Mrs. Harvey’s White Fruitcake Recipe

Cook Eat Share
75 mins (prep 30, cooking 45)
12 ingredients
24 servings
Let me say right up front - fruitcake gets a bad rap. My theory is that many object to the darker types, with lots of spice and molasses. Or the sheer size or amount of this rich cake is enough to last folks til next Christmas. You will be pleasantly surprised though with Mrs. Harvey’s White Fruitcake. In the ’50s, Lucile Harvey submitted a recipe to The Tampa Tribune for a fruitcake – she won $5 and second place! But for the next several years, the newspaper got so many requests that they finally reprinted it – and the popularity of that recipe continues to grow ~ so much that the recipe is now reprinted in the Trib each year right after Thanksgiving, and HAS BEEN FOR THE PAST 60 YEARS. Mrs Harvey died in the mid ’80s, but her fruitcake recipe lives on as her memorial. Compare this to other fruitcake recipes and you’ll see why it’s so special. Pecans, candied cherries and candied pineapple - but no mixed candied citron. That’s for starters. Then there’s no spice at all; instead are the refreshing flavors of vanilla extract and lemon extract. To be correct, with the butter and eggs, this is actually a blonde not white fruitcake. Regardless of color, most everyone I’ve shared it with loves it. To be on the safe side I usually gift fruitcakes in petite or small sizes. That way, no one can say “too much fruitcake!” With Mrs. Harvey’s, in my opinion, there’s no such thing as too much!

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  • 4 cups shelled pecans (approx. 1 lb.)
  • 8 ounces candied cherries (original recipe had 1 lb. but i took the liberty to reduce the ratio to half that of candied pineapple; i just liked it better - sorry, mrs. harvey!)
  • 1 pound candied pineapple
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 pound butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/2 to 2 ounces vanilla extract (1 to 4 tablespoons is quite a range for flavorings, but it’s all personal preference. i used 2 tablespoons each of vanilla and lemon and it was just fine.)
  • 1/2 to 2 ounces lemon extract (see note above)


Serving Size (30.45 g)
Servings 24
Amount per Serving
Calories 140.97 Calories from Fat 69.84
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7.76g 286.38%
Saturated Fat 4.87g 584.24%
Trans Fat 0.31g %
Cholesterol 20.32mg 162.54%
Sodium 71.26mg 71.26%
Total Carbohydrate 16.96g 135.68%
Dietary Fiber 0.25 g 23.81%
Sugars 9.96 g %
Protein 1.02g 49.17%
Vitamin A 236.37IU% Vitamin C 0.23mg%
Calcium 9.47mg% Iron 0.44mg%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your diet value must be higher or lower depending upon your calorie needs:
  Calories 2,000 2,500
Total Fat Less Than 65g 80g
Sat Fat Less Than 20g 25g
Cholesterol Less Than 300mg 300mg
Sodium Less Than 2,400mg 2,400mg
Total Carb   300g 375g
Dietary Fiber   25g 30g
Potassium   3,500 mg
Protein   50 g
Calories Per Gram
Fat 9•Carbohydrate 4•Protein 4
*Nutrition information was calculated excluding the following ingredients:
shelled pecans, candied cherries, candied pineapple, large eggs