars



    • sweetbird

    Following you on Facebook is going to make me fat. I want to make these and slather them with some warm goat cheese and a bunch of raw honey.

    Thanks for helping me gain 5 pounds…

    • Lindsay King

    How funny! I was just looking at this archive post yesterday! I am planning to bake a coffee cake that calls for dates and dried figs so when I go to the market tomorrow, I’ll pick up a few extra fruits and nuts for these bars.

    • june2

    You will be happy to know, sweetbird, that dried fruit tends to have a ‘cleansing effect’, if you know what I mean, so as long as you skip the goat cheese and honey, you’re good : )

    • Tim

    I’m one of those rare people who actually like fruitcake… that said, I have long since abandoned the candied fruit for a mixture of dried fruit. So call me weird, but nothing says Christmas like fruitcake. I can’t wait to try these. They look great.

    • Kim McGowan

    Thanks for the gluten free reference… I had already saved this recipe to my “ones to adapt” file and since it is such a little amount of flour, would just replace it with a slightly less of a good GF flour mix. Christmas is a tough time if you are Coeliac and have a sweet tooth, so thanks for the thought!

    • Tom Coady

    Wow! I haven’t licked my fingers since I was a kid, but this was so yummy before it even reached the oven. Have been looking for something to use up my 3 year old figs and apricots for a while now so this serendipitous. Sadly the figs were so tough they would not blend in my old Braun processor, so resorted to a meat cleaver to cut them up and a bit of whisky to rehydrate. Used sesame, sunflower as well as almonds, and sodium bicarbonate instead of baking soda!

    • Jen

    Yay! I had something similar to this a a little place in Arcata, California called Los Bagels like 3 years ago and I’ve watched for it in other places and closely examined many a fruit cake to see if it was *it* since. I think this may be pretty darn close. I remember sunflower seeds so I’l add those in. Thanks David!

    • figsandfoiegras

    Hello fabulous Fruitcake Bars, where have you been my whole life? And the suggestion of goat cheese and honey is off the chart…all for my next holiday party.

    • candice

    Ick, I hate green cherries more than anything. And weird clumps of flour amidst all the “fruit.” This looks tasty though!

    • Jill in Atlanta

    I have combined a fruitcake recipe with my oatmeal cookie recipe to come up with a fruitcake cookie my family loves. The addition of candied ginger is one of the key ingredients we adore. Dried pineapple, cherries, raisins, dates and apricots, plus nuts and oatmeal make them wonderful.

    • Kitty

    Hey Tim, I actually like fruitcake too. My neighbour when I was growing up made the best fruitcake, she would give me a whole bunch to keep in the freezer so I could have it all year long.

    Should ask her for the recipe, but I have a feeling it’s complicated.

    • zee

    This is essentially the same method I used to make on a larger scale for Christmas fruitcakes when we lived in Iran and there was an amazing selection of dried fruit available. Try adding dried figs, sour cherries, pears, and mulberries to the mix. I baked them in largish loaf pans, I think at 300 for around 2 hr but my memory is uncertain. Doused in brandy and wrapped well they keep indefinitely and improve with age. I used to make them a good month in advance.

    • Rosanna

    These looks delicious and not full of sugar like most desserts this holiday season (less than a cup, wow!) These bars seem like they would make a quick breakfast to go as well.

    • Jocelyn

    Yummy! I love homemade fruitcake and this sounds like a nice quickie recipe. I think I will try soaking the fruit in some bourbon to give it a more traditional flavor :)

    • bedroom dresser

    This fruitcake bar looks delicious! I like it! I can make some and give as food giveaways this Christmas! Thanks for sharing!

    • Sophia

    Hey David, have you ever used more than one type of nut in one batch? I can’t tell what you used in the ones in the photo.

    • Tania

    These are going to be a godsend for this month.

    My husband and I are moving to Paris soon, and I am using your site as a resource: wonderful information, and thank you!

    • oakjoan

    These fruit bars from Medrich’s Pure Dessert are fabulous. I’ve been making them for a couple of years. They’re verrrry chewy and last forever. I make them to take on trips and we have them for breakfast so we don’t have to go to Starbucks or McD’s. They’re great with coffee.

