A Fruit Bread or Fruit Bun is a sweet bread, roll or cake made with flour, fruit and fruit peels, spices, nuts, seeds and sometimes alcohol too. This Fruit Bread recipe is a vegan, egg-free and non-alcoholic version made with whole wheat flour in a larger proportion along with candied orange peels, tutti frutti and glazed cherries. Together with fruit bread loaf I also cover making Fruit Bun in the notes section of recipe card below.
Table of Contents
About This Fruit Bread
This Fruit Bread is very easy to make and you can add chopped dry fruits and edible seeds like sunflower, sesame, pumpkin or flax to make it richer in nutrition, taste and texture.
I’ve been a great fan of Fruit Bread or Fruit Bun for a long time now. I always picked these and other artisan bread loaves over cakes, muffins or cookies in a bakery or super store.
I developed this homemade Fruit Bread recipe, and things changed. Nowadays, I don’t even look at the bread section at any store.
I make them all at home and that’s the best part. Few other breads that I really like are Focaccia, Pita Bread and the usual White Bread, Whole Wheat Bread and Brown Bread that I make at home.
Whether you make Fruit Bread or Fruit Bun, it pairs really well with tea and coffee. You can spread some butter on the Fruit Bread slices and enjoy it that way too. At home, I prefer having this sweet Fruit Bread just as it is.
Fruit Bread: Through Ages
Irrespective of the popular belief that the Fruit Bread has its roots in Britain, it is not really where it belongs. The Fruit Bread is 2000 years old and has its origin in ancient Rome. Roman soldiers carried it as a snack to battlefields as it had a good shelf-life.
The Romans had their own Fruit Bread recipe which included barley mash, pine nuts, raisins, pomegranate seeds and honeyed wine. They shaped it as a cake and called it ‘satura.’
It reached England around the 16th century with the expansion of the British empire. From there, it traveled to America through British colonists.
Fun Facts About Fruit Bread
Fruit Bread has many variations in different cultures and cuisines across the world. Here’s a list of some more interesting facts about this decadent bread.
- The Fruit Bread recipe at the time of Shakespeare had sherry, wine, fruit juices, preserved fruits, sugar and meat!
- Fruit Bread was banned in the 18th century as it was made with excess sugar. It was termed as ‘sinfully rich.’
- A unique tradition in England was that it was essential for unmarried wedding guests to keep a Fruit Bread slice under their pillow at night. This could help them marry the person of their dreams.
- Quality ingredients: Invest in best, premium quality/organic ingredients for a top-class baked bread. Make sure all the ingredients are within the expiry date.
- Yeast activation: Dissolve dry active yeast in warm water (43 to 46 degrees C or 110 to 115 degrees F) to properly activate it. Yeast doesn’t activate in very cold water. It will cook if the water is too hot. You can substitute the dry active yeast with either instant yeast as well. Follow this conversion: ½ tablespoon dry active yeast = 1 teaspoon instant yeast.
- Kneading: Remember to knead your dough well for gluten formation. To check the doneness of the dough, flatten and stretch a small piece of dough into a thin sheet/layer. It should not break or tear. You can add less or more water depending on the quality of flour. The final time taken for the dough to rise may vary from place to place.
- Baking: The time taken to bake the Fruit Bread may vary from oven to oven as no two ovens are the same. You can cover the surface of the bread with aluminium foil or parchment paper if you see browning. Check the doneness of the cooked bread by tapping on it. If it sounds hollow, it’s done well.
- Storing: Best way to store the Fruit Bread is to refrigerate it to keep it good for a longer time.
- Be patient as a lot of time goes in resting the dough and baking the bread. Avoid rushing for a great result.
It could be due to the quality of yeast or the yeast may not have proofed well. Less warm water won’t activate the yeast and hot water will destroy it.
Yes, you can. Use this conversion: ½ tablespoon dry active yeast = 1 teaspoon instant yeast. You can make this Fruit Bread in the convection mode of a microwave at 170 degrees C.
