Chances are these very grown-up fruitcake brownies are for you. No fluorescent candied fruits to fear here. The bars have just the right amount of sophisticated dried fruit—figs, cherries, cranberries—to entice you. And there’s ample chocolate to soothe you into brownie bliss. As one of our recipe testers noted, “A solution to the perennial ‘fruitcake issue’ has been found. Just turn it into brownies!”Jenny Howard

A square white platter with fruitcake brownies--filled with dried fruit, chocolate, and rum.

Fruitcake Brownies

4.67 / 3 votes
Fruitcake brownies? Yup. Think dried fruits–such as figs, cranberries, golden raisins–mixed with chocolate and rum or brandy baked into a brownie pan. Ridiculously inventive.
David Leite
Servings16 servings
Calories235 kcal
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time1 day 35 minutes
Total Time1 day 1 hour


  • 2 cups coarsely chopped dried fruit, such as figs, cherries, apricots, cranberries, golden raisins, or prunes
  • 1 cup dark rum or brandy
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped into small and even-size chunks
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt


  • At least 24 hours before you plan to bake the brownies, combine the dried fruit and rum in a large bowl. Make sure there is at least 2 inches (5 cm) room in the bowl above the fruit mixture. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a cool, dry place.
  • When you’re about ready to bake the brownies, drain the fruit in a colander for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Butter a 9-by-9-inch (23-by-23-cm) baking pan. Dust with flour and tap out any excess.
  • In a small, heavy-bottom saucepan set over low heat, warm the butter and chocolate, stirring frequently, until almost completely melted. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir until smooth. Let cool slightly.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar until light in texture and color, about 30 seconds. Beat in the vanilla and then the cooled chocolate mixture.
  • Add the flour and salt and beat just until no trace of flour remains. Stir in the dried fruit by hand.
  • Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 35 until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with only a few crumbs, not batter, clinging to it. Cool the brownies in the pan on a rack for at least 1 hour. Cut just before serving. (The brownies keep best if uncut and covered for 2 to 3 days at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days.)

Adapted From

Fat Witch Bake Sale

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Serving: 1 brownieCalories: 235 kcalCarbohydrates: 24 gProtein: 3 gFat: 12 gSaturated Fat: 7 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 3 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 50 mgSodium: 15 mgPotassium: 116 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 15 gVitamin A: 264 IUVitamin C: 1 mgCalcium: 23 mgIron: 2 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2014 Patricia Helding. Photo © 2014 Alexandra Grablewski. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

A solution to the perennial “fruitcake issue” has been found—just turn it into a brownie! These lovely fruitcake brownies are just the thing when you could use a little chocolate and boozy warmth (we all have those moments, yes?).

Apricots and Mission figs were the dried fruits of my choice and they were wonderful with the dark rum. The brownies came out moist and cakey and were not overly sweet—a very nice bittersweet chocolate flavor and no candied fruit. Some of my tasters enjoyed theirs with vanilla ice cream.

I cut my brownies into 16 pieces and thought they were just the right size.

Holy Moly, are these fruitcake brownies ever good! These are not your granny’s fruitcake, that’s for sure! I am NOT a fan of fruitcake but a number of factors came together to encourage me to try this recipe:

1. I am looking for a festive dessert recipe that is NOT fruitcake and not bûche de Noël. I like chocolate so…

2. I am in the heart of Armagnac country in southwest France so, naturally, I figured that would be a good place to use some of the strong stuff.

3. My town here has the BEST dried fruit and nut stand and I knew I would be able to get some interesting dried fruits (LOL, including “cranberries du Canada”).

These are awesome. Exactly like fruitcake in that there is not much actual “cake.” It’s much more fruit than brownie but that is perfect. The chocolate is not too sweet or overwhelming either. It actually feels like a light dessert. Ahem. I can keep telling myself that, right?

I am not sure if they will keep for a week since I just made them today. Judging by everyone’s reaction, they may not last. Who wouldn’t eat these all up right away, I ask?

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Guess what – these keep way longer than 5-7 days. Like any fruitcake imbued with Cognac, these remain fresh three weeks after I baked them. The only reason we’ve kept them this long? So rich, one small 1/2 sized brownie is quite filling.

  2. 5 stars
    I have so many excellent variations on the brownie in my go-to collection, but these now rise to the top of the list. Outstanding! Moist, with complexity of flavors from the dark chocolate and the sweet & tart fruits, and the obvious but not overwhelming batah of Cognac. Following suggestion from David when I did not have unsweetend chocolate, I used 6 oz of Trader Joe’s 72% bittersweet chocolate and cut back 3 Tbsp of the sugar. Used a combination of dried figs, prunes, cranberries, and golden raisins soaked overnight in Cognac. Also added 1/3 cup walnut pieces to the batter when I folded in the fruits. Baked in 8 x 8″ Emile Henry pan, buttered and floured, and allowed to cool for 2 hours before cutting a small corner piece for myself and a slightly larger one for my husband. Will make these again, exactly the same way, because I cannot imagine them being any better than this way. A real winner.

  3. Planning to bake these tomorrow after macerating the dried fruits in Cognac overnight. I have Trader Joe’s 72% bittersweet chocolate instead of unsweetened, so how much do you think I should reduce the amount of sugar? By 1/3? Also, the recipe calls for a 9 x 9″ pan, but the photo is clearly recrangular. My Emile Henry square baker is 8 x 8 – I think that will work.

    1. Roni, the pan is actually square, one row of bars, closest to the camera, was removed. For every ounce of bittersweet chocolate, use 1 1/2 ounces of bittersweet chocolate–and remove 1 tablespoon sugar from the recipe. So, use 6 ounces of bittersweet chocolate and remove 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons will do it.

      1. Thanks – so just to confirm, not only reduce the sugar by 3 TBSP but also increase the chocolate to 6 oz. Am excited to see how these turn out. I love a really good fruitcake with abundant dried fruits and just enough ‘cake’ to hold it together. Using dried cranberries, golden raisins, black mission figs and prunes. Might also add some chopped nuts to the batter.

        1. Roni, that’s the best I can figure. But if you want to be on the safe side, I would use unsweetened chocolate. I‘d hate to be the reason the recipe fails!

          1. Just made them and waiting for them to cool. The batter tasted perfect so I’m sure they’re going to be great.