Kolkata style easy homemade dry fruit cake recipe for Christmas

A simple yet classic dry fruit & nut cake with a mixed punch of rum, orange juice, cake spice & vanilla essence, is most common in Kolkata homes during Christmas.

rich rum flavoured easy homemade dry fruit cake for Christmas

“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 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 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.

I never visit Nahoum’s but when I shared my Christmas cake recipe on a Food group named “Calcutta foodies club”, I got a friend from there “Mala Ghosh” who baked cake at home following my recipe and complimented me by saying taste of my cake recipe exactly taste like Nahum’s old Christmas cake. 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 its pics on Facebook messenger to share her gratitude with love. What else I could expect from my reader, that is the biggest achievement of my life. Thank you so much Mala Ghosh for giving me such a compliment.

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 in my way. Chopped the dry fruits(dates and cherries) and mix them up with tutti frutti, yellow raisins or sultanas, black raisins, fresh orange zest, 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 18-24 hours and it’s done. Don’t mind I have these much dry fruits only when I decided to make this plum cake. Though you may use dry figs/anjeer, dry apricots/khubaanee, dry plums/prunes, black current, and different dried berries as per your choice. So you can say this cake is just finished before getting the last-minute bell of Christmas.

soaked dry fruits ingredients of christmas cake

Then I made my homemade caramel from white sugar and jaggery or molasses to get the rich texture in my cake. Though brown sugar is commonly used to bring the rich color in cakes however my homemade caramel does it at best. It’s actually an old trick of our ancient Indian cuisine.

Then preheat the oven, make the cake tin ready and start preparing the cake. 1. Sift the flour with baking powder, baking soda, 2. ground the white sugar & almond, 3. make the spice powder mix it up with flour, 4. beat the softened butter 5. mix it with powdered sugar, 6. then again beat it with eggs 7. beat with powdered almond, 8. flavored with vanilla, 9. adding my homemade caramel, 10. fold it up with flour, 11. mix it up with rum-soaked dry fruits, 12. decorate with flour-coated dry nuts(almond and cashew), 13. bake for 2 hrs 20 mins and its ready.

As I made this cake just 2 weeks back from Christmas so I could only feed it once with alcohol(rum, or brandy, or whiskey). Though as per the feeding method you may feed it only once in two weeks.

 Even you can try some other recipes to cook this Christmas as sides at dinner

You may try one more cake recipe from my website.

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.

Kolkata style easy homemade dry fruit cake recipe for Christmas

Kolkata style easy homemade dry fruit cake recipe for Christmas

Recipe by Moumita PaulCourse: Cakes, Dessert, RecipesCuisine: Indian/WorldDifficulty: Medium
Servings

16

servings
Prep time

55

minutes
Baking time

2

minutes
Calories

299

kcal
Total time

3

minutes

A classic dry fruit & nut cake with a mixed punch of rum, orange juice, cake spice & vanilla essence, is most common in Kolkata homes during Christmas. A simple yet delicious rich dry fruitcake prepared at the last minute with flour, softened butter, old monk rum, white sugar, eggs, almond powder, dry fruits & nuts, orange juice & zest, and flavor of ginger+nutmeg+cloves+cinnamon.

Ingredient

  • 125 gms Tutti Fruity(originally colorful candid papaya)

  • 100 gms Deseeded Brown Dates

  • 50 gms Black Raisins

  • 50 gms Yellow Kishmish/Sultanas

  • 50 gms Dried Cherries

  • 125 ml Old Monk Rum

  • 1 fresh Orange Juice

  • 1/2 tsp Dry Ginger Powder/ Finely Chopped Fresh Ginger

  • 2 tbsp Finely Chopped Orange Zest

  • 200 gms All-purpose Flour

  • 150 gms Softened Butter(Salted/Unsalted)

  • 125 gm Powdered White Sugar

  • 75 gms Ground 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

Instruction

  • For making the dry fruits, take the dry fruits(≈375g) tutti-fruity, deseeded brown dates(cut into small chunks), black raisins, yellow raisins, dried cherries(chopped) in a saucepan, add old monk/ any rum, heat the pan. Stir it continuously for 4-5 mins or until dry fruits completely soaked the rum. Turn off the heat.
  • Then add chopped orange zest or peel, finely chopped or grated fresh ginger or dry ginger powder, one fresh orange juice to it. Mix it nicely. 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(molasses) completely melt down. Slow down the heat add 3/4 cup of water and cook till gets a little thick and has one string consistency.
  • For making the cake, first, preheat the oven to 140-degree 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, 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(weigh 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 beat it nicely to make it slightly fluffy.
  • Add almond powder to the mixture, except beating fold it nicely. Add vanilla essence and add the caramel(prepared earlier), nicely mixed together.
  • Start adding the flour-baking powder-baking soda-spice mix to it in 3 to 4 batches. Fold(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.
  • 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 bake 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 to check it’s done till the bottom or not. If the skewer comes 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 hrs to completely cool down.
  • Store it by first wrapping it in a cling wrap then aluminum foil to restore its moisture.

Notes

  • For the detailed recipe check the step-by-step description with pictures, below.

