A quick recipe of authentic Christmas fruit cake with step by step pictures. Do you want to make a simply rich, dark, moist, rum-flavored, old traditional type fruit cake/plum cake recipe for this Christmas even without soaking dry fruits in alcohol? Then it is the perfect recipe for you.
Christmas is just impossible without traditional fruit cake, right? But for making that special fruit cake, we need to soak dry fruits at least for 2-3 months back, even more than that, 6 months to 1 year. After preparing the cake, alcohol feeding is also important to keep it moist & make it mature, right?
I’m a huge fan of this christmas special fruit & nut cake since my childhood. That all because of my dad. As every year, on the day before Xmas, he used to reach home with a rum and orange-flavored dark brown plum cake topped with lots of chopped dry fruits. That cake was wrapped in an airtight cling wrap, probably to intact its flavor and moisture. My siblings and I eagerly wait for the next morning when mom cut the cake and serve it at breakfast. Believe me, when she cut the cake, we used to stand beside her to smell its wonderful aroma.
Later my love for this traditional plum cake energies me most to make it at home. And I started making it on my own when I was in college.
So since then every year I make my own Christmas cake to make me and my family happy. Even every year I sincerely soak the dry fruit in time for making this cake. But unfortunately, this year I could not soak the dry fruits and Xmas is just about to come. So I was so upset to think of this year no homemade cake for Xmas.
But it was hard to accept the truth and wanted to make a last try. So I started online searching for a quick christmas cake recipe. But that would be like the traditional one means without soaking dry fruits in alcohol, the flavor of alcohol should be still intact in it. And from there, I got to know about some quick and easy plum cake/fruit cake recipes. Where people make it by taking all dry fruits, alcohol, butter, brown sugar, orange juice, and zest, spices(altogether) in a bowl and slightly heat it up. And after cooling it down, mixed it up with eggs, flour, and flavors to make the cake.
After seeing that, a quick and easy dry fruit soaking method came to my mind. I decided to only heat up the dry fruits with rum and later mixed it up with orange juice and zest and keep it in an airtight container for 18-24 hours. Actually, I wanted to make the dry fruits infused in the flavor of alcohol, which just happens in my christmas cake made by long-term soaking dry fruits.
So without wasting time I started doing the preparation of my christmas cake with the dry fruits I had in my pantry. I start making it with brown and black raisins, dates, some tutti frutti, and dried cherries. Though you may use more dry fruits like figs, apricots, prunes, or dry plum, different berries too. But then only I had a few ingredients. Never mind, as I believe, taste always depends on love and care, not on the ingredients.
So I started chopping the dry fruits and fresh orange peel and grate the dried ginger. Then mix it by adding rum and stir it well before placing them on the lowest heat of my gas oven. After continuous stirring of 4-5 mins when rum is completely soaked by dry fruits then switched off the heat. After removing from the heat, orange peel, dried ginger powder, and orange juice were added one by one. After giving a good stir, I left the soaked dry fruit for completely cooling down. It will soak the orange juice, once it cools down and then I pour the soaked dry fruits in an air-tight container for 18 to 24 hours. Even instead of rum, you may add brandy or dark wine too, which flavor you prefer most.
Even I made one more twist by making my homemade caramel, which is made of sugar and jaggery(molasses) instead of using brown sugar. Do you know, this homemade caramel was the basic ingredient of our authentic Indian style Christmas fruit cake recipe? As long years ago, brown sugar was not available in the Indian market. And without using brown sugar, it is hard to bring that rich and dark color. So in the olden days, people started making this homemade caramel to make that rich and dark plum cake. Even you may use tea or coffee liquor for making it texture-rich and dark.
Though the rest of the procedure is the same as the authentic Christmas cake. Like start its preparation by preheating the oven, lined the cake tin with the double butter paper or parchment paper, sifting the flour along with baking soda and baking powder, ground the granulated sugar and almond, the ground cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon to make the mixed spice for this cake, adding flour with broken cashew and almond sleeves to prevent it from sinking into the cake bottom, everything.
Then start making the cake batter by beating soften the butter first with powdered sugar and then with eggs. Later gently fold powdered almond, vanilla essence, my Indian style homemade caramel, spice powder added all-purpose flour mix, one by one. Lastly, add quickly soaked dry fruit and flour mixed broken cashew and almond sleeve and fold it nicely to make the cake batter ready.
What’s next? Just shift the batter in the cake tin and place it in the preheated oven and bake, simple, right? Wait, wait, I have to do something else. After placing the batter into the cake tin, gently tap the tin and then decorate it with almond and cashew nuts before putting it into the oven. Once the cake is baked then after cooling it down must wrap it in cling film and then aluminum foil to restore its moisture.
