People always express their distaste for fruitcake, but once they know how much it costs to make, they’ll likely have more reason to criticize the Christmas dessert.
Fruitcake recipes include highly-priced ingredients, including nuts, fruits, spices, and spirits. In turn, these all add up. Stick around to learn more about why fruitcake is so expensive.
Fruitcake isn’t exactly a crowd pleaser at the Christmas dinner table. Despite that, the notoriously hated holiday dessert can cost a lot to make.
It’s all due to the cake’s pricey ingredient list. Candied fruit, spices, nuts, and dried fruit aren’t cheap.
You also have to consider the other ingredients for the cake’s base, including flour, eggs, and butter. That’s not all. The whole thing is drenched in costly spirits, like brandy or rum.
Here’s a breakdown of all the ingredients involved in baking a fruitcake and their costs.
Fortunately, with fruitcake, you have a long list of choices when it comes to dried fruit choices. You can choose a mix of dried figs, dates, figs, and raisins.
Alternatively, you might want to keep it simple with candied cherries and citrons. Some fruitcake recipes even call for dried pineapples and apricots.
Other, more unique recipes include crystallized ginger, which is technically a vegetable. You’ll likely have to pay a pretty penny for all these fruit options.
That said, a pack of dried apricots can set you back anywhere between $6 and $20, depending on the amount you need.
Meanwhile, candied cherries and citrus peels cost around $10 to $20. Dried figs and dates cost even more, reaching approximately $15 to $25.
Raisins are likely the cheapest dried fruit option you can use for your fruitcake, only costing about $3 to $5.
As for crystallized ginger, the dried vegetable is priced between $5 and $20.
Spices are an integral ingredient for your fruitcake. They popularly include nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon.
Cinnamon can cost around $3 to $15, depending on the brand you choose. Cloves are slightly more expensive, reaching between $5 to $15.
Lastly, nutmeg is the cheapest option, only priced at $4 to $6.
Fruitcakes incorporate a wide range of nuts in their recipes. You can add macadamia nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, and walnuts.
Pecans can run between $8 to $15. Hazelnuts are higher priced, costing around $9 to $15. Macadamia nuts will set you back a higher cost, reaching between $10 and $18.
Almonds cost approximately $11 to $13, while walnuts are about $5 to $15.
Fruitcake has a similar base to regular cake or pound cake, including a mixture of eggs, flour, butter, and sugar.
All around, these ingredients should approximately cost around $19 to $23. This portion is likely the cheapest compared to the nuts, fruits, and spirits.
Two of the most common spirits used to soak the fruitcake are brandy and rum. Overall, both are usually priced between $25 to $30.
If you want to take it easy on the costs, we highly recommend opting for fruit juices like cranberry or grape juice instead. They’ll cost a much less $3 to $4 each.
After surveying the costs, here’s a total estimation of fruitcake:
- Dried and Candied Fruit: $46
- Spices: $20
- Nuts: $20
- Cake Batter: $21
- Spirits: $25
- Total: $132
While fruitcake is estimated to cost $132, you can reduce costs by including fewer dried fruit, nut, and spice options. In turn, it can cost a cheaper $90 instead.
Considering that commercial fruitcake is much more affordable, making it might not be worth it if you’re trying to save money.
After all, most store-bought options range between $20 to $60, depending on which size you choose.
Now, that’s not to say that making it would be a complete waste.
On the contrary, if you enjoy eating homemade fruitcake and your relatives rave about your recipe, then it would be worth making it to see them happy.
Plus, homemade fruitcake will likely taste much more delicious than its commercial counterpart.
The most expensive fruitcake in the world is worth a jaw-dropping $1.75 million. For reference, you can make around 13,258 homemade fruitcakes with that amount of money.
The extravagantly priced fruitcake was sold to the Takashimaya Department Store in Tokyo, Japan.
It was bought as a display for sales purposes. Now you’re probably wondering what makes this fruitcake so special.
Well, it’s intricately adorned with 223 diamond pieces, weighing over 170 carats.
For a cake that took six months to design and another two to create, it’s a shame that no one will ever get a bite of this double-tiered beauty.
Why is fruitcake so expensive? In short, it’s all about the ingredients and how high-priced they can be.
After recognizing its value, people will hopefully think twice before leaving the cake all by its lonesome on the Christmas dinner table.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.