The Athlete’s Fruitcake!

Story, recipe, and photo by Chef Biju Thomas

I’ve always thought that fruitcake gets a bad rap.

Sure, the traditional recipe is comprised mostly of unnaturally colored things, it has a cloying sweetness, and a completely strange combination of flavors and textures. But the more I thought about fruitcake, I began to realize that fruitcake really is one of those amazing nutrient-dense, high-moisture foods that could fuel any endurance athlete.

Chef Biju's Fruitcake for AthletesMost fruitcake recipes are complicated and include too many ingredients. Here’s my take on a simple and more healthy version.

We’ve skipped the rum, those weird neon candy bits, and reduced the sugar. Make sure you only add those fruits and nuts that you actually like eating!Chef Biju's Fruitcake for Athletes

Note: On “Fruitcake Eve”, place 1 ½ cups of your favorite dried fruits and nuts in a large bowl, cover in orange juice and let soak overnight in the fridge. (Trail mix works well.)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees

In a large bowl whisk together

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cane sugar

Then blend in one item at a time

  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup flour (gluten free baking mix works well)
  • 2 cups approx trail mix soaked, and excess juice strained out
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon orange marmalade

Line the bottom of  6″ or 8″ cake pan with parchment or wax paper, pour in batter and bake on center rack for approx 90 minutes, until a knife poked into center comes out clean.

Don’t forget to wrap with a velvet bow!

8 servings, at approx 200 calories each.

Chef Biju Thomas is a professional chef known for light, simple dishes bursting with bold flavors. He has designed the menus of many successful restaurants in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. With Dr. Allen Lim, Biju is co-author of The Feed Zone Cookbook and Feed Zone Portables.

In the Feed Zone, the menu has changed and no one can argue with the results: real food is better. Real food tastes better, digests quickly, and helps you perform at your best.

FZC The Feed Zone Cookbook cover photoFeed zone Portables FZP 96dpi_400pw_strThe Feed Zone Cookbook includes 150 everyday recipes for athletes. Each breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipe is simple, delicious, and easy to prepare.

Feed Zone Portables, offers portable performance snacks made of real food. Try out 75 all-new rice cakes, two-bite pies, waffles, and other tasty snacks.

Try these cookbooks today! Find The Feed Zone Cookbook and Feed Zone Portables in your local bookstore; bike, tri, or running shop; or from these online retailers:

The Feed Zone Cookbook and Feed Zone Portables are published by VeloPress, the leading publisher of books on cycling, triathlon, and running. Please see more VeloPress nutrition books at

One Comment on “The Athlete’s Fruitcake!

  1. We made this yesterday with gluten free flour, whatever dried fruit and nuts we had on hand, and some tropical juice blend. It is FABULOUS! More like a sponge pudding than a fruitcake, but solid enough to eat with your hands. Perfect afternoon treat with a cuppa. Thanks!

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