How to makeKolkata style easy homemade dry fruit cake recipe for Christmas

Instruction with step-by-step pictures

Quick soaking method of dry fruits in alcohol

  • First take the dry fruits(≈375g) including desseded brown dates( 100g), black raisins, yelllow raisins(sultanas), dried cherries, tutti fruiti(colourful candid papayas/sugar coated papayas), fresh orange and dry ginger/fresh ginger/ sugar coated ginger(candid ginger) as per the right quantity(decribed in ingredients portion).
take deseeded dates+black raisins+brown raisins or kishmish+tutti frutti+cherries+orange+ginger for cooking and soaking dry fruits to make easy christmas cake at home
  • Then cut the deseeded dates into small chunks, then chopped the cherries.
  • Now 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 a sauce pan, add tutti frutti, small chunks of dates, black raisins, brown raisins, and chopped cherries to it.
adding dates chunks, brown raisins, black raisins, cherries and tutti frutti in the bowl to first cook it with rum for making this easy fruit cake recipe
  • Then add 125 ml rum and mix it all together with a spatula or spoon.
adding rum to dry fruits to cook it in it for making this rich rum cake recipe
  • Now place this bowl on the lowest heat of your oven. And stir it continuously.
  • When the dry fruits soaked the rum, it will hardly take 4-5 mins to be done. Turn off the flame.
  • Now add finely chopped orange peel to it.
adding fresh orange peel after cooking the dry fruits in rum for making rich christmas fruit cake
  • Add finely chopped or grated fresh ginger or dry ginger powder to it. Mix it nicely.
adding ginger powder with the cooked dry fruits for making wonderful flavour in this indian christmas cake recipe
  •  Lastly, add orange juice to it and give it a good mix.
adding orange juice with the cooked dry fruits for making christmas cake recipe with orange juice
  • Now cool it down and then place the soaked dry fruits in an airtight container for 18 hrs to 24 hrs. So the soaked dry fruits will be ready to prepare this cake recipe.
keeping cooked and soaked dry fruits in this airtight container for 12-24 hrs for making this indian christmas cake recipe

Making homemade caramel for dark colour

  • Take a pan with 30 gms sugar and 30 gms jaggery(crushed) or molasses in a pan. And place it on medium heat.
sugar and crushed jaggery in the pan for making caramel
  • Stir it continuously. When the sugar and jaggery(molasses) completely meltdown and it looks rich in color, as shown in the pic.
sugar and jaggery completely melts down and caramelised then add water to it for making the perfect caramel
  • 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. It will hardly take 6-7 mins to be done.
  • Be careful, the caramel should be dark but not burnt or bitter in taste.
mix the caramel with water and boil it to get one string consistency for making this indian christmas cake recipe
  • Turn off the heat and cool it down.
  • 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-degree Celsius temperature for 30 mins. In the mean time, 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 tin and 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.
double butter paper lining in the cake tin to bake this cake

Preparation of cake

  • Then sift the flour, then sift baking soda and baking powder. Keep it in a mixing bowl and keep it aside for further use.
sifting flour in a bowl for making this cake recipe
  • 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, ground the almond to make a fine powder out of it.
almonds in the grinder to make a fine powder of it
  • Then break the cashew nuts(weight 50g) into half and cut the almonds(weigh 30g) into sleeves. And then add 1 tbsp flour to it and mix it nicely. This process will help preventing the dry fruits from sinking into the bottom of the cake.
broken cashew nuts and almond sleeves in the bowl with 1 tbsp flour to prevent sinking in the cake batter
  • 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.
mixed spice recipe for christmas cake

Making of 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.

beating soft butter(butter at room temperature)

  • Then add powdered sugar to the butter and start beating again for 3-4 mins. The butter-sugar mix will be ready.
beating soft butter and powdered sugar together
  • Now add eggs(at room temperature) to this butter-powdered sugar mix and beat it nicely.
adding eggs to the butter-powdered sugar mix for beating it well together
  • Then add the almond powder to the bowl and start folding(only stir it not beating) it with the butter-powdered sugar-eggs mix.
adding powdered almond to the butter- powdered sugar-egg mix
  • Then add vanilla essence to this butter-powdered sugar-egg mix.
adding vanilla essence in the butter-powdered sugar-eggs-powdered almond mix
  • Next add the caramel, which we prepared earlier. Mix it nicely with the batter.
adding homemade caramel to turn it into a indian style dark christmas cake recipe
  • Now start adding the flour-baking powder-baking soda-spice mix to it in 3 to 4 batches.
adding flour-baking powder-baking soda-spice mix to this easy xmas cake batter
  • Fold(only a good stir not beating) the flour nicely with the cake batter with the help of a spatula or spoon.
folding the flour nicely with this easy xmas cake batter
  • Now add the dry fruits(cooked in alcohol) to the cake batter. Mix it nicely.
adding soaked(or cooked in rum and soaked in orange juice) dry fruits in this christmas fruit cake batter
  • 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.
adding broken cashew nuts and almond sleeves to the indian christmas fruit cake batter
  • 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 the cake

  • Here I decorate my cake with cashew and almonds. You can decorate with other dry fruits and nuts too.
decorating xmas cake with some dry nuts
  • 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, 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 to check it’s done till the bottom or not. If the skewer comes clean then the cake is ready if not, put it back in the oven for a few mins at 140-degree temperature.
checking the christmas cake with a skewer
  • Once the christmas cake is completely done, leave it for hrs to completely cool down. 

Storing method

Store this cake by first wrapping it in a cling wrap then aluminum foil to restore its moisture. Keep it outside the fridge. As fridge will make it dry and hard by soaking its moisture.

Feeding method

Feed the cake oncein two weeks with 2 tbsp of dark alcohol(like rum, or brandy, or whiskey).

Notes

  • Instead of using dry orange zest, I used fresh orange peel in this christmas cake and that won’t make a bitter taste. And the use of fresh ginger or dry ginger will add a wonderful flavor to it.
  • While quick soaking the dry fruits in alcohol by heating it up, then don’t add the orange peel, ginger, and orange juice with it. That might be a cause of little bitterness.
  • Don’t soak the dry nuts in alcohol, as it 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 to 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.

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