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). As you may feed it only once in two weeks. But this year I was so excited to taste this cake before christmas even without feeding. So when I took the first bite of this cake, I myself was not able to differentiate its taste from that traditional christmas cake. It worked great just beyond my expectation. So immediately I thought to share my latest version of this last-minute Christmas cake recipe with you all.
Even you can try other recipes from my website
You may try one more cake recipe from my website.
Try this cake 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 by leaving a comment in the comment box below. By the way, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you in advance, bake lots of cakes and cookies and enjoy with your family.
Authentic Christmas fruit cake recipe
Prep time: 50-55 mins(dry fruits cooking time included)
Bake time: 2 hrs 20 mins
Total time: 3 hrs 15 mins
Course: Festival dessert
Serving: 16 slices
Author: Moumita Paul
- 200 gms all-purpose flour
- 125 gms powdered sugar
- 150 gms butter
- 75 gms almond (ground it for making almond powder)
- 4 eggs
- 45 ml or 3 tbsp caramel(30 gms sugar+ 30 gms jaggery or molasses)
- 125 ml rum
- 1 orange juice
- 1 1/4 tsp vanilla essence
- 3/4 tsp spice powder(nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 80 gms dry nuts(50 gms cashew+30 gms almond)
- 375 gms dry fruits(tutti frutti, dates, black raisin, brown raisin, cherries)
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh orange peel
- 1/2 tsp dry ginger powder or 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
- 125 gms tutti-frutti
- 100 gms deseeded dates
- 50 gms deseeded black raisins
- 50 gms kishmish or deseeded brown raisins
- 50 gms cherries
How to make a quick recipe of authentic christmas fruit cake
Instruction (with step by step pictures)
Quick soaking of dry fruits for this cake
- First, take deseeded dates, black raisins, brown raisins or kishmish, tutti frutti, cherries, orange, and ginger.
- 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 wide bowl, add tutti frutti, small chunks of dates, black raisins, brown raisins, and chopped cherries to it.
- Then add 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.
- 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.
- Add finely chopped fresh ginger or dry ginger powder to it. Mix it nicely.
- Lastly, add orange juice to it and give it a good mix.
- Now cool it down and then place the soaked dry fruits in an airtight container for 12 hrs to 24 hrs. So the soaked dry fruits will be ready to prepare this cake recipe.
Homemade caramel for rich & dark fruit 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. It will hardly take 6-7 mins to be done.
- Be careful, the caramel should be dark but not burnt or bitter in taste.
- Turn off the heat and cool it down.
- Authentic Caramel is ready. This caramel gives a dark and rich color to your plum cake along with a great taste.
How to make Christmas cake
- First, preheat the oven to 140-degree Celsius temperature for 30 mins.
- Then line an 8 inch or 20 cm 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.
- Take the bowl to sift the flour first, then sift baking soda and baking powder. Keep the bowl aside for further use.
- Then take sugar in a grinder and ground it for making powdered sugar.
- Now, take the almond and ground it to make a fine powder out of it.
- Then break all 50 gms cashew nuts into two pieces and cut 30 gms almonds into sleeves. And then add 1 tbsp flour to it and mix it nicely.
- Lets, ground the spices together, i.e, 7-8 cloves, 1/4 nutmeg, and 1-inch cinnamon stick). Sift this mixed spice powder and mix it with the flour-baking powder-baking soda mix.
- Now take a wide bowl and first add the soft butter(at room temperature) to it and start beating with an electric hand beater on medium speed. It takes 2 mins.
- Then add powdered sugar to it 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(only a good stir not beating) the flour nicely with the cake batter with the help of a spatula or spoon.
- Now add the soaked dry fruits to the cake batter. Mix it nicely.
- Then add 50 gms broken cashew nuts and 30 gms 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 8 inch round cake tin and lightly tap the tin to set the batter in it. Level the surface of the batter with a spatula.
How to bake christmas fruit cake
- Here I decorate my cake with cashew and almonds. You can do the decorations as per your choice or just skip it.
- When the oven gets preheated, place the cake tin in the center of the oven and bake it. It took 2hrs 20 mins for me.
- After baking for the first 1 & 1/2 hours, after every 15 mins must check the cake with a skewer. As it may take less or more time than me. After 2 hrs 20 mins of baking, I removed the cake from the oven. 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 cake is done, leave it for hrs to completely cool down.
- You may store it by first wrapping it in a cling wrap then aluminum foil to restore its moisture.
- Instead of using orange zest, I used fresh orange peel 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.