reheat oven to 325°F. Line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with greased parchment paper or brown baking paper, cut to fit the pan. Place one piece to run the length of the pan and stand up above.
In a small bowl, mix together the baking soda and sour cream; set aside.
Combine the dates, raisins, cherries, and nuts with 1/4 cup of the flour and toss to coat the fruit and nuts. Set aside.
Place the batter filled pan into the preheated oven. Place a separate pan of water in the oven either on a rack underneath the fruitcake or beside it. (The water will help with a more even, gentle cooking.
Remove to a rack to cool for 5 minutes. Use the edges of the parchment paper to lift the cake out of the pan. Let cool completely. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and then aluminum to store.