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Creole Christmas Fruitcake With Whiskey Sauce

Creole Christmas Fruitcake With Whiskey Sauce

  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours plus time for aging the cake
  • Yield: 12 cakes



  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Strips of zest of 2 lemons (about 3 tablespoons)
  • Juice of 2 lemons (about 1/4 cup)

  • 1 pound of a combination of dried fruits, such as blueberries, cranberries, cherries, raisins, and chopped apricots
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 ounces almond paste
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 cup Grand Marnier or other orange-flavored liqueur
  • 4 cups bleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup slivered blanched almonds
  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • 1 cup walnut pieces
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • Whiskey Sauce


  • Make a simple syrup by combining the sugar and water in medium-size heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the lemon zest and juice and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil for 2 minutes and remove from the heat.

  • Combine the dried fruits together in a large mixing bowl. Pour the simple syrup over them, toss to coat, and let steep for 5 minutes. Strain and serve the syrup.

  • Cream the butter, sugar, and almond paste together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle at low speed, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl. Beat until the mixture is fluffy and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing in between each addition on low speed and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add 1/2 cup of the Grand Marnier and mix to incorporate.

  • Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium-size mixing bowl and blend well. Add this mixture 1/2 cup at a time to the butter mixture with the mixer on low speed, each time mixing until smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. The batter will be thick.

  • Add the warm fruit and all the nuts a little at a time, mixing well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

  • Lightly grease twelve 1-pound loaf pans. Spoon about 1 cup of the batter into each pan. Bake until golden and the tops spring back when touched, about 45 minutes (rearranging them after 25 minutes if necessary to brown evenly).

  • Cool for 10 minutes in the pans. Remove cakes from the pans and cool completely on wire racks.

  • Combine the remaining 1/2 cup Grand Marnier and the bourbon. Without removing the cheesecloth, make tiny holes with a toothpick randomly on the top of each cake. Brush the cakes with 1 cup of the reserved simple syrup. 

    Wrap each cake in a layer of cheese cloth.  Set the cakes in a container and drizzle 1 teaspoon of the bourbon mixture over each cake and set aside covered for three weeks.  Drizzle 1 teaspoon of the bourbon mixture over each of the cakes once every 3 to 4 days.

    After three weeks, the cakes can be eaten or wrapped in plastic and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 months, adding more liquor every couple of weeks.

Recipe Details