Icebox Fruitcake


This dense fruitcake is a marvelous alternative to the long process of making a traditional fruitcake wrapped in a rum soaked cheesecloth for a few weeks. Instead, we use a box of graham crackers as our base so that no baking is required. The cake is still packed with all our favorites (pecans, currants, dates, apricots, cherries, and ginger), but it's all held together by a can of sweetened condensed milk. As the mixture of dried fruit, nuts, and graham cracker crumbs sits in the fridge with the sweetened condensed milk, the crumbs hydrate from the milk and form a solid structure that's easily sliceable. To lend the unmistakable fruitcake flavor of an old-fashioned rum soak, we add 1 teaspoon of rum extract to the mix, making this Icebox Fruit Cake as close in flavor to a classic fruitcake as possible. The texture of the Icebox Fruitcake is similar to a cake pop with a bunch of crunchy and chewy bits suspended throughout. Feel free to use a mixture of nuts or other dried fruits that sound appealing to you if you do not like some that are listed. Only taking 20 minutes to throw together before putting it in the fridge, it's wonderfully easy to make!

Icebox Fruit Cake
Photo: Micah Leal
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
20 mins


  • 1 (14.4 oz) box graham crackers

  • 1 (10-oz.) jar maraschino cherries

  • 1 cup pecan halves, roughly chopped

  • 1/2 cup dried currants

  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates

  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

  • 1/2 cup dried cherries

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped crystalized ginger

  • 1 teaspoon rum extract

  • 1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk


  1. Grease a 9- x 5-inch loaf pan with butter and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.

  2. Place graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and blitz until they become fine crumbs. Place crumbs in a large mixing bowl. Drain maraschino cherries, reserving 1 tablespoon of the juice. Slice each cherry in half and add to the graham cracker crumbs along with the reserved cherry juice.

  3. Add the pecans, currants, dates, apricots, dried cherries, and crystalized ginger. Stir well to coat all of the ingredients in graham cracker crumbs. Add the rum extract and sweetened condensed milk. Use a sturdy spoon to stir mixture until everything is well combined. Transfer to prepared loaf pan and press the top down firmly to evenly pack mixture into the pan. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

  4. Remove pan from refrigerator, and use a warm wet rag to rub the outside of the pan. Invert the loaf out of the pan onto a serving platter.

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