Before iced sugar cookies and festive fudge, fruitcake held court on most every holiday dessert table. The sticky, candied, fruit-filled cake dates all the way back to the Roman Empire when fruit was a delicacy and sugar was scarce.


Don’t Let the Holiday Classic Go to Waste


These days, most commercially produced fruitcake in the United States comes from Claxton, Georgia, where two bakeries churn out 4 million pounds of this holiday dessert each year. The cake—mostly dried fruit, nuts and spices—comes steeped with tradition. It’s probably something your grandma served, or your mom gave as a holiday hostess gift. But while plenty of people still buy fruitcake, far fewer are likely to consume it. Many fruitcakes sit on the shelf until they spoil, and those that make it to the dessert table often end up getting passed up for other types of seasonal treats.


Re-Purpose in Sweet, Savory Recipes


Instead of letting your fruitcake go to waste this year, get creative and repurpose it into something new. The dense, sweet cake can be a little too rich for some people, but those same qualities make fruitcake the perfect ingredient for other dishes. You can easily blend it and roll into no-bake bon bons or use it as a base for spiced holiday cookies. If you want to go the savory route, try folding a bit of fruitcake into bread stuffing or baking it into crisp crackers for a party-ready cheese plate. Check out these recipes below.


Freeze Now, Use Later


All of these fruitcake makeover ideas will work great for the holidays, but there’s no rush: Fruitcake is high in sugar, and the store-bought stuff has some preservatives, so it’ll keep in an airtight container on the shelf for up to six months. Or you can store in the freezer for up to two years. Save your cake for a batch of cookies later in the year or hold out and freeze it until the next holiday season rolls around.


Check out these amazing fruitcake transformation recipes from Kroger Product Development Chef Kirsten Dockendorf.