Total Time

Prep: 25 min. + rising Bake: 35 min.


2 loaves

Updated: Jun. 27, 2023
When we lived in California, a friend made these for us at Christmas. Once we moved here, I found myself missing those light, moist loaves, dotted with candied fruit and blanketed with thick frosting. So I hunted up this recipe and started making them. The cardamom gives the bread a wonderfully distinctive flavor. —Carol Mead, Los Alamos, New Mexico


  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 3/4 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 5 to 5-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped mixed candied fruit
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Red and green candied cherries


  1. In a bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in water; let stand for 5 minutes. Add milk, butter, egg, salt, cardamom, 2-1/4 cups flour and remaining sugar. Beat until smooth. Stir in fruit, raisins and enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.
  3. Punch dough down; shape into two loaves; place in two greased 8x4-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.
  4. For frosting, combine sugar, butter and milk until smooth; spread over loaves. Decorate with cherries.

Nutrition Facts

1 slice: 178 calories, 4g fat (2g saturated fat), 17mg cholesterol, 127mg sodium, 34g carbohydrate (16g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.