So, let’s just say this right off the bat… I don’t like “traditional” fruitcake. You know – the “door-stopper” kind, the unfortunate victim of many jokes.  My Mom’s Refrigerator Fruitcake is not that kind of fruitcake.  THIS fruitcake is chewy and tastes more like candy. Amen.My Mom's Refrigerator Fruitcake is not THAT kind of fruitcake.  THIS fruitcake is chewy and tastes more like candy. Amen.
When I thought about what to name this post, I thought long and hard about calling it “fruitcake”, because many people despise fruitcake. My mom has been calling it fruitcake for as long as I can remember… BUT it tastes like candy

Mom’s refrigerator fruitcake is chewy, and yes, it has bits of cherries, pineapple and raisins in it, but it also has marshmallows, butter, pecans and graham cracker crumbs. It is dense, chewy and AMAZING…and most importantly, is not baked, and tastes NOTHING like that other stuff. Oh yeah- it’s gorgeous, also (like stained glass)! If you can melt butter, chop things, and know how to stir, YOU can make this recipe!

Scroll Down For A Printable Recipe Card At the Bottom Of The Page

Here’s How To Make Mom’s Refrigerator Fruitcake

You will need candied cherries (red and green), plus some candied pineapple. These are sold in most grocery stores around the holidays. The containers look like this:

Red and green candied cherries and pineapple are used for the fruitcake.

Chop up the red and green cherries, most of the pineapple and some pecans. Make sure to set aside a few red and green cherries (whole) to use for garnishing fruitcake later. Add the chopped fruit and pecans, along with raisins to a large bowl. Set it aside, and then admire it’s beauty!

Raisins and pecans are added to the candied fruit.

Pulverize the graham crackers into very fine crumbs. I used a food processor, but you can put them in re-sealable bag and use a rolling pin to crush them, as well. Just think of it as cooking therapy!  Set the graham cracker crumbs aside.

Graham crackers are pulverized into fine crumbs.

Very fine graham cracker crumbs will be added to the fruitcake mixture.

Get The Loaf Pans Prepared

Wrap 4 miniature loaf pans with aluminum foil. Note: My mom has always used empty juice cans to mold the fruitcake loaves (both ends removed, heavily buttered inside). I use aluminum foil covered mini-loaf pans.

Melt butter and really coat the inside surface of the foil (bottom AND sides). Cover it really well (to help prevent sticking). You will thank me. If using empty juice cans, no need to melt butter… just thoroughly coat entire inside of juice can with it. Set aside.

Mini loaf pans are lined with foil, then brushed with melted butter.

Making The Fruitcake

To make the fruitcake, melt 2 cubes (1 cup) of butter in a large, heavy bottomed stock pot.

Butter is melted in a large, heavy pan.

Once butter has melted, add a 16 ounce bag of marshmallows, and cook on medium low, stirring frequently until melted.

Miniature marshmallows are melted into the melted butter.

Marshmallows melting down in the pan with the butter

All of the marshmallows are almost blended into the melted butter.

Time To Add In All The GOOD Stuff!

When the marshmallows have fully melted, remove the pan from the heat. Add the candied fruit, nuts and raisins. Stir well to fully combine. This mixture WILL be thick. Just keep on stirring…

Candied fruit, nuts, and raisins added into melted butter/marshmallow mix.

All the candied fruit is stirred into the marshmallow mixture for the fruitcake.

Now add the graham cracker crumbs, and stir well. Now it will be REALLY thick. Mix until totally combined!

Finely ground graham cracker crumbs added to the fruitcake mixture in pan.

It should look like this once your arms have gotten a great workout from stirring it up! All the ingredients should be combined, and Mom’s refrigerator fruitcake mixture will be THICK.

All of the ingredients for Mom's refrigerator fruitcake are ready for loaf pans.

Divide The Fruitcake Mixture Into Prepared Loaf Pans

Divide the mixture evenly between containers while mixture is still warm. Pack it into the molds tightly to help shape the loaves. I find it really helpful to butter my fingers to help pack it in. Cover Mom’s refrigerator fruitcake with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 12 hours or overnight, to solidify the loaves.

Mom's refrigerator fruitcake is packed firmly into prepared mini loaf pans.

Decorate And Serve Mom’s Refrigerator Fruitcake

After refrigerating, carefully pull the fruitcake out of the pans and remove the foil. Mom’s refrigerator fruitcake should look like the fruitcake shown in the photo below. It will be a solid loaf.

