A simple yet classic rich & dark dry fruit & nut cake with a mixed punch of rum, orange juice, cake spices & vanilla essence is most common in Kolkata homes during Christmas. That is known to me as Christmas Cake since my childhood. Today I am going to share the same Christmas Cake recipe even without soaking dry fruits in alcohol for a long time. Instead, I used an instant dry fruit soaking process that kept its taste authentic. From that aspect, it is an Instant Christmas Cake recipe or an Easy to make Last minute Xmas Cake recipe.
The Story Behind Christmas And Christmas Cake How Begins In India
“Birthday of Jesus Christ”– when the whole world recognizes the day as Christmas, only Kolkata’s Bengalis are recognized as “Boro-din”. To all Kolkatans, 25 December meansBoro-din, which has many concepts, believed to be the start of longer days. Even some say during British colonial times, due to the capital of India, Kolkata has seen Britishers celebrate Christmas in a grand way and named it Boro-din or Bada-din means Grand day. Since then, Kolkata including all over India get to know about the Christmas celebration and gradually came to know about this Christmas Cake.
Since that time, Borodin means a lot to Bengalis. A day starts with enjoying a store-bought or homemade rich dry fruit and nut cake with oranges, a long day out or picnic, visiting the churches(decorated with glittering lights)in the evening, attending a Christmas party at a Christian friend’s house at night or night out party at Park street, means a lot of fun all through the day.
Basically, Kolkata became familiar with Christmas Cake recipe as a rich dry fruit cake recipe through the English bakeries made in the British period. Still, Kolkata kept its tradition by baking its best cake through Nahoum, The Lalit Great Eastern Bakery, and Flurys the old-school bakery from the British era. Make that rum-flavored rich dry fruit cake or plum cake all over the year.
Appreciation I got for My Christmas Cake recipe!
I am making Cake for Christmas when I was in college. I love baking cakes and used to make them for my family and my relatives with lots of energy.
Later when I start my blog, decided to share this recipe with my readers too. After sharing this on my blog I shared my Christmas Cake recipe on a Food group named “Calcutta foodies club” too. There I got huge appreciation and love from the people. One of them was “Mala Ghosh” who baked the cake at home following my recipe and complimented me by saying the taste of my Christmas Cake recipe exactly tastes like Nahum’s Old Christmas Cake. Whereas I never go to Nahum And never ever taste their cakes. Even she said she won’t go to Nahoum’s again rather she would bake it at home. Since then, every Christmas she baked the cake using my recipe and send me those pics on Facebook messenger to share her gratitude with love. What else I could expect from my reader, that is one of the biggest achievements of my life. Thank you so much Mala Ghosh for giving me such a compliment.
How to make a Christmas Cake recipe without soaking Dry fruits?
Traditional Christmas Cake needs a long day’s soaking of dry fruits in alcohol forat least 1-2 months.
However, Christmas is just on the corner and I had no time in hand to soak Dry fruits. So started making it my way.
➡ I just chopped the dry fruits (dates and cherries) and mix them up with tutti frutti, kishmish or sultanas, black raisins, fresh orange zest, and grated ginger.
➡ Heat it up in Rum (used Old Monk Rum), and later mixed with Fresh Orange Juice.
➡ Kept it in an airtight container for next 18-24 Hours and it’s done.
However, you can use Dry Figs(Indian Anjeer), Dry apricots(Khubaanee in India), Dry Plums/Prunes, Black Current, and Different Dry Berries as per your choice.
How to make a Dark Christmas Cake recipe?
Several ways to make a dark christmas cake recipe, be like,
➊ Use Caramel – I used my homemade caramel from white sugar and jaggery or molasses to get the dark texture in my cake. It’s actually an old trick of our ancient Indian cuisine. Can replace white sugar with brown sugar to bring a dark color to cakes.
➋ Use Coffee – Even you can use 2 tsp coffee powder in the batter or can make coffee liquor by adding the coffee to 3 tbsp of hot water. Mix it in the batter by straining. However, can get a light coffee flavor in your cake.
