Recipes | Cakes & Cupcakes

Low FODMAP Fruitcake

GFVEG

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy for details.

Fear not, our Low FODMAP Fruitcake is based on lab tested certified low FODMAP amounts of dried and candied fruit, nuts, liqueur and honey. Sound impossible? Read on.

Horizontal image of Low FODMAP Fruitcake on decorative plates with red plaid napkin
Our Low FODMAP Fruitcake features high quality candied and dried fruit and nuts. Think you don’t like fruitcake? Try ours!

We have figured out how to make a classic fruitcake possible for the FODMAPer.

A Low FODMAP Fruitcake? YES!

There are a few things to know about this recipe:

  1. Pay attention to serving sizes.
  2. Know your own tolerances, to fructose, sorbitol and oligosaccharides (GOS and fructans) in particular.
  3. Use the amounts of the various dried fruits in the amounts listed – do not use more of any one of the ingredients than suggested.
  4. Both Monash University and FODMAP Friendly have lab tested several dried fruits and their results do not always agree. (More on this below). I have chosen to use both entities for information.
  5. As always, one’s tolerance to a recipe can vary greatly person to person. Listen to your body.

Low FODMAP Fruitcake held in hand over Low FODMAP Fruitcake on dishes
Our Low FODMAP Fruitcake is gluten-free and lactose-free, too.

Let’s Look at The FODMAPs

Let’s take a look at the FODMAPs in this recipe.

  • The butter is a fat, and not a FODMAP issue. Even if you are sensitive to fat with your IBS, there is very little in this recipe.
  • Sugar is not a FODMAP issue, either. Read more in our Explore An Ingredient: Sugar.
  • The honey is used in a small enough amount to be low FODMAP, if you stick with the serving size. Read more in Is Honey Low FODMAP? BTW, 7 g of honey is low FODMAP.
  • The whiskey is used in a small enough amount to be low FODMAP, if you stick with the serving size. Read more Alcohol and The Low FODMAP Diet. You could also use our Low FODMAP Orange Liqueur, but you would have to make that recipe first.
  • According to FODMAP Friendly dried dates primarily contain fructans and sorbitol; serving size 30 g.
  • According to Monash dried dates primarily contain fructans and have a low FODMAP serving size of 8 g.
  • According to FODMAP Friendly dried figs primarily contain fructans and GOS; serving size 30 g.
  • According to Monash dried figs do not have a low FODMAP serving size.
  • BTW both the Monash and FODMAP Friendly apps show Calimyrna figs in their images.
  • According to FODMAP Friendly raisins primarily contain fructans and sorbitol; serving size 30 g.
  • According to Monash raisins primarily contain fructans; serving size is 1 Australian tablespoon (13 g).
  • According to Monash candied citrus peel is low FODMAP in generous ⅓ cup (50 g) amounts and contain only trace amounts of FODMAPs. Make sure to buy a brand without high fructose corn syrup.
  • According to Monash dried cranberries primarily contain fructans; serving size is 1 Australian tablespoon (15 g).
  • According to FODMAP Friendly pecans have a serving size of 30 g.
  • According to Monash pecans have a serving size of 20 g.
  • According to FODMAP Friendly whisky has a serving size of 30 ml.
  • According to Monash whiskey has a serving size of 30 ml.

You can see that Monash University and FODMAP Friendly lab test results do not always line up with one another. This is not, I repeat, not a factor of one being right and another being wrong, or one being better than the other.

All of these lab test and results are true and accurate for the items that were tested at the time. In order to bring you a low FODMAP fruitcake, by the numbers so to speak, I have chosen to focus on the lab test results that give us the most leeway. As always eat to your tolerances.

Remember, this recipe makes 48 mini fruitcakes, with 1 per serving as a recommendation. You are eating 1/48th of the ingredients. The diet is low FODMAP, not no FODMAP, and it helps to remember that.

Low FODMAP Fruitcake on glass dish with red Christmas trees in background
Making the recipe in mini muffin tins gives you instant portion control.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Fruitcake Taste Good?

Well, it depends on who you ask! Obviously we think this recipe is delicious or we would not have brought it to you. I actually think that people who hate fruitcake have only had really horrible ones – and it is true that there are some abominations out there. Many recipes and commercially prepared products use poor quality fruit and other ingredients, and the recipes themselves are not well done. Our suggestion would be to have an open mind, try this one, and see what you think.

What Alcohol Is Used In Fruitcakes?

Certainly not all fruitcakes contain alcohol, but this recipe was based on one I made with my mother as a child and the alcohol of choice was sherry. Since sherry is a fortified wine, high in sugar, and has not been lab tested, I was not going to use it in our low FODMAP version. Brandy could have been another choice, but it has not been lab tested either. In personal correspondence with Monash University, they promise to lab test brandy soon. Look for updates in this recipe.
 
You can use whiskey for this recipe, or you could make and use our Low FODMAP Orange Liqueur. Either would be lovely.

Do I Have To Use Alcohol?

This recipe was developed and tested to include the alcohol, and there is a fair amount of it. We think it is a key part of the recipe. If you want to try the recipe with no alcohol at all, I would macerate the dried fruit in freshly squeezed orange juice and I recommend serving the fruit cakes within three or four days of preparing. They will not be nearly as moist as when they are drenched with alcohol post baking and brushing with juice after the fact does not bring about a great result. BTW Monash has told us that freshly squeezed orange juice contains so FODMAPs.

Do I Need A Scale?

The original recipe was based on weights of various fruit and nuts and so has been replicated as such here. Please use a digital scale for those. You still need measuring cups and spoons for other ingredients.

closeup shot of Low FODMAP Fruitcake on decorative glass dish

How To Make Low FODMAP Fruitcake

Place all of the candied and dried fruit in a large bowl and toss to combine. Add honey and whiskey, stir well, cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature overnight to macerate, or alternatively, microwave on high power for two minutes; stir and cool. 

Preheat oven to 325°F (165°C). Coat 4, 12 mini-muffin tins with non-stick spray; set aside. (Or the equivalent to equal 48 mini-muffin wells).

Stir together flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl to aerate and combine.

dry ingredients for fruitcake in bowl

Stir in nuts; set aside.

flour and nuts combined in glass bowl

Place butter in bowl of mixer and beat with flat paddle on medium-high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar gradually and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice; beat in cinnamon.

butter, sugar, cinnamon creamed in bowl

Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, again scraping down the bowl once or twice. 

butter and sugar creamed for low FODMAP Fruitcake batter; eggs added

Turn machine off, add about one-third of the flour mixture, then turn machine onto low-speed. Gradually add remaining flour, mixing just until blended, scraping down bowl once or twice.

flour and nuts added to fruitcake batter

Beat in fruit mixture.

raw batter for Low FODMAP Fruitcake in mixer bowl

Fill each muffin tin up to the rim with batter; these do not rise much at all – almost imperceptibly.

raw batter for Low FODMAP Fruitcake in pan

Bake for about 25 minutes or until light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

fully baked Low FODMAP Fruitcake in pan

Cool muffin tins on racks for a couple of minutes, then pierce each one with a bamboo skewer several times.

Poking Low FODMAP Fruitcake with a toothpick

Generously sprinkle or brush with whiskey to moisten; I use about ½ cup (120 ml) at this point.

brushing Low FODMAP Fruitcake with whiskey

Cool completely, then unmold. You might need to use a small icing spatula to run around each cakelet to loosen it from the pan. Line the bottom and sides of airtight containers with a double layer of cheesecloth, moistened with whiskey. Arrange muffins in single layers, separating ayers with more moistened cheesecloth.

arranging Low FODMAP Fruitcake in storage container with whiskey soaked cheesecloth

Cover with a double layer of whiskey moistened cheesecloth and seal tin.

Low FODMAP Fruitcake in storage container with whiskey soaked cheesecloth

Let sit overnight. Sprinkle with whisky again and re-seal the tins. Add more whiskey as needed over the next week to keep everything moist, but not wet.

These are best eaten at about 1 week after baking and after receiving at least 4 doses of whiskey. If storing longer, add more whiskey about every 3 days. Cakes may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 months, however, this partially depends on amount of alcohol added. If at any point they appeared spoiled or mold has appeared, please discard. You could try freezing for longer storage.

Low FODMAP Fruitcake on decorative glass plate with colored Christmas Lights

FODMAP Information

Our recipes are based on Monash University and FODMAP Friendly science.

  • Butter: Both Monash University and FODMAP Friendly have lab tested butter. Monash states that a low FODMAP Green Light portion is 1 tablespoon or 19 g and also states that “butter is high in fat and does not contain carbohydrates (FODMAPs)”. FODMAP Friendly gives it a “Pass” at 1 tablespoon or 19 g. Both recommended serving sizes are presented as part of healthy eating guidelines, not as maximum FODMAP serving size. Fat can affect guy motility and trigger IBS symptoms in some people. Eat to your tolerance.
  • Cranberries: Both Monash University and FODMAP Friendly have lab tested cranberries. FODMAP Friendly has lab tested dried cranberries and gives them a “Fail” at 40 g or ⅜ cup. On the Monash app you will find Dried Cranberries are given a Green Light low FODMAP serving of 1 Australian tablespoon, or 15 g. On the Monash website itself they discuss fresh cranberries and state that 130 grams fresh, which is about a scant 1 ¼ cups, should be tolerated well.
  • Eggs: Eggs are high in protein and do not contain carbohydrates, according to Monash University.
  • Pecans: Monash and FODMAP Friendly have both lab tested pecans. Monash says that a low FODMAP serving size is 10 pecan halves or 20g. The small print tells us that they are not High FODMAP until they reach a 100 g serving size, or about 40 halves. You might notice that on the FODMAP Friendly app the image is for pecans in the shell. We have asked FODMAP Friendly for clarification and they told us that the ¼ cup (30 g) low FODMAP serving size is for nuts OUT of the shell and is approximately 15 pecan halves.
  • Raisins: Monash and FODMAP Friendly have both lab tested raisins. While raw grapes contain no FODMAPs, the natural sugars concentrate upon drying and the resulting raisins do contain FODMAPs. Monash says a low FODMAP Green Light serving is 1 Australian tablespoon (13 g). FODMAP Friendly gives them a “Pass” at 3 tablespoons (30 g).
  • Sugar: Monash University and FODMAP Friendly have both lab tested white, granulated sugar. Monash states that a Green Light low FODMAP serving size of white sugar is ¼ cup (50 g). FODMAP Friendly simply states that they have tested 1 tablespoon and that it is low FODMAP. Regular granulated white sugar is sucrose, which is a disaccharide made up of equal parts glucose and fructose. Sucrose is broken down and absorbed efficiently in the small intestine. 
  • Whiskey: Monash University has lab tested whiskey and it is low FODMAP Green Light at a 30 ml serving size. FODMAP Friendly gives it a “Pass” at 30 ml or “1 shot”.

Please always refer to the Monash University & FODMAP Friendly smartphone apps for the most up-to-date lab tested information. As always, your tolerance is what counts; please eat accordingly. The ultimate goal of the low FODMAP diet is to eat as broadly as possible, without triggering symptoms, for the healthiest microbiome.

Horizontal image of Low FODMAP Fruitcake on decorative plates with red plaid napkin
5 from 4 votes

Low FODMAP Fruitcake

Fear not, our Low FODMAP Fruitcake is based on lab tested certified low FODMAP amounts of dried fruit, nuts, liqueur and honey. Sound impossible? We have figured out how to make a classic fruitcake possible for the FODMAPer.

Low FODMAP Serving Size Info: Makes 48 mini fruitcakes; 48 servings; 1 fruitcake per serving. 

Makes: 48 Servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Macerating Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 55 minutes
Author: Dédé Wilson

Ingredients:

  • 12- ounces (340g) candied mixed peel, diced (such as a mixture of lemon and orange; make sure to choose a product without high fructose corn syrup)
  • 4- ounces (115 g) dried cranberries
  • 4- ounces (115 g) dark raisins
  • 2- ounces (55 g) pitted moist dates, minced
  • 2- ounces minced 55 g dried Calimyrna figs, stems removed, minced
  • ¼ cup (85 g) (85 g) honey, or rice malt syrup
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) whiskey, or Low FODMAP Orange Liqueur, plus extra
  • ¾ cup (109 g) plus 2 tablespoons low FODMAP gluten-free all-purpose flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ½- ounces (100 g) pecan halves, finely chopped
  • ½ cup (113g; 1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
  • 2/3 cup (131 g) sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature

Preparation:

  1. Place all of the candied and dried fruit in a large bowl and toss to combine. Add honey and whiskey, stir well, cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature overnight to macerate, or alternatively, microwave on high power for two minutes; stir and cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 325°F (165°C). Coat 4, 12 mini-muffin tins with non-stick spray; set aside. (Or the equivalent to equal 48 muffin wells).
  3. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl to aerate and combine. Stir in nuts; set aside. Place butter in bowl of mixer and beat with flat paddle on medium-high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar gradually and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice; beat in cinnamon. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, again scraping down the bowl once or twice.
  4. Turn machine off, add about one-third of the flour mixture, then turn machine onto low-speed. Gradually add remaining flour, mixing just until blended, scraping down bowl once or twice. Beat in fruit mixture. Fill each muffin tin up to the rim with batter; these do not rise much at all – almost imperceptibly.
  5. Bake for about 25 minutes or until light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool muffin tins on racks for a couple of minutes, then pierce each one with a bamboo skewer several times and generously sprinkle or brush with whiskey to moisten; I use about ½ cup (120 ml) at this point. Cool completely, then unmold. You might need to use a small icing spatula to run around each cakelet to loosen it from the pan.
  6. Line the bottom and sides of airtight containers with a double layer of cheesecloth, moistened with whiskey. Arrange muffins in single layers, separating layers with more moistened cheesecloth. Cover with a double layer of whiskey moistened cheesecloth and seal tin. Let sit overnight. Sprinkle with whisky again and re-seal the tins. Add more whiskey as needed over the next week to keep everything moist, but not wet.
  7. These are best eaten at least 1 week after baking. If storing longer, add more whiskey as needed. Cakes may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 months, however, this partially depends on amount of alcohol added. If at any point they appeared spoiled or mold has appeared, please discard. You could try freezing for longer storage.

Notes:

FODMAP Information

Our recipes are based on Monash University and FODMAP Friendly science.

Butter: Both Monash University and FODMAP Friendly have lab tested butter. Monash states that a low FODMAP Green Light portion is 1 tablespoon or 19 g and also states that “butter is high in fat and does not contain carbohydrates (FODMAPs)”. FODMAP Friendly gives it a “Pass” at 1 tablespoon or 19 g. Both recommended serving sizes are presented as part of healthy eating guidelines, not as maximum FODMAP serving size. Fat can affect guy motility and trigger IBS symptoms in some people. Eat to your tolerance.

Cranberries: Both Monash University and FODMAP Friendly have lab tested cranberries. FODMAP Friendly has lab tested dried cranberries and gives them a “Fail” at 40 g or ⅜ cup. On the Monash app you will find Dried Cranberries are given a Green Light low FODMAP serving of 1 Australian tablespoon, or 15 g. On the Monash website itself they discuss fresh cranberries and state that 130 grams fresh, which is about a scant 1 ¼ cups, should be tolerated well.

Eggs: Eggs are high in protein and do not contain carbohydrates, according to Monash University.

Pecans: Monash and FODMAP Friendly have both lab tested pecans. Monash says that a low FODMAP serving size is 10 pecan halves or 20g. The small print tells us that they are not High FODMAP until they reach a 100 g serving size, or about 40 halves. You might notice that on the FODMAP Friendly app the image is for pecans in the shell. We have asked FODMAP Friendly for clarification and they told us that the ¼ cup (30 g) low FODMAP serving size is for nuts OUT of the shell and is approximately 15 pecan halves.

Raisins: Monash and FODMAP Friendly have both lab tested raisins. While raw grapes contain no FODMAPs, the natural sugars concentrate upon drying and the resulting raisins do contain FODMAPs. Monash says a low FODMAP Green Light serving is 1 Australian tablespoon (13 g). FODMAP Friendly gives them a “Pass” at 3 tablespoons (30 g).

Sugar: Monash University and FODMAP Friendly have both lab tested white, granulated sugar. Monash states that a Green Light low FODMAP serving size of white sugar is ¼ cup (50 g). FODMAP Friendly simply states that they have tested 1 tablespoon and that it is low FODMAP. Regular granulated white sugar is sucrose, which is a disaccharide made up of equal parts glucose and fructose. Sucrose is broken down and absorbed efficiently in the small intestine.

Whiskey: Monash University has lab tested whiskey and it is low FODMAP Green Light at a 30 ml serving size. FODMAP Friendly gives it a “Pass” at 30 ml or “1 shot”.

Please always refer to the Monash University & FODMAP Friendly smartphone apps for the most up-to-date lab tested information. As always, your tolerance is what counts; please eat accordingly. The ultimate goal of the low FODMAP diet is to eat as broadly as possible, without triggering symptoms, for the healthiest microbiome.

Course: Dessert, Treat
Cuisine: American, English

Nutrition

Calories: 102kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 1mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more. For a more detailed explanation, please read our article Understanding The Nutrition Panel Within Our Recipes.