After refrigeration, it becomes a thick, solid loaf of fruitcake.

Garnish each loaf with cherry halves like this, shown in the photo below. To serve, use a sharp knife to cut the fruitcake into thin slices. Yum! It is so good! Store Mom’s refrigerator fruitcake wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, in the refrigerator.

Mom's refrigerator fruitcake garnished with candied cherries, and sliced to serve.

I really hope you will consider making this delicious Christmas “fruitcake”. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at just how GOOD it is and how much NOT LIKE FRUITCAKE it really is! Mom’s refrigerator fruitcake makes wonderful gifts for friends, as well. Merry Christmas!

Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you will come back again soon. Take care, and have a wonderful day!

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Recipe Source: My Mom (she’s been making this for over 50 years… have NO IDEA where she got this recipe!)

5 from 1 vote
Mom's Refrigerator Fruitcake (it's not THAT kind of fruitcake!)
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
0 mins
Total Time
30 mins
Refrigerated, non-baked, non-traditional fruitcake, with pecans, cherries, pineapple, marshmallows, and graham crackers. This is more like CANDY!
Category: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: refrigerator fruitcake
Servings: 24 4 mini-loaves total
Calories Per Serving: 363 kcal
Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks!
  • 1 (8 oz.) container red candied cherries (chopped-but save a few whole ones for garnish)
  • 1 (8 oz.) container green candied cherries (chopped-but save a few whole ones for garnish)
  • 1 (8 oz.) container candied pineapple, chopped
  • 16 ounce bag mini marshmallows (or 48 large marshmallows)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (or walnuts)
  • 2 cubes butter (one cup total)
  • graham crackers (3 "sleeves" of graham crackers-1 pound)
  • Additional butter for "greasing" loaf pans.
  1. Have all ingredients chopped, crushed, etc. before beginning recipe. Line loaf pans with aluminum foil (completely cover bottom and sides). Butter the bottom and side of each foil covered loaf pan with butter. Do not skimp on this part. A well buttered loaf pan will help the foil to NOT stick to the fruitcake at the end when ready to remove it! Set aside pans and prepped ingredients.
  2. Melt 2 cubes butter in a large heavy bottomed saucepan.
  3. Add marshmallows; continue heating (and stirring) on medium low heat until marshmallows are fully melted. Remove from heat.
  4. Add red and green cherries, pineapple, raisins, and nuts. Stir well.
  5. Add graham cracker crumbs. Stir really well, until all ingredients are fully combined (mixture will be very thick).
  6. Divide the mixture evenly (while still warm) into 4 prepared mini-loaf pans. Butter your fingers, press down and tightly compact the mixture into the loaf pan. When done (and mixture is tightly packed into pans), cover the pans with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 12 hours. When done, remove each loaf from pan. Carefully remove aluminum foil. Garnish top of each fruitcake with half a red cherry and two halves green cherries.
  7. Slice with sharp knife into thin slices, serve and enjoy! Store fruitcakes in plastic wrap (in the refrigerator).
Recipe Notes

Each mini loaf = 6 slices. Prep time does NOT include 12 hours refrigeration necessary to solidify and firm up the fruitcake! 
If using juice cans as forms for fruitcake, butter insides very well with softened butter. No aluminum foil necessary!

Nutrition Facts
Mom's Refrigerator Fruitcake (it's not THAT kind of fruitcake!)
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 363 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 20mg7%
Sodium 208mg9%
Potassium 113mg3%
Carbohydrates 57g19%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 31g34%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 240IU5%
Vitamin C 1.7mg2%
Calcium 29mg3%
Iron 1.3mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!My Mom's Refrigerator Fruitcake is not THAT kind of fruitcake.  THIS fruitcake is chewy and tastes more like candy. Amen.





Mom\'s Refrigerator Fruitcake (it\'s not THAT kind of fruitcake!)

21 Comments on Mom’s Refrigerator Fruitcake (it’s not THAT kind of fruitcake!)

  1. 5 stars
    I always called it “Not Fruitcake, Fruitcake” I lost the recipe and found yours. I’m making it for friend’s this year. Do you remember how long it lasts in the fridge?

  2. My mom made this every year with just the cherries raisins and pecans. We all loved it. So glad to know someone else’s mom called it fruitcake. I was grown before I knew there was any other kind.

