Christmas Cake | Plum Cake | Fruit Cake, is a cake loaded with dried fruits, peels and nuts and is quite boozy. This recipe is an easy and instant version of the popular Christmas Cake.
Come December and my kids talk only about the Christmas and their presents by Santa. My elder one now understands that its his parents who get all that stuff but the younger one is all excited and waits eagerly for the night Santa will bring his presents.
Another thing they get all thrilled about during Christmas time, is their fruit cake. They like this moist cake with all the amazing flavours of sweet and sour dried fruits and everything in it. For them Christmas starts a month before and goes on until after the New Year.
I have actually never baked a traditional Plum Cake. I know that it needs a lot of soaking and planning and this year also I couldn’t do it, as we were on holiday for the whole of November. And hence, I wasn’t left with any other choice, but to make an instant version of the traditional Christmas Cake.
I know I am little late in uploading this recipe too but it is going to be a lot of fun and I will add all the important tips and substitutes for the ingredients that I use, which will make it easier for you make it, not to forget, quickly too. So, let’s just get started!!
What is a Christmas Cake?
A Christmas cake, as the name suggests, is a cake made during the Christmas time. Christmas is all about snow and cold, and hence this cake being loaded with dry fruits, nuts and some wonderful spices too, is all the more inviting during the winter months. Not only it has all the delicious dried fruits with a variety of flavours, like sweet, sour, a bit tangy but it also has a boozy flavour to it. Yes, the dry fruits added in this cake are soaked for a long time, in strong alcohol like rum.
Now-a-days, as a quick fix of this traditional recipe there are many substitutes that can be used for all these ingredients and flavours. I will be talking about it in detail, below.
The term Christmas cake is quite interchangeably used with Plum Cake and Fruit Cake. A cake which uses the technique of soaking the dry fruits and uses a lot of those in the recipe can be safely called as a Christmas Cake. It is essentially a moist cake, and like I said, loaded with dried fruits and a burst of flavours. You’ll know what I mean, when you’ll make one!!
Important Points for Christmas Cake
1.Dried Fruits – There is a wide variety of dried fruits that you can choose for this cake. Golden raisins( kishmish), black raisins, red raisins, dried apricot (khubani), dried figs (anjeer), dried cranberries (karonda), black berries, dates (khajur), Prunes (dried aloo bukhara), dried peels of the fruits like orange, lemon etc. Tutty-frutty is generally not added in traditional plum or Christmas cakes, but I like to add it in this cake, as it lends a good bulk to the cake.
2. Nuts – A lot of nuts are also added to this cake for that extra crunch and bite. You can choose anything from almonds, cashew nuts, walnuts, pistachio, pecans etc.
3. Soaking – These dried fruits are soaked in alcohol or juice. Many people like making alcohol free cakes so juice is one great alternative to the alcohol, for soaking the nicely chopped, dried fruits. I have used orange juice in this recipe for soaking the dried fruits. Other than orange juice, grape juice or even the apple juice is okay to use. Make sure that all the dried fruits are covered with juice from top also, when you soak them.
Ideally it would be great to keep them soaked for a 8-10 days, if not more, but as I was making a comparatively instant recipe of this cake, I soaked them for just 24 hours, and they were great in taste and texture. If you are making it at a really short notice, then overnight soaking (8-10 hours) should be fine too.
4. Black Caramel – This is the an important aspect of this cake and can not be avoided at all. So just give it a little time and do it right. Simply put, it is just sugar and water. For this, equal amount of sugar and water is taken. First, sugar is melted in a deep bottom pan (please do take a deep bottom pan with high walls, as this will get very hot) and then water is added slowly while mixing it quickly.
Do this very carefully, as the temperature of the melted sugar will be dangerously high. You must watch the video below for making a perfect black caramel, which is so important for this recipe. You can make it in advance and use it when required.
5. Eggless recipe – This is an Eggless recipe, so I have used baking powder and soda both in it. I have made it with milk and vinegar.
6. Sugar – I have added only 1/2 cup sugar in it, as I did not want the sugar to overpower the myriad flavours of the dried fruits in this cake. You may add more, if you would like it too sweet. Also, taking powdered sugar makes it easy to mix it in other liquid ingredients.
Some other interesting recipes from my blog and YouTube Channel;
- Mango Cake
- Chocolate Ganache recipe
- APF Bread recipe
- Ladi Pav recipe
- Instant Dhokla (without curd)
- Rasmalai Cake
Recipe Video of Christmas Cake
I have made a quick video of this Christmas Cake, for a better understanding of the recipe. You can take a look and check all the important steps in few minutes. Do Subscribe my YouTube channel “flavourhome by Sutiksha” to get instant recipe updates, as soon as I upload them. Also if you like these videos, kindly like and share them with your family and friends.
For Soaking (dried fruits)
- Golden Raisins – 1/3 cup, chopped
- Dates – 1/3 cup, chopped
- Dried Apricot – 1/3 cup, chopped
- Dried Cranberries – 1/3 cup, chopped
- Tutti-Frutti – 1/3 cup
- Orange Juice – 200 ml
For Black Caramel
- Sugar – 5 tbsp
- Water – 5 tbsp
For Cake Batter
- Sugar – 1/2 cup , powdered
- Milk – 1/2 cup , warm
- Oil – 1/4 cup
- Butter – 3 tbsp, at room temperature
- Refined Flour (maida) – 1 1/4 cup
- Baking Powder – 3/4 tsp
- Baking Soda – 1/2 tsp
- Cinnamon Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Clove Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Nutmeg Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Vinegar – 2.5 tsp
- Cashew nuts – 1/4 cup , chopped
- Almonds – 1/4 cup, chopped
- Walnuts – 1/4 cup, chopped
1.Soaking – Take all the ingredients listed under soaking, in a bowl. Give them a good mix and cover. Leave them in a cool place for 24 hours for a good soaking. If you live in a warm place you can keep this bowl in fridge also. Make sure that all the dried fruits are covered well with the juice from top also.
2. Black Caramel – Take sugar in a deep pan on medium flame. Let it sit in it for a few minutes, until it starts to melt. Do not mix it very often. Keep the flame medium. Mix occasionally for even melting. Once the sugar melts, it will start to boil in sometime. Cook it for a while, until the color changes to dark brown or almost black. Be careful while making this, as the temperature of melted sugar is very high. Once you get the desired color, add water, in batches.
Lower the flame before this step. The melted sugar will be extremely hot and when you put water in it, it will splutter also. That is why, taking a deep bottom pan is very necessