Shake raisins and other dried fruits in flour before you add them to dough or pudding so that they won't sink to the bottom during baking.
Dried fruits sold in bulk usually need to be soaked in cool water for at least an hour, or until they're plump, before you cook them. Take care not to overcook.
When you buy candied fruits to use in fruit cakes, try to get them at a store which caries them in bulk, like a fine candy store or food specialty shop. The ones you buy in glass or plastic jars often have a terrible chemical taste, possibly because of the preservatives added. They can ruin a fruit cake.