➌ Use Tea Liquor – You can use dark tea liquor too for making the dark colour. Soak 1+ 1/2 tsp tea in 2 tbsp hot water for 1-2 mins. Then strain and use in the batter.
➍ Use Dark Colour Alchol – Except for Rum, use any dark coloured alcohol like whiskey, scotch, or brandy in dry fruits. Even you can add 4 tbsp red wine too then. Dry fruits will release their extracts in alcohol and the alcohol’s dark colour will make the extract even darker.
➎ Use Black Raisins – Soak the black raisins in hot water for 30 mins. Discard the water and blend it well and mix it into the cake batter. That also brings a dark colour.
➏ Use Dates – Same as black raisin, soak the dates in hot water too for 30 mins to 1 hr. Remove the seeds of dates then blend well and mix them into the cake batter.
You can use any one of the tricks from above to make your cake dark. However, as per me my homemade caramel does it best.
Try this Christmas special rich dry fruitcake at home and I hope my step-by-step pictures will help you most to do it perfectly. Please let me know how this recipe worked, just write down a comment in the comment box below.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you in advance, bake lots of cakes and cookies, and enjoy with your family.
Even you can try some other recipes for Christmas as sides at dinner
You may try one more cake recipe from my website.
Recipe card for Christmas Cake recipe
Kolkata style easy homemade dry fruit cake recipe for Christmas | Kolkata Style Christmas Cake recipeCourse: Cakes, Dessert, RecipesCuisine: Indian/WorldDifficulty: Medium
Christmas Cake is a simple yet classic rich & dark dry fruit & nut cake with a mixed punch of rum, orange juice, cake spice & vanilla essence.
Ingredient of Christmas cake recipe
125 gms Tutti Fruity
100 gms Deseeded Dates
50 gms Black Raisins
50 gms Kishmish /Sultanas
50 gms Dry Cherries
125 ml Rum (Used Old Monk)
1 Fresh Orange Juice
1/2 tsp Dry Ginger Powder/ Finely Chopped Fresh Ginger
2 tbsp Orange Zest (Finely Chopped)
200 gms All-purpose Flour
150 gms Softened Butter (Salted/Unsalted)
125 gm Powdered White Sugar
75 gms Almond Powder
4 pcs of Eggs (At room temperature)
45 ml Homemade Caramel (30 g Sugar+ 30 g Jaggery/ Molasses)
3/4 tsp Spice Powder (Nutmeg, Cloves, Cinnamon)
80 gms Dry Nuts (50 gms Cashew+30 gms Almond)
1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Baking soda
1+1/4 tsp Vanilla essence
How to make Christmas cake recipe
- Take the dry fruits (tutti-fruity, chopped deseeded dates, black raisins, Kishmish/sultanas, and chopped dry cherries) in a saucepan.
- Add Rum (or any alcohol), and heat the pan on lowest heat. Stir it continuously for 4-5 mins or until dry fruits are completely soaked in the rum. Turn off the heat.
- Then add chopped orange zest (or peel), finely chopped or grated fresh ginger or dry ginger powder, and one fresh orange juice to it. Mix it nicely. Completely cool it down. Keep in an airtight container for 18-24 hours.
- For making the caramel, heat a pan with 30 gms sugar and 30 gms jaggery (crushed) or molasses on medium heat.
- Stir it continuously until the sugar and jaggery completely melt down. Slow down the heat and add 3/4 cup of water and cook till gets a little thick and has one string consistency.Turn off the heat and Keep it aside.
- Then preheat the oven to 140 degrees Celsius temperature for 30 mins.
- In the meantime, line the cake tin(mine is 8″ or 20 cm round cake tin) with double butter paper or parchment paper
- Then sift the flour with baking powder and baking soda, and keep it in a mixing bowl. Then ground the white sugar and almond to make its fine powder
- Break the whole cashew nuts (weight 50g) into half and cut the almonds (weight 30g) into sleeves. Mix it with 1 tbsp flour.
- Ground 7-8 cloves, 1/4 nutmeg, and 1-inch cinnamon stick together into a fine powder. Sift this spice powder and mix it with the flour-baking powder-baking soda mixture.
