California Desert Christmas Cake

This citrus-free fruitcake may be all you want for Christmas. Try substituting dried cherries stewed in brandy or rum for glazed ones.

Serves: 12Hands-on: 20 minutesTotal: 3 hours 20 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 12


  • 1 lb. pitted dates
  • 1⁄2 lb. pitted glazed cherries
  • 1 lb. walnuts
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  • Put the fruit and nuts, uncut, in a mixing bowl.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt to mix; add to fruit mix. Mix with hands to avoid damaging fruit.
  • Separate the eggs. Set aside the whites. Beat the yolks, then add the sugar and vanilla. Add to the flour and fruit mixture. Beat the whites until stiff. Add to the other ingredients and mix well, but carefully.
  • Grease and flour 1 loaf pan or the equivalent. Fill the baking dish one-half to three-quarters full; cover the dish with foil or a glass or ceramic lid. Arrange the dish on a trivet or rack in the slow cooker, and pour water around the base of the trivet.
  • Cover and heat on a high setting for 3 hours.