Yes, it can be. But with only whole wheat flour, the loaves may turn out dense. So, you will have to add some acidic agent like lemon juice, vinegar, buttermilk or curd, which will help in softening the texture.
You can add 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar when you add oil in this recipe, and then knead. This way you can skip both all-purpose flour and cornstarch.
Opt to add any neutral tasting oil instead of sunflower oil. The oil should not have any flavor or aroma. You can also use unsalted butter instead of sunflower oil.
Tutti frutti are colored candied fruits.
In a convection oven, the baking temperature is usually reduced by 10 to 20 degrees. If you do not reduce the baking temperature, then the time taken for baking will be less.
So, either you reduce the baking temperature or reduce the time. In both these cases, it’s better to keep a check on the cake as baking occurs quickly in a convection oven.
Cornstarch is used as an egg substitute in baking. So is custard powder as it is basically flavored cornflour.
Yes, you can.
There are many reasons that could lead to the hardening of the crust. It could be the inappropriate temperature of the oven or under formation of gluten in the bread dough because of not kneading the dough well.
Check the doneness of the dough by stretching a small portion of the dough. If it doesn’t break, it means it is kneaded well.
More Bread Recipes To Try
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Fruit Bread Recipe | Fruit Bun
- 2.5 cups whole wheat flour (atta) or organic whole wheat flour
- ½ cup all-purpose flour (maida) or organic all-purpose flour
- 5 tablespoons raw sugar or regular sugar
- ½ tablespoon dry active yeast or 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 2 tablespoons custard powder or cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon salt or add as required
- 1 cup water or add as required
- 2 tablespoons tutti frutti
- 2.5 tablespoons candied orange peels – finely chopped
- 3 to 4 glazed cherries or candied cherries – chopped finely
- 4 tablespoons sunflower oil or unsalted butter at room temperature, can also swap sunflower oil with a neutral flavored oil
- First warm the water.
- Add a pinch of sugar in the water and stir to mix.
- Add in the dry active yeast and stir to combine.
- Keep in warm place for 10 minutes for the yeast to activate.
- In another bowl, mix both the flours with salt, sugar, tutti frutti, cherries, candied orange peels and custard powder or cornflour.
- Add the yeast mixture, oil and knead to a smooth and soft dough.
- Add more water if in case the dough looks dry.
- Brush the entire dough with some sunflower oil so that it does not dry out.
- Keep in the same bowl.
- Cover the bowl with a cling film or kitchen towel and let the dough leaven and rise for 2 to 2.5 hours or as needed.
- Punch the dough and knead lightly after 2 or 2.5 hours.
- Grease or line a 9 x 4 inch loaf pan.
- Shape the dough into a loaf.
- Cover and keep for 35 to 45 minutes or till the loaf has doubled again.
- Before baking, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C or 356 degrees F.
- Bake the loaf for 45 to 50 minutes or until the crust looks golden.
- To check tap the loaf and it should sound hollow.
- Remove loaf from pan after 4 to 5 minutes, while still hot and keep loaf on a wired tray or rack.
- Let the fruit bread loaf cool at room temperature.
- Cut the bread in equal slices. These Fruit Bread slices go well with tea or coffee. You can even slather some butter (vegan or dairy) or jam and have them.
How to make Fruit Bun
- Prepare the dough as mentioned in the recipe and give it the first rise.
- Then make equal portions of the dough depending on the size of buns you want.
- Roll them to neat round buns or make any shape you prefer. Place on a greased baking tray.
- Cover with a kitchen towel and let them double up in volume for 45 to 50 minutes.
- Bake in a preheated oven at the same temperature as mentioned in the recipe for 30 to 40 minutes or as needed until the buns have a golden crust on top.
- This fruit loaf recipe can also be made entirely with all-purpose flour. You can also use bread flour.
- Choose to add your choice of candied fruits, nuts, dry fruits and candied peels.
- Add water as needed depending on the texture and quality of flours.