    • David

    Sophia: I used almonds for this batch, since they’re pretty plentiful here in France. The original recipe uses walnuts, I believe, but you could certainly do a mix.

    (I’ll be these would be interesting with Macadamia nuts and dried tropical fruits, in case anyone is feeling extra-adventurous!)…

    oakjoan: Yes, these are great for travel. Like my French train mix, these are like power bars, but with recognizable ingredients.

    Rosanna: The dates add plenty of sweetness. And if folks can get them, I do recommend California apricots, which are much more tangy than their Turkish or Chinese counterparts. I keep a stash of those on hand since I like them so much.

    • Kerrin @ MyKugelhopf

    Wow that slice above looks fantastic. I always have a cupboard filled with dried fruits, especially at this time of year when they’re plentiful at the markets. If I can bring myself to stop eating my (absolute favorite) dates, then I’m all over this.

    When I first saw the photos, I was reminded of Bread & Roses’ dried fruit bread, have you had it ? It’s excellent, especially lightly toasted with salted butter. Oops, there goes the “low fat” idea you mentioned above.

    • Alta

    Wow, once you remove the green cherries, fruitcake DOES look pretty good! :) Might just have to make this. Yum!

    • Olga

    Look wonderful. Question though: I have a friend who recently was diagnosed with diabetes. Unfortunately, he has a sweet tooth, and so we’re trying to find sugar-less recipes. I notice that this one here uses hardly any sugar at all. Do you think they’d still be edible w/out the sugar? Maybe increasing the dates a bit?

    And one nitpicky question about the amount of flour. I was taught that 1 heaped tablespoon ~ 30g of flour (and that kind of works for most recipes, both ways). So, 6 tablespoons ~ 50g? You sure there? Maybe typo for 150 g?

    Anyhow, I’ll make this, quite possibly w/out sugar. It looks gorgeous.

    • David

    Olga: I’ve not seen that conversion for flour. I usually find one level tablespoon of flour is 8 grams. Which is approximately what others use. But if you’ve seen it differently elsewhere, I’d be interested to see their measurements.

    I don’t know if you could use less sugar, but if you try, please let me know how it turns out.

    • Mrs Redboots

    I don’t know what it is about Americans and fruit cake – which is simply delicious, very easy to make (much easier than a Victoria sponge, which I fail dismally at) and lasts a nice long time so ideal for taking on holiday or whatever. Yet all my American friends and acquaintances seem to find it snigger-making. Perhaps what you know as fruit cake is quite different to ours…..

    Anyway, these bars look utterly delicious, too; I might well have a go at them.

    David, I forget – can’t you get bags of mixed cake fruit in French supermarkets like you can in British ones (usually a mixture of raisins, sultanas, currants and peel). I have vague memories….

    • molly

    So glad to see I’m not the only one who adores fruitcake! I have 10 cups of apricots, sour cherries & house-candied orange peel sousing up in sherry and o.j. as I type, ready to be barely bound together with walnuts, macadamias, and just enough batter to keep it all intact. Once they’re baked and doused a little (okay, a lot) in a nice brandy bath, I find everyone only ever asks for seconds. Though they do go by the “christmas cakes” euphamism, just in case! *Molly

    • margaret roper

    This recipe landed in my mail box this morning just as I was about to weigh the dried fruit for a traditional English style Christmas Cake ( currants, sultanas, raisins, cherries etc.)Since I was rooting through bags of various drid fruit goodies that have been lurking in my store cupboard all summer I decided to have a go! I used chopped dates, dried pineapple, apricots, ginger and the remains of a bag of tropical fruit mix as wells as walnuts, roasted hazelnuts and flaked almonds. Stuck with the recipe quantities as suggested and although I thought the amount of flour and egg was not going to be enough I was pleasantly surprised with the finished product. I am eagerly awating the arrival of my daughter in law who is a veggie and hates fruit cake but loves nuts and all the dried fruits in this recipe!! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.