- Take a wide mixing bowl and first add the softened butter (salted/unsalted) at room temperature and start beating with an electric hand beater on medium speed. Beat it until gets soft and creamy.
- Then add powdered sugar to the butter and start beating again for 3-4 mins. Add eggs and beat them nicely to make them slightly fluffy.
- Add almond powder to the mixture, except beating fold it nicely. Add vanilla essence and add the caramel(prepared earlier), and nicely mixed together.
- Start adding the flour-baking powder-baking soda-spice mix to it in 3 to 4 batches. Fold (only a gentle stir not beating) the flour nicely with the cake batter with the help of a spatula or spoon.
- Now add the dry fruits (cooked in alcohol) to the cake batter. Mix it nicely. Then add the broken cashew nuts and almond sleeves (mixed with 1 tbsp flour) to it. Give it a light stir to mix it nicely.
- Now pour the cake batter into the butter paper-lined cake tin and lightly tap the tin to set the batter in it. Level the surface of the batter with a spatula.
- Before baking the cake, decorate it with dry fruits and nuts as I decorate with cashew and almonds.
- Place the cake in the center of the preheated oven, and start baking the cake.
- After baking for the first 1 & 1/2 hours, after every 15 mins must check the cake with a skewer. For me, it took 2hrs 20 mins to bake. As it may take less or more time than me.
- Use a skewer, and insert till the bottom to check if the cake is perfectly baked or not. If the skewer comes out clean means the cake is ready, if not, put it back in the oven for a few mins at 140-degree temperature.
- Once the Christmas Cake is ready, take it out of the oven, and completely cool it down before storing it.
- I used fresh orange peel in this recipe, you can use dry orange zest or candied orange peel too. Even can use candied ginger too.
- Don’t add the orange peel, ginger, and orange juice while soaking the dry fruits in alcohol by heating them up. That might be a cause of little bitterness.
- Don’t soak the dry nuts in alcohol, as that will get soggy, and that can spoil the taste of the cake.
- If you don’t have butter paper, then first grease your cake tin with soft butter and dust some flour into it. After getting a nice flour coat just turn the tin down and little tap it to remove the excess flour.
- For quick soaking, I’ve used 375 gms dry fruits (not dry nuts) with 125 ml rum. For 500 gms dry fruits, you may use a maximum of 140 ml of alcohol and for 1 kg dry fruits maximum 150-175 ml alcohol can be used
How to make Christmas Cake recipe (without soaking dry fruits)
Instruction with step-by-step pictures
Instant Soaking Of Dry Fruits In Alcohol
- First, take the dry fruits and except for tutti-fruity, black raisins, and Kishmish, chop the dates (deseeded) & dry cherries.
- Finely chop the fresh orange peel and grate the dry ginger. Here I’ve used dry ginger instead of using fresh ginger. But you can use any one of them, that doesn’t matter.
- Now take the dry fruits (tutti-fruity, chopped deseeded dates, black raisins, Kishmish/sultanas, and chopped dry cherries) in a saucepan
- Then adding 125 ml Rum and mix it all together with a spatula or spoon.
- Now place this bowl on the lowest heat of your oven. And stir it continuously.
- Dry fruits will soak the rum maximum of 4-5 mins. Then turn off the heat.
- Now add finely chopped orange peel to it.
- Add finely chopped or grated fresh ginger or dry ginger powder to it. Mix it nicely.
- Lastly, add orange juice to it and give it a good mix.
- After completely cooling it down, place the soaked dry fruits in an airtight container for 18 hrs to 24 hrs.
Making homemade caramel for dark Christmas Cake
- Take a pan with 30 gms sugar and 30 gms jaggery(crushed) or molasses in a pan. And place it on medium heat.
- Stir it continuously. When the sugar and jaggery(molasses) completely meltdown and it looks rich in color, as shown in the pic.
- Then slow down the heat and slowly add 3/4 cup of water to it from any side of the pan. While adding water to the caramel, it may splash and so do it carefully.
- Now mix it with the water and boil it till it gets a little thick and one string consistency. As shown in the pic. Turn off the heat and keep it aside. Making caramel hardly takes 6-7 mins to be done.
- Be careful, the caramel should be dark but not burnt or bitter in taste.
