A delightful memory from my childhood. My mother made this cake for Christmas every year. She baked it about 3 weeks before, and drizzled it with grape juice daily.



Original recipe yields 28 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Line two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans or a 10 inch tube pan with greased parchment or heavy paper.

  • Sift together the flour, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt.

  • Cut the gumdrops in fourths. Fry the pecans in the 1 tablespoon butter or margarine. Mix pecans, raisins, and gumdrops together, and roll in 3/4 cup of flour mixture.

  • In a large bowl, cream together 1 cup butter or margarine and white sugar. Mix in beaten eggs. Mix in the flour and spice mixture alternately with the applesauce. Dissolve soda in hot water, and stir into batter. Stir in the vanilla. Stir in nuts, gumdrops, and raisins.

  • Bake for 2 hours. The baking time for the tube pan should be about 30 to 40 minutes longer. Test about 10 minutes before the longer time. You may not get a clean tester, but you will be able to tell if it is the candy gumdrop or dough. Cool. Wrap in foil.

Partner Tip

Reynolds® parchment can be used for easier cleanup/removal from the pan.

Nutrition Facts

328.7 calories; 3.2 g protein; 58.2 g carbohydrates; 31.8 mg cholesterol; 129.8 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (8)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
I also have made this for years. Just thought I would see if others had the same recipe was delighted to see someoneelse has this great recipe. Its great for gifts when you make small giveaway loaves. Read More
8 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 8
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
I also have made this for years. Just thought I would see if others had the same recipe was delighted to see someoneelse has this great recipe. Its great for gifts when you make small giveaway loaves. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Love it! Must use BAKING gumdrops/gums; you can't substitute regular gumdrops or JuJubes etc because they will just melt. Adds colour & whimsy to your plate of holiday goodies. We replaced our old gumdrop loaf recipe with this one as it's much better. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This is the same recipe that my grandma made for years--I can still see her in the kitchen cutting up the gumdrops with her scissors. One helpful hint is to keep the sugar handy to dip your scissors in when they get too sticky. I've tried freezing the gumdrops and using the food processor but that doesn't work very well and was extremely noisy!! This is a very tasty "fruit"cake--not what traditionally is thought of as a fruit cake. I hope you decide to try this one and I'm pretty sure that you'll enjoy this piece of our family's Christmas tradition too! Thanks for sharing the recipe Glenda=-) Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Very tasty and moist fruitcake and doesn't use expensive candied fruit either! I didn't bother with frying the pecans but did follow the recipe other than that. I made 8 mini loaves to put on Christmas platters for neighbors and friends. I would recommend everyone try this one it's a keeper!! I did drizzle two teaspoons of apple juice on each loaf after it had cool completely. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
My mom used to make this every Christmas too. Someone had mentioned in their review they didn't cook the nuts. If you warm the nuts in butter over low heat the flavor will be more enhanced. Anyway my mom got this recipe from her Brother-in-laws mother way back when. My mom had made the gumdrop cake for over 40 years. I thought my sisters and I were the only ones who had this recipe. Small world. It's a tradition that we've carried on throughout the years. It's a sure thing Christmas is just around the corner when this is baking! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Lost my recipe and have been searching for one like it. Was so glad to find this! Thanks for posting it. This is so much better than the traditional fruitcake-no moans and groans when you give it! My family loves this and so did everyone I gave it to. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Changing my rating now that the baking cooling and finally a taste test... why was I so worried? This will definitely be a new tradition. Thank you so much for this treasure!!! We all love it Read More
Rating: 5 stars
My grandmother made this when I was a child (I'm 72). This is the exact recipe....I make no changes. I get yearly requests for this fruitcake including from my daughter's coworkers. Read More