Every year, we wage an internal battle when a dessert forces us to pit our sense of tradition against our sense of taste (literally). I’m speaking, of course, of fruit cake—the festive holiday dessert that resembles a loaf of bread with radioactive fruit shellacked on top. Fruitcake is widely and famously disparaged, and yet people continue to buy it (and, begrudgingly, eat it) every year because it’s tradition. Plus, no one knows what to replace it with anyway. Pumpkin pie is firmly under the purview of Thanksgiving. Typical pastries don’t have any of the spiciness we associate with winter feasting. And so, year after year, we inevitably end our glorious holiday meals with this anvil of a cake.
This year, if you’re willing to loosen the strings of tradition and embrace a new dessert experience, we are here to help. These are our suggested alternatives to fruit cake—maybe this year, you can start a new holiday tradition.