Chocolate-Cherry Fruitcake
Makes 2 loaf pan-sized cakes
Adapted from Ready for Dessert by David Lebovitz I’ve revised and updated this recipe over the years, adding a bit more flour (previous versions of the cake sometimes dipped in the middle when cool, which didn’t affect the flavor) and making other adjustments. In place of rum, you could use kirsch, whiskey, or amaretto. If you have an issue with the cake sinking in the middle, I posted a step-by-step video in my Instagram Stories of making the cake to show how I followed the recipe and how the cake was prepared. To make it easier to slice, I like the chop the cherries a bit before adding them to the rum.
1 1/2 cups (180-200g) dried cherries, sweet or sour, chopped
1/4 cup (60ml) plus 2/3 cup (160ml) rum
1 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (180g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (50g) unsweetened cocoa powder, Dutch-process or natural
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
10 tablespoons (140g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups (400g) sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup (180g) buttermilk or plain yogurt
1 cup (135g) walnuts, pecans, or almonds, toasted and finely-chopped
3/4 cup (120g) chocolate chips
1. A day or two before you make the cake, toss the cherries in ¼ cup of rum. Cover and let macerate, stirring a few times.
2. To bake the cakes, butter two 9-inch (23cm) loaf pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
3. Sift together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
4. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or by hand in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar at medium-high speed until very light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir together the eggs and yolk with the vanilla in a small bowl, then dribble them in while beating at medium speed, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure they’re getting completely incorporated.
5. Mix in one-third of the flour and cocoa mixture, then half of the yogurt or buttermilk. Then mix in another third of the dry ingredients, then the rest of the yogurt. Finally add the remaining dry ingredients, and gently stir in the nuts, chocolate chips and cherries. (Which should have absorbed all the liquid. If not, add that as well.)
6. Divide and smooth the batter into the two prepared loaf pans and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center just about comes out clean, but avoid overbaking it.
7. With a toothpick skewer, poke 50 holes in the cake and spoon 1/3 cup (80ml) of liquor over each cake. Let the cakes cool completely.

Storage: These cakes will last, well-wrapped, for 3-4 days at room temperature. If you want a more boozy cake, or one that keeps longer, you can “feed” the cake with rum. More information about how to do that is posted at the end of the Black Fruitcake recipe.