"I love eating fruit."
Translation:אני אוהב לאכול פירות.
Yes, because the ל is virtually the same as putting "to" before a word in English. If you think about it, "He loves eating" and "He loves to eat" have the same meaning. In Hebrew placing the ל before אוכל makes it infinitive. Otherwise it would just mean "He loves eat fruit." Which isn't correct no matter how you say it.
This is not authoritative - but the word "eating" can be translated as "אכילה" meaning the process of eating (the gerund). But it would strike me as very odd indeed to use it in the present scenario. If you understand French, this is the equivalent to "J'aime MANGER ...."
Different languages use different constructions to convey the same meaning. Insisting on word-by-word translation is not a good strategy for learning a foreign language. In Hebrew, the verbs אוהב and רוצה take an infinitive clause as complement.
Also, see my post above - the gerund of לאכול is אכילה.
I understand what you are saying, but I disagree.
The usual English (UK at least) phrase uses the gerund and the usual Hebrew uses the infinitive. The translation of one natural phrase should be (where possible) with another natural phrase.
On the other hand, DL ought to accept (I do not know if it does) "I like to eat fruit".