  3. Like so many others my Mother made this too. She bought her candied fruit on sale after Christmas and rose until next Thanksgiving. Budget was a necessity with five boys,me and my parents. I can’t wait to make this and it is exactly like my Mother’s. Merry Christmas.

  4. Hi. I am really very happy that I found this recipe. I had lost hope of having her. In my family they prepared it by pouring wine daily, if I remember correctly. Could you tell me if you know that variant?

  5. I’m so glad I found this. Same story I had mother in law who made it every year. I too did not like baked fruit cake, but loved this. She gave me her recipe. Somewhere in moving I lost it and she died. So thanks for your recipe! I have frozen it for months, taken it out, sliced off a piece then rewrapped remainder and put it back in freezer for another taste on another day! No problem! Still good!

    • Merry Christmas, Norma! I am just now seeing your comment. Hope you enjoy the fruitcake. My mom is visiting us for the holidays, and we made a batch of this together 2 days ago, so we are enjoying it, plus I gave lots of slices to our neighbors with other Christmas goodies! Thank you for taking the time to write!

  6. My mother passed away 30 years ago and she always made this fruit bar during the holidays. I haven’t had it since she passed so you can imagine my delight in finding your recipe for it I cant wait to make it! Thank you so much! This is delicious and nothing like traditional fruitcake. I don’t like traditional fruitcake but LOVE this fruit bar. Thanks again!

    • Thank you so very much for taking the time to write! I am right there with you. I do not enjoy traditional fruitcake, either! Hope you have the opportunity to make this recipe, and trust you will enjoy it. I will be making it again this Christmas, and can hardly wait! Hope you enjoy a wonderful day!

    • Good morning, Barbara! The longest I have kept it in the refrigerator is a little bit over a month. I think it could possibly last longer than that, if wrapped securely airtight. I usually give away so many to friends and we eat the rest fairly quickly, so I have not been able to KEEP it for longer than that amount of time. I have never frozen the fruitcake, for the same reasons as listed above (ha ha). Again, if it is wrapped well (perhaps in saran wrap, then aluminum foil), it could be frozen. Seems logical, but unfortunately I have never tried that! Best of luck. If you try it, I think you will love it! Thank you for writing. Have a GREAT day!

      • My mom always made her Icebox Fruitcake. She would carefully open the Graham cracker box with it laying flat on the counter (like a cake box). Then she lined it well with long sheets of wax paper. She’d press mixture into box and fold excess wax paper over it. Then she’d wrap the box in aluminum foil and tied it with string and she’d freeze it. It kept a long time in there. Thaw it in the icebox (fridge). Her recipe is very similar to yours and oh so good! Yours looks very yummy too!

        • Good morning, Jill! Thanks for writing! Sounds like a really creative, unique way to make refrigerator fruitcake last! Hope you have a great day.

      • I have made this many times during the holidays and yes you can wrap it in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil and freeze. I still have some from last Christmas and occasionally take it out and cut off a few small slices to go with my coffee when I need a good comfort snack. As you can imagine this is high in fat and calories so this is my way to enjoy without over indulging. Lol

  7. Thanks. My mom use to make a no bake fruit cake but she has passed away and I don’t have her recipe. This looks like it could be like hers. Only question is how much is two cubes of butter? Thanks again

    • Hi, Barbara! I’m so sorry your Mom has passed on. I truly hope you enjoy this no-bake fruitcake, and if it is close enough to her recipe, may it bring you wonderful memories! To answer your question, one cube of butter is equal to 1/2 cup, so 2 cubes would be 1 cup. I will go into this recipe and amend the ingredients, so there will be no confusion. Thank you very much for taking the time to write. Have a great evening!

      • I made this when i was a younger girl, I to losted the recipe. but I remember using marshmallow cream in the jar, but dont remember how much. it was more cake than candy. more like a fruit cake.. my friend gave me a recipe that required can sweetened milk..did not tast good to me. Maybe a little less
        will try this one Thanks ..

  8. Good morning,

    I scrolled down with anticipation… My mother made this recipe when I was a child and this is the first time that I’ve seen it mentioned outside of my circle! My mother made it with the maraschino cherries and pecans. Not sure if it was a preference or a budgetary version for our military family. Very heartwarming of times gone past. So glad the recipe continues on.

    God bless and Merry Christmas.

    • Thank you so much for your comment! Yes… my Mom’s recipe lives on, and I am thrilled you see a similarity to what you remember from the past. Merry Christmas and may God bless you, too!

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