Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Fruit Cake | Kerala Plum Cake | Christmas Cake Recipes

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Today is my niece K's birthday and she has turned four today.I would like to wish her a very Happy Birthday through this virtual celebration post.
My dear lovely princess K,  'May your birthday be filled with sunshine and smiles, laughter, love, and cheer'. - with love,Atta.
Christmas is nearing and I am sure many of you would have already soaked your dry fruits for the Christmas cake.As I do not use alcohol in my cooking, I am posting my non-alcoholic version of Christmas fruit cake which is ideal for those who are planning to make it at the last moment.I soaked the dry fruits and nuts in orange juice instead of alcohol(rum) which imparts a nice flavor-may not be similar to that of the alcohol version but it tastes still delicious.
Plum cake/Fruit cake is one of my favorite cakes apart from the classic butter sponge as I prefer the cakes with out frosting.When I googled the fruit cake recipe I got so many recipes but most versions used alcohol which I did not want. I got impressed with this recipe and I have adapted the process and also my basic Vanilla cake recipe and changed it according to my taste.The cake was very moist with the right amount of sweetness and slightly crumbly just like how the Fruit cake is supposed to be.Few of my dry fruits got settled down,next time I should mix the batter bit careful.But this recipe is definitely a keeper for a non -alcoholic version of Fruit cake.
The recipe list goes long and also the method looks quite elaborate but believe me it is a very easy recipe if you follow the instructions clearly and plan it bit ahead.Also the shelf life of the cake is more and you can easily store it more than a week when refrigerated.Do not miss preparing this cake during Christmas,it will definitely make your Christmas more merrier.
makes a 6" Cake
recipe source: adapted from here

100 gms(1 leveled cup) All purpose flour
100 gms(1 stick or 1/2 cup) unsalted Butter*,at room temperature
60 gms(1/4 heaped cup) Dark brown Sugar
2 large Eggs
1 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp fresh Orange Zest
1/2 tsp fresh yellow lemon Zest
1 tbsp candied Peel(optional)
1 tbsp candied Ginger(optional)
3/4 tsp All spice powder( 1/4" Cinnamon + 3 Cloves + a fat pinch of Nutmeg powder)
1 tsp dried Ginger powder
a pinch(1/4 tsp) of Salt

to prepare ahead(atleast a day before):
3/4 cup fresh/canned Orange juice
1/4 cup Tutti Fruti
1 cup dried Fruits(1//4 cup dried Cranberries, 2 tbsp Raisins,2 tbsp Black currants,2 tbsp chopped dry Dates, 2 tbsp chopped dried Figs, 2 tbsp chopped dried Apricots,2 tbsp chopped Glaced Cherries)
1/2 cup chopped Nuts(8-10 Cashews,8-10 Almonds,8-10 Walnuts,8-10 Pecans,2 tbsp Pistachios)

to prepare caramel:
50 gms(1/4 cup) Dark brown Sugar
1 tbsp Water
1/4 cup warm Water
1 tsp Vanilla essence