- Try to use glazed cherries or candied cherries and not canned maraschino cherries. The maraschino canned cherries are highly processed with preservatives added – so do not add these.
- You can add less salt, about ½ to a few pinches if you prefer.
- If using instant yeast (rapid rise yeast), the first rise and leavening time will be about 45 minutes to 1 hour (depending on the temperature conditions). The second rise will be for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Note that the approximate nutrition info is for the entire loaf of fruit bread made with this recipe.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This Fruit Bread recipe from the archives first published in March 2013 has been republished and updated on 5 July 2022.
Comments are closed.
Would like to have your original fruit bread recipe without yeast first published in 2013
This is the original recipe and made with yeast. I have not made any changes to this recipe. I have also never shared any bread recipe that is made without yeast except for a sweet bread like Banana Bread.
Just tried the recipe, Waiting to put the dough in the oven…it looked simple and yummy. My dough hardly rose though….is there any particular reason why it wouldn’t have risen. I followed the recipe exactly as given
it could be due to the quality of yeast or the yeast has not proofed well. less warm water won’t activate the yeast and hot water will kill them. these could be the reasons. hope this helps.
I have 8*4 inch loaf pan.. what are the measurements then ? Should i Half everything?
you can use this loaf pan. no need to half the recipe.
Good recipe. Instead of candied orange peel n tutti fruti i added candied lemon peel and raisins. Came out good.
thanks supreeta for sharing this info.
Gave your recipe a try but substituted raisins and cut dates instead of tutti fruitti. Followed recipe to the dot except that I soaked my raisins in warm water and plumped them before incorporating in dough. Also after greasing pan, I dusted off pan sides and bottom with cinnamon sugar
About 25 mins into baking, I sprinkled more cinnamon sugar on the bread crust as well. Totally took 35 mins baking time -the raisin bread turned out delicious. I can’t wait to try the authentic raisin bread (the one with the swirl) – Have you tried that, could you please post a receipe for that sometime
Thanks for the amazing blog that you have here 🙂
thats a nice variation savitha. i actually feel like baking the loaf with raisins dates ????
i have not yet tried the swirl bread, though i have had both chocolate and raisins swirl bread in a cafe and i did like them. i will try to add the recipe.
thanks savitha and welcome.
Hi Dassana, This is such an awesome recipe ! I plan to make it this weekend. One question I have is …can
I substitute instant yeast for dry yeast and if do.. How many tsps should I use ?
radhika, you can use instant yeast. add 1 teaspoon instant yeast.
Dear dassana….I bake many of ur recipes..in wheat cake v should not over mix….n bread should v knead well…wat about gluten formation….bit confused
yes that true shubha. gluten strands are required in bread dough. thats why they should be kneaded well. in cakes gluten formation is not required. if gluten starts developing in a cake batter, then the cake texture becomes doughy and dense. i hope now the confusion is solved.
Thank you dear for solving my doubt…. Yesterday I baked ur fruit bread…I baked plain….it was good…thank you for the recipe….
welcome shubha and also thanks for the feedback on fruit bread time. next time try with some dry fruits and tutti frutti. the bread taste very good.
I am a regular visitor of your blog and have tried some of your recipes. Thanks for giving delicious recipes with simple, basic ingredients. Can you please tell me if this bread can be made using whole wheat flour alone without maida or cornstarch?
with only whole wheat flour, the loaves turn out dense. so you can add some acidic agent which helps in softening the texture like buttermilk, lemon juice, curd or vinegar. for all the whole wheat bakes i make at home, i add either vinegar or lemon juice. in this recipe you can add 1 tablespoon of either lemon juice or vinegar. then you can skip both maida and corn starch. add the lemon juice when you add oil and then knead the dough.
Its looks great.But I have one doubt before trying it out,can we use refined oil in place of vegetable oil
yes you can.
What can I use instead of Yeast.
You will have to try the sourdough method of making bread by first making a starter. You will find the method to make the starter on the google search or youtube. Hope this helps.