    • krysalia

    Olga> I think you can get rid of the sugar or replace it with maltitol if you find some. But be aware that most of this cake is sugar with quite high glycemic index : the dried fruits and the nuts. (glycemic index [don’t mind if you already know this] refers to the speed it takes for the ingredient to have an effect on the blood composition. The higher/quicker (100) is glucose, vegetable with high fibers are the lower/slower (under 15). those dry fruits are between 45 and 75, and most of the nuts are around 50, 65 for white almonds for example). While it is of course healthier for diabetics to eat those bars instead of pastries or worse, confectionner’s delicacies, it’s good to remember that it’s still sugar, and because this is pretty dense, it’s a good load of sugar in a small slice.

    if you need some “less sugar” recipes, try david’s panna cotta (♥♥♥), cream and gelatin, it’s soft, silky, and the sugar added can be substituted with any diabetic-friendly sweetener (splenda, maltitol, stevia, saccharin (eww), isomalt, aspartam (ewww, too). )
    Tiramisu is pretty cool too, because the cream and the coffee can have sweeteners, the biscuits are pretty light in weight (even if their glycemic index is close to glucose), and the cocoa, is unsweetened :)

    • Monkeypie

    Thanks for the incredible recipe. I made the bars last night using pecans, dried sour cherries, and dates. They are for my book group tonight, but I cannot stop eating them.

    • Maria Collins

    I make a fruitcake based on the Manhattan — with dried cherries and dark fruits (figs, dates, prunes) and use pecan meal along with rye and whole-wheat flours in the batter…. then liberally brushed with rye whiskey for a couple of weeks.

    People actually request them, which I take as a good sign.

    You could definitely do a Manhattan theme with your recipe, and omit the wheat flour entirely for those averse to it.

    • Jen

    Cannot. Wait. Until. My braces. Come off.

    • Arlene C. Gunter

    saw this recipe yesterday, made it yesterday…
    I followed the recipe substituting part of the apricots with equal amounts of dried pineapple – everything else the same. While the cake is extremely moist, chewy, nutty, great texture — there is no discernable tasted. In other words, I can’t actually taste anything. Not to say I did not enjoy the texture and mouth feel, it just seems that I should be able to taste some flavor? Do you have any ideas on this?

    • David

    Hi Arlene: If you’re going to swap out ingredients, it’s going to have an effect on the outcome. Dried pineapple is very sugary, whereas California dried apricots are packed with flavor. So I would recommend using dried fruits that are very flavorful. Since the majority of ingredients in this cake are nuts and dried fruits, if you use ones that have a lot of flavor, it’s hard not to have good results.

    Maria: At first I thought you were soaking the cakes with Manhattans (as in, the cocktail!) Which I don’t think is actually a bad idea..

    • weft1

    These bars look absolutely fantastic. Can I make them now and freeze them for the holidays or will they last for the next 2 1/2 weeks? That is, if they aren’t eaten within the next 24 hours!

    • David

    Hi Weft1: According to Alice Medrich, in her book, she says, “The cake keeps, wrapped airtight in foil or plastic wrap, for several weeks at room temperature or at least 3 month in the refrigerator. It can also be frozen for at least 6 months.”

    I’ve not frozen them, or kept them longer than a week. But that’s the scoop from her : )

    • geraldine toltschin

    Hi There busy baker!
    The recipe looks fantastic. AND YOU ARE RIGHT, one level tablespoon is 8 grams of flour…,.the other gentleman will have a disaster with 150 grams of flour!

    Thanks for sharing, have a great holiday. I’m going to Barcelona for Christmas.

    • guzgo

    I guess it’s just me, but it looks like there is dark chocolate in that fruit bar picture! I may need to try just that…with some dried cherries and apricots, candied orange peel and ginger and, uhmm, hazelnuts or walnuts?