to decorate:
2 tbsp Icing sugar
25 blanched and skinned Almonds

to prepare ahead(atleast 1 day ahead) - soaking up dry fruits:
  • Cut all the dry fruits like apricots,figs,dates and cherries into fine pieces and also the nuts like cashewnuts,almonds,walnuts and pecans into fine pieces and keep it ready.
  • Soak all the chopped dry fruits and nuts with tutti fruti and cranberries,raisins and black currants in orange juice.Let the dry fruits soak in the orange juice at least for a day or at least for a minimun of 6-7hrs.Keep mixing the chopped fruits and nuts in between so that they would soak up all the juices.
to prepare Caramel:
  • In a deep pan add 50gms(1/4 cup) dark brown sugar and 1 tbsp of water and stir it continuously until the sugar caramelizes and melts and starts bubbling and changes it color to the deeper dark shade.It takes roughly 4-5 minutes.Meanwhile warm 1/4 cup of water either in microwave or on stove top.Switch off the flame and add 1/4 cup warm water to it and leave it aside to cool completely.Add vanilla essence to it and mix.
to prepare Cake:
  • Prepare a 6" round tin by layering it with butter paper at the bottom and grease it with butter.Sprinkle a tsp of all purpose flour and dust it to reach all the edges and sides of the pan.Shake off the extra flour from the tin. 
  • Blanch the almonds and peel off the skin and keep them ready.
  • Sieve the all purpose flour with baking powder,baking soda,dry ginger powder and all spice powder.Sieve it 4-5 times until all the flour is uniformly mixed.
  • Beat butter with a electric whisk and add dark brown sugar(or powdered form of sugar) and beat well again for 5-6 mins until you get a smooth and fluffy mixture.
  • Add one egg at a time to the mixture and beat again until everything is well incorporated.Add the other egg and follow the same process.
  • Add cooled caramel mixture and beat again to get a smooth uniform mixture.
  • Add orange zest and lemon zest and mix well with a rubber spatula.
  • Meanwhile preheat the oven at 160 degrees for 10-12 mins.
  • Add 1/3 rd quantity of  the flour mixture and beat it with electric whisk or fold it using a rubber spatula and repeat the same process for the remaining portion of flour.
  • Drain the soaked dry fruits and add them to the batter and gently mix with a spatula.I has some 2-3 tbsp of soaked orange juice left which I added to the batter.It is your wish to add it or not to the batter.
  • Scoop out the mixture to the prepared tin until 2/3rds full .Here if you want you can decorate the cake with blanched and skinned almonds in a required manner.Cover it with aluminum foil.Covering it with Aluminum foil ensures that the top portion will not get burnt.It is an optional step to cover the tin with foil.

  • Bake it in preheated oven at 160 deg(320 F) for  40-50 minutes.Mine got done in 45 minutes.Keep an eye after 30 minutes.When you insert a long tooth pick it in the center,it should come clean which means the cake is perfectly done.
  • Cool the cake in the tin for 10  minutes.Run a sharp knife along the edges and invert it on to the wire rack and peel off the butter paper and let it cool completely for an hour.
  • Cool it completely overnight for at least 5-6 hours before cutting the cake.
Store it in an air tight container.It stores well for 3 days under room temperature and more than a week when refrigerated.
You can dust it with icing sugar if you want before serving.

*I used Amul salted butter in the recipe.So I avoided salt in the recipe.If you use unsalted butter add salt otherwise it is not necessary.
  1. You can add dry fruits of your choice to the cake.
  2. You can add 1-2 tsp rum to the batter or you can even soak the fruits in rum 1-2 months before.This depends on your personal choice to use alcohol or not.Mine was a non-alcoholic version and hence I did not add it in the cake.
  3. You can soak the dry fruits for long in the orange juice say for a couple of weeks,it says that you get a better flavor but I soaked it just for a day and it was still tasting nice. 
  4. Few of my dry fruits settled in the bottom.Hence I suggest you to drain the dry fruits completely and wipe off extra moisture in a kitchen towel and sprinkle some flour and mix.Then add them to the cake batter and mix well,I think this would help in not settling the dry fruits down.
  5. Use dark brown sugar for the cake which gives the brownish color to the cake. 
  6. As I did not have candied peels and candied ginger in hand I did not use it in the recipe.If you have them do definitely use them they will definitely enhance the flavor of the cake.
  7. You can even pour the batter into a loaf pan and bake it like a load which is quite convenient to cut into slices.


Reshmi said...

cake looks great... yum.. and tempting.
Noel collections

Divya Kudua said...

Looks perfect,which reminds me,I got to soak my fruits too!

Premalatha Aravindhan said...

wow yummy recipe,luks too gud...

Anu said...

Looks perfect and delicious

Nagashree said...

Perfect looking fruit cake Prathibha, my first experience with fruit cake was not good and I generally stay away from them but this one tempting :-)

Arthy Suman said...

Awesome cake Prathy....

Hamaree Rasoi said...