Hi! I’m a big fan of all ur recipes! 🙂 Planning to try this one. We live out of India and I miss eating this. One quick question, I have a convection oven so will the temperature and the baking time still be the same? Like 45 mins? Thanks in advance. 🙂
thanks ranjini. in a convection usually the baking temp is reduced to from 15 to 20 degrees celsius. if you do not reduce the baking temperature, then the time taken for baking will be less. so either you reduce the baking temp or reduce the time. even if you reduce the time, its better to keep a check on the cake. as baking occurs quickly in a convection oven.
My bread tastes a bit bitter. I did not use the Orange peel and instead of tooti frooti, I added chopped raisins & dried apricot. Can you guess the reason for bitterness pls?
ruchi, could be because of dried apricot.
It is very interresting.
Hi i am planning on baking bread it will be my first time, just two questions why do you put custard powder/cornstarch? do we get tutti frutti in stores?
corn starch is used as an egg substitute in baking. so is custard powder as custard powder is also basically flavored corn starch. yes you should be able to get tutti frutti in stores. i get these easily in local stores or local mithai shops.
Hello, this bread looks great and I am going to try it soon. Just one question, can you please advise the amount of instant yeast for this recipe? Thanks
its 1 tsp instant yeast.
Thank you 🙂
I never tried this
Can we replace water with milk in the recipe?
divya, yes you can.
Can this recipe be made using a bread maker?
If yes is there an order which should be followed?
My machine instruction says to put it the liquid ingredients first?
you can easily make bread in a bread machine. i suppose this recipe will also work. i have never used bread machine, so am unable to help you. you can google and check if there are any instructions or steps on how to make bread in a bread machine.
Thank you this came out so well and my husband appreciated the perfect txeture n flavors..m
welcome kalpana. good to know.
Can I just use all purpose flour
Instead of wheat flour??
yes you can richa.
today i prepared. bt i used normal sugar. taste little sugary. and co laps in the middle of bread.
still the day i never get any bread in dome shape. it always colaps in middle. will u tell me why?
wtg for u r reply. thank u
hi seema. usually when the bread is over leavened it collapses. another reason would be the oven temperature. for how long you preheat the oven. at least preheat for 20 mins. you can increase the oven temperature a bit and try baking bread.
What is “tuttifrutti”? Thk u for the eggless version of my favorite Christmas bread!
tutti fruttiy that we call in india are colored sweetened papaya peel bits.
hi, instead of candid orange peel can we use regular grated orange rind or lemon rind?
candied orange peels taste too good in the fruit bread. you can try adding some orange or lemon rind. however they will give a lemony or orange flavor tones in the bread.
hi, nice receipe ; i want to ask that can we avoid candid orange peel ?
hi, nice receipe; i want to ask that can we avoid candid orange peel?
the candied orange peels give a slight bitter sweet tones in the fruit bread. you can avoid them if you don’t have them.
thanks for sharing this beautiful and tasty recipe. i have tried this and came out well but while cutting the bread breaks off. the upper layer of bread becomes very hard so when i cut into slices it cracks and breaks off, though the inside is moist.
dont know what went wrong 🙁 can you suggest pls?
hi sneha, there are some reasons where the crust hardens. it can be the temperature inside the oven or over baking. also possible if there is under gluten formation in the bread. which means the bread has not been kneaded well. next time when you make any bread, stretch the bread after kneading. if it has elasticity…. which means it does not break while stretching…. this means that the bread is kneaded well.
I made this did not come out like yours but it is nice, thank you
welcome maria. may be something wrong with the yeast proofing
Beautiful loaf and lovely clicks Dassana!
My favorite ever! Beautifully made and clicked 🙂
nicely done bread..even my shopping is incomplete with out a artisan bread..i love fruit buns
i love the fruit dotted look. i have some tutti fruiti stashed away in the fridge. need to put i it to some use soon!
lovely bread, like the fact that its so healthy with whole wheat flour. happy easter.
Perfect cake for tea time. Also love the colorful tutti fruity!!!
As always great shots too!!