    • Green Key

    David, I love this! I just put away my first batch. I adjusted the recipe to make it gluten free – using 2 tablespoons each of tapioca, sorghum and sweet rice (mochi) flours instead of the 6 T of all purpose flour. I also used some sunflower seeds as part of the nut mix, as they were on hand and I was a little short on walnuts. The fragrance while they were baking was divine, and final product – delicious! I confess that I had a hard time waiting for it to cool, and it broke up a little bit while I messed with it . . . but all’s well that ends well, and I am thrilled to have this recipe. As a gluten free cook, it’s great to have baking recipes to experiment with that don’t rely so heavily on the glutinous qualities of wheat flour. I’m going to have to find one of those bar pans – that looks like fun.

    • David

    Green Key: Thanks for the gluten-free option. Since it has such a small amount of flour, I assumed it could be revised, but I don’t specialize in gluten-free baking so I appreciate the feedback!

    guzgo: As I mentioned above, both Alice and I tried it with chocolate (praying it would be good!) But for some reason, the chocolate didn’t rock in these. You’re welcome to give it a try, but for some reason, to us, chocolate didn’t quite work in these. I did use some dried sour cherries, and they were great, though.

    • Marie Stokes

    We adore your book The Perfect Scoop and have made your fantastic ice creams but my five year old son Nick who is on a gluten and dairy free diet is feeling very sad and left out. My attempts with using soy milk and coconut milk has not been successful because result is icy and hard. I heard that corn syrup, glycerin, agar and xanthan gum might help. Could you please advise me of a recipe or percentages I can use to make my little boy happier?
    We live in little New Zealand and due to our small population size, the range of non dairy ice cream here is pathetic.
    Could the ice cream guru please help us and all the other families with children on the autistic spectrum because a lot of these kids are on gluten and dairy free diets and the frazzled mummies need to make decent ice cream for them.

    • David

    Hi Maria: I don’t know much about converting ice cream recipes to being dairy-free, but you might want to check out The Vegan Scoop which is a cookbook that is full of non-dairy recipes for ice cream and related scoops.

    You can also check out my post, Tips for Making Homemade Ice Cream Softer, which gives some proportions, tips, and guidelines.

    • novelty christmas cakes

    Fabulous recipe and what a great way to get something healthy into the kids too! I love fruit bars but I have never actually made any myself, look forward to finally trying out your recipe!

    • DLA

    Bonjour David, I love your pages and your books. So thank you. I have sent links to many people this season and had many appreciative friends. MY QUESTION: about the fruitcake bar (I am a novice cook) I would like to make it in mini-cupcake pans. Do I lower the temperature and lengthen the time?
    Also, thanks to you, I have found other wonderful books to read from suggestions on your site. Your friends owe YOU for increased sales!!!

    • lesbo-kitchen

    This looks a lot to me like recipes for italian pan forte, which I loved. Thanks!

    • Martha

    I’m stuck indoors while a raging blizzard roars around us so I made the fruit bars- using oat flour. They came out just lovely. The worst part is waiting for them to cool…

    • gratis cat

    As everyone has suspected, holiday fruitcakes really ARE dense enough to stop a speeding bullet. (With video.) Can a Fruitcake Stop a Bullet?

    • renata

    Hi David
    Im wondering, whats the difference btw baking powder and baking soda ? I am also curious to know if the bars were a bit salty ?
    merci beaucoup

    • David

    renata: With only 1/4 teaspoon of salt in the recipe, I didn’t find them salty at all. In my post about baking powder, there’s links to information about the differences between baking powder and baking soda that explain it.

    DLA: Because pan sizes vary, if you’re using another size pan, you need to adjust. It’s hard to give an exact answer but I would cook at the same temperature but reduce the baking time. I can’t say for sure an exact time, but just keep an eye on them and when they’re light brown on top, and just-set, that’s when they’re done.

    • Sandra

    This is the fruitcake my mom made every year for Christmas and it’s very, very good. She always used walnuts and called it California Fruitcake, which is funny because we lived in Connecticut our entire lives, but I just moved to California. She’s been gone 7 years and I don’t really celebrate Christmas much, but I do take out the recipe cards in her handwriting and make this every year. I look forward to slices for breakfast and remember her and feel her in the kitchen with me as I bake.

    • tom | tall clover farm

    Fruitcake: how do I love thee…let me count the ways. I think this holiday baked good needs a good publicist. What’s not to love? This recipe will hit my kitchen before the week is out!

    • m o o n marked

    Chocolate may not work IN these, but I thought it worked pretty well ON them! I used dates, apricots, cranberries, chopped up crystalized ginger and a small amount of candied orange peel as well as toasted almond slivers; rather than putting chocolate inside the fruitcake, I dropped some chocolate chips on some of the cake after they baked but while still warm. Smeared it around and then let cool before slicing up. I think it worked. Kinda like a thicker, cakier florentine (I also doubled the batch and made it in a 3x larger pan so that they were somewhat thinner to start with). Both the chocolate topped and the plain ones were very tasty. I plan to try a tropical batch with macadamia, pineapple, ginger, and coconut next week–the coop here has fresh and succulent dried fruit right now.

    • Jessica

    Made them yesterday and they were just fantastic. I adjusted just a tiny bit on the leavening for Colorado altitude, and used a mixture of pecans and almonds. My husband, who normally dismisses dried fruit dishes as one of my idiosyncratic passions, thought they were amazing. They’d be great accompanied by a nice glass of vin santo. The only downside was that the pieces of fruit sometimes stuck to the knife while I cut them, making the pieces unsightly and therefore fit only for the cook’s consumption . . .

    • Elie

    I just made these (with my 3 year old). I followed the recipe with walnuts. I have one complaint: the bars are a little too sugary, too sweet. I am not sure whether it is the type of fruits I used -country of origin- or what. Do you think I can reduce the brown sugar? Otherwise, the bars are delicious (I finished -yes, ate it all- my holiday fruitcake two weeks before I was supposed to… so these are just perfect!)

    • David

    Elle: As mentioned, it’s best to use California dried apricots, which are far less-sweet than their Chinese or Turkish counterparts. One-third cup of sugar for an 8″ (20 cm) square cake isn’t considered a lot by baking standards, but if you do try it with a reduced amount a sugar, please let us know how they turn out.

    Jessica: You can snip the dried fruits with your trusty scissors. Some folks oil them lightly to prevent the fruit from sticking…although from the sounds of it, it doesn’t sound like you had any trouble figuring out what to do with the odd-sized pieces!

    • recipe

    looks delicious, i’ll try it.. thanks

    • Jobeth

    I LOVE fruitcake but find it often so dry despite all the fruit that it is off-putting. We have a tradition in my house to slightly undercook our dark cakes so that they are ever so slightly gooey in the middle. This does not quite work for fruit cake though so I make sure the tins are well-wrapped in brown paper around sides and a wad is laid beneath the tins. Today I cooked them as long as the recipe called for, took them out of the oven and drizzled them with the syrup from a jar of marmalade from a batch that didn’t quite set. Too delicious.

    • Olga

    So, I’ve tried it without sugar. The taste is perfect, but the consistency suffers from the lack of sugar. It ended up being more like granola than like fruit bars: crumbly. Maybe using two eggs, or adding a bit of water/milk/lemon juice to moisten it a bit more would do the trick.

    I checked the weight of flour using a measuring table spoon, and you’re certainly right, it’s 8g. But then I got out my German soup spoon (they’re quite a bit larger than American ones) and *heaped* flour onto it, and I can get 31g of flour onto that. Mystery solved.

    • Catherine

    On scissoring dried fruit, my mom has a great technique to prevent the fruit from sticking to the scissors. As she is cutting the fruit, she dips the scissors into the flour mixture that you will have already prepared for the rest of the recipe! It works like a dream.

    • Margie

    OMGosh! I had these on my mind recently and kept telling myself (when i wasn’t having a brain fart), to go and get the recipe from my card file. (I wrote it down after you posted it initially.)

    This recipe is forgiving in so many ways. I have used different dried fruits, anise seeds, and even added some pumpkin seeds.

    • Ann

    Made these last week substituting almond flour for the flour and they turned out great. Trying them again tomorrow using the almond flour again, but mixing pecans with the walnuts and adding dried cranberries to the dates and apricots. Going to try the finished product with a nice little smear of Mascarpone. Should be absolutely delicious.

    Thank you for the beautiful recipe.

    • David

    Hi Ann (and others): Thanks for writing in possible substitutions for the flour. I do wish I could test the recipes with various options, including gluten-free, but I don’t have the time. Plus those of you with experience swapping out ingredients likely know what works as well, or better, than I do.

    So I really do appreciate folks adding your workable substitutions, suggestions and feedback to the site.


    • Jane G.

    I used to love that kind of sticky, heavy, dark fruitcake you kept in a drawer for a month, watering it with brandy & expecting some kind of 19th c fantasia to sprout (candied citron tree with fairies living in it. that sings.) though I haven’t made it in forever, and I might well find I’ve outgrown it along with other sentimental favorites from the English side of the family.

    I was thinking of making one again for my 85 year old dad, who really really loves fruitcake, but shouldn’t have butter, or booze either I think. Last thing I expected to find here was a suitable substitute. It sounds kind of spartan to be honest, but I trust you like, whoa, so I’m guessing these will be perfect. Thank you!

    • melit

    David,thank you so much for sharing the recipe.
    It was a hit at my workplace(ER-CA hospital)Oh,they all loved it.I have to bake more
    for the other depts. I bought the ingredients at Trader Joe’s where they have mixed
    nuts and Californis raisins.The dates were purchased at a Mediterranean-Middle
    eastern market.
    This was my first time to make fruitcake bars and definitely wouldn’t be the last.
    Have a Merry Christmas and A Blessed New Year!!

    • Denise@There’s a Newf in My Soup!

    Happy Holidays, David! I’m making these at this very moment. Was disappointed I could not find CA apricots, here in CA, but am using CA dates, Turkish apricots and a few dried pomegranate seeds, with pecans, cashews and a few pistachios. Wish I could be in Paris!
    Denise in Coronado, CA at 70 F today!

    • Angie

    This looks divine! I love fruitcake, but the kind with actual dried fruit too like yours. My fruitcake is loaded with booze and butter though, this is a delightfully healthy version. Can’t wait to try it.

    • David

    Denise: Most supermarkets I’ve been to in California have California apricots. Even Sun-Maid offers them. If not, there’s Trader Joe’s and they usually carry them as well. You can also purchase California dried apricots online, too. To me, they’re worth the extra expense.

    • Sue

    This recipe is a fantastic success! On Friday morning I baked “Supernatural Brownies”, Ginger and Currant Shortbread cookies and these Fruitcake bars for the reception of our chamber orchestra (Esopus Musicalia) concert, here in Woodstock, NY. The fruitcake bars were the first to disappear. I had to make another batch for us at home last night – thank you for sharing this delicious recipe.

    • Patrick R

    They’re in the oven now. Can’t wait!

    I had to make some substitutions as well. For the nut portion, I used almonds, pumpkin seeds, and a little toasted coconut. I was also low on dates, so I added some chopped raisins and a little bit of honey to fill up that portion. It looks and smells great!

    • Annie

    I used half toasted walnuts and pecans and added some dried cranberries in equal measure (half half with the apricots)and the full quota of dates because dates rock it in desserts!!! In Australia we get awesome, Australian dried apricots. They are so tangy and moreish, a little goes a long way. Perhaps similar to your California ones. The Turkish ones are not as flavoursome and too fat and stodgy.
    I loathe fruitcake more than I can tell you but I love nuts and dried fruits like dates, figs etc. I love dried cranberries but not a fan of raisins, cherries and peel. This is such a great recipe. Thank you.

    • melit

    Hi David/Denise…I meant California apricots not raisins.Yes,I got my apricots
    at Trader Joe’s and first time I learned that they sell apricots from Turkey.
    This yummy recipe rocks!

    • Peggy

    Hello David! I made yout recipe this week with dates, pecans, hazelnuts and dried sour cherries. I was worried as there was very little batter to hold it all together, but it came out terrific! I will definitely be making these more often. I picked up apricots and walnuts to use for the next batch. Thank you for the recipe, and hope you and your family have a merry christmas!

    • Juliana

    Bonjour David! I have made two batches of these as small loaves for gifts – using Blenheim apricots (nice and tangy), dried cranberries, Morello cherries, Medjool dates + lightly toasted pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, and pecans. In a test batch, we tasted the cakes plain, with golden rum and with bourbon. We preferred dousing them with the golden rum and wrapping tightly in plastic wrap. Thanks so much for the recipe!


    DAVID, just made these fruitcake bars. I added some dried cherries. Not only delish, but really pretty to serve.

    • kirk rouse


    These have become a hit with my exercise folks. We are all on the Zone diet and are wondering if you have any more nutritional information on these, fat content, carbos, etc?

    • Tamar

    Thank you for this recipe, David. I tried substituting almond-flour for the flour and honey & agave for the sugar. It didn’t quite bind together as much as it should have, but the flavours are great. Another egg might do the trick, maybe some orange juice. I added the zest of an orange as well as anise-seeds. I’m off to have another piece now and am thinking that it would pair together nicely with an applejack toddy.

    • Violet

    I made this for Christmas gifts, putting in half walnuts and half almonds, and adding dried cranberries. I’ve had to make it several times since, as I made the “mistake” of saying that I’d refil the tins I gave them in!

    • Chiara

    I did them on Saturday. Great!! Easy, quick, delicious. Thank you!

    • rose

    I just found your blog!! Found it whilst looking for ice cream recipes. As usual for me when I discover a great blog, I go to the archives and start from the beginning! I wanted to make that comment on that confessions post. Too bad for me you have closed comments on some posts which I was itching to say something. But, no harm done, I am imagining the possibilities with this bar! I am so excited already and will tell you what happens next week. Thank you so much!!

    • Diane Brown

    Do you have the nutritional information for these? Thank you.

    • David

    Hi Diane: You can find various nutritional information calculators/programs online using a search engine, which allows you to plug in ingredients and you can obtain that information.

    • spice

    Hi David,

    googling for some nut bar recipe & Fruitcake Bar title got my eye as I was planning to make fruit cake for my weekend trip but then thought about bars….it looks perfect want your suggestion on making it eggless, i’m thinking about fruit sauce…..Thanks.

    • Melissa

    I’m so gonna veganize these bad boys. ;)
    Only one egg (looks like it’s the binder, not a leavener?) is easy peasy to replace. I’m thinking the nutty taste of a ground flax “egg” will be lovely in this recipe. :) Plus, omega 3s and fiber, woot. :)

    • kayenne

    hmm.. for those concerned with the sugar… maybe a thick applesauce or prune puree would work?

    i am glad to see that almond flour works well for this.. i was just thinking of trying it while reading the post. now i do not have to worry about ruining a batch that way! i don’t like candied fruits as well.. this one looks yummy in comparison! will definitely try this as soon as i can get more dried fruits and nuts. i’m thinking some flaked or dessicated coconut would work well in this!

    • lm

    maybe I should have read all the comments before baking mine…I cut down the sugar (worried they would be too sweet) and chopped the dates quite finely and it was very crumbly pre-baked and continued crumbly after baking. Tastes ok (I will mix with my morning oatmeal) but not suitable for giving…next time maybe I should follow the recipe…

    • Annie

    This is still a favorite of mine. Now, my sisters and their friends are making it and loving it and as soon as I can lay my hands on some dates I’ll be making them again. Oh forgot to mention that my 9yr and 6yr old grand sons also like this especially when I make it using the almond flour. Thanks again!

    • Cindy

    I shall make these today with pecans, dried peaches, cherries and apricots. I see why you need the sugar–it contributes to the texture. I do have a friend who can’t touch gluten, so the almond flour is a good option.

    I am one of those people who likes a GOOD fruitcake. There is such a thing!

    Thanks for this recipe. I think dried cranberries, walnuts, dried pears and some orange peel would be a good variation, too.


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