Happy B'day to 'K' and lots of wishes..The cake has set the temperature roaring ....Wonderful recipe with orange juice and very good pics


Looks so tempting, I love this a lot. Perfectly baked and looks so beautiful....

Sangeetha Nambi said...

Yummy love this ever....

Sushma Madhuchandra said...

beautiful! Liked the idea of soaking the fruits in orange juice.

Vijayalakshmi Dharmaraj said...

looks so so yummy prathy... but i am not fan for nuts n raisins...

WeR SAHM said...

wow adorable so soft n delicious cake

Veena Theagarajan said...

I love it! This is my favourite cake.. Love the clicks

Aruna Manikandan said...

cake looks awesome dear :)
tempting clicks as usual.

Jayasri Ravi said...

Beautiful clicks, I bake my cake every year the same way soaking all my fruits in orange juice, and take it to my sister's place for the Christmas party,, as I had to try an non alcoholic version and I call it just a fruit cake



Priti S said...

Looks too gud n way too yum ....nice presentation dear

Anonymous said...

very beautiful cake and HAPPY BIRTHDAY KUSHI. Hamsaveni

Reva said...

Very Christmassy..:)) I absolutely adore the deep rich flavours of the fruit cake..
Fantastic presentation..

Vimitha Anand said...

Awesome looking cake dear... So the party has started.

divya said...

awesome recipe! tempting

Pavithra Elangovan said...

Looks Yumm Prathy :) Wish you can send me a Slice :)

Reshmi Mahesh said...

Lovely looking cake..yummy slice too...

Spandana said...

Loved the first picture, it looks so gorgeous!

Swathi Iyer said...

You can prevent fruits from settling down by mixing them with little flour before adding into the batter. Cake looks delicious.

sangeeta said...

Perfect plum cake. Gorgeous pictures too.

Priya said...

Happy birthday to ur niece, kerala plum cake looks absolutely fabulous, i'll be posting mine soon too.

Sreevalli E said...

Yummy cake..Just irresistible..

Jeyashrisuresh said...

This is a super perfect cake, Very nicely done and captured too. Beautiful cake

Madhavi said...

Cake looks divine...

maha said...

cake looks very tempting and is making me hungry!
BTW please check out my space n new FB page.

Suma Rowjee said...

It really surprises me when someone says they don't like fruit cake, I love it! Orange juice works great for me, so does candied peel! Lovely cake..very Christmassy pics!

Nagalakshmi V said...

i had posted one last year, it's an annual tradition in my home to bake it. in fact your pics look very similar to mine! :)

prathibha Garre said...

@Swati..I feel as the dry fruits are soaked the dry flour coating to them is of no use in this cake.Otherwise I usually sprinkle some flour if adding any kind of dry fruits or chocolate chips in my cakes.

@Nags..I don't think I have captured half good as yours..anyways thanks for the comment...I take it as a complement..;)

Green coffee beans said...

Can I know the reason for adding spice powder? I don’t like the smell of it. Is it a must or can I omit that step while preparing the cake?

prathibha Garre said...

@Green Coffee beans... the addition of spice powder gives a nice flavor to the cake and hence it is recommended..If you do not want you can avoid it,at least try to add dried ginger powder if you can bear it.

Kitchen Queen said...

it's divine. no words to describe. do visit my space pl.

dassana said...

the texture looks great. you have decorated the cake so well. i too plan to make christmas cake soon.

Aparna Maheshkartick said...

Wow yaar it luks yummy

Jiah said...

delicious and inviting

Samantha said...

Yum! Thank you for sharing your recipe!

Unknown said...

This recipe was excellent! I appreciate you taking the time to write detailed steps with pictures which makes it a pleasure to cook/bake. My 12 year old daughter was very enthusiastic and made this cake :) It was awesome!! Thank you.

Oh My Cake said...

Very inspiring. I really like this.You tried something is fantastic to see a useful blog.

Anonymous said...

Looks so yum. A small doubt, will this make a 1 kg cake!

Anonymous said...

Looks so yum. Will this quantity make a 1 kg cake?

Best Bakers Cochin said...

It looks yummy..need more cake preparations.

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