- Caramel is ready to give a dark and rich color to the plum cake along with a great taste.
Prepare the cake tin
- First, preheat the oven to 140 degrees Celsius temperature for 30 mins.
- In the meantime, line the cake tin (my cake tin is an 8 inch or 20 cm round cake tin) with double butter paper or parchment paper. As shown in the pic. And
- Stick the butter paper with the tin by using little butter between the tin and the butter paper.
- Though you can use the same size cake tin in oval, rectangular, square, or heart shape, or a little bigger than this cake tin for the same quantity.
Preparation of Christmas Cake
- Then sift all purpose flour (Maida), then sift baking soda and baking powder. Keep it in a mixing bowl and keep it aside for further use.
- Next, take the white sugar in a grinder jar and ground it for making its powdered form. Keep it aside.
- Take the same grinder jar, and ground the almond to make a fine powder out of it.
- Then break the cashew nuts(weight 50g) into half and cut the almonds(weight 30g) into sleeves.
- Next, add 1 tbsp flour to it and mix it nicely. This process will help prevent the dry fruits from sinking into the bottom of the cake.
- Ground 7-8 cloves, 1/4 nutmeg, and 1-inch cinnamon stick together into a fine powder.
- Sift this spice powder and mix it with the flour-baking powder-baking soda mixture.
Making of Christmas Cake batter
- Take a wide mixing bowl and first add the softened butter(salted/unsalted) at room temperature and start beating with an electric hand beater on medium speed. Beat it until gets soft and creamy, It will just take 2 mins.
- Then add powdered sugar to the butter and start beating again for 3-4 mins. The butter-sugar mix will be ready.
- Now add eggs(at room temperature) to this butter-powdered sugar mix and beat it nicely.
- Then add the almond powder to the bowl and start folding(only stir it not beating) it with the butter-powdered sugar-eggs mix.
- Then add vanilla essence to this butter-powdered sugar-egg mix.
- Next add the caramel, which we prepared earlier. Mix it nicely with the batter.
- Now start adding the flour-baking powder-baking soda-spice mix to it in 3 to 4 batches.
- Fold (means only a good stir not beating) the flour nicely with the cake batter with the help of a spatula or spoon.
- Now add the dry fruits(cooked in alcohol) to the cake batter. Mix it nicely.
- Then add the broken cashew nuts and almond sleeves (mixed with 1 tbsp flour) to it. Give it a light stir to mix it nicely.
- Now pour the cake batter into the butter paper-lined cake tin and lightly tap the tin to set the batter in it. Level the surface of the batter with a spatula.
Method Of Baking Christmas Cake
- Here I decorate my cake with cashew and almonds. You can decorate with other dry fruits and nuts too.
- When the oven gets preheated, place the cake tin in the center of the oven and bake it.
- After baking for the first 1 & 1/2 hours, must check the cake after every 15 mins with a skewer.
- For me, it took 2hrs 20 mins to bake. As it may take less or more time than me.
- Use a skewer to check if it’s done to the bottom or not. If the skewer comes out clean then the cake is ready if not, put it back in the oven for a few mins at 140-degree temperature.
- Once the Christmas Cake is completely done, leave it for a few hrs until completely cooled down.
How to store a Christmas Cake?
To store a Christmas Cake –
➡ First completely cool down the cake,
➡ Then remove the butter paper or parchment pepper used for baking.
➡ Next wrap the Cake in a cling wrap and then wrap it in aluminum foil to restore its moisture.
➡ After wrapping, keep it outside the fridge. As fridge will make it dry and hard by soaking its moisture.
How to feed a Christmas Cake
Feed the Cake oncein two weeks with 2 tbsp of alcohol (like Rum, Brandy, or Whiskey).
How to feed? ① First, make a few tiny holes on the top of the cake by inserting a toothpick through the cake up to the bottom.
② Then gently pour a very little amount of alcohol through the hole hardly 3-4 drops at a time. Make sure not too much. Otherwise, your Cake might get soggy instead moist.
③ Then again wrap the Cake and store it as before.
As I made this cake just 2 weeks back from Christmas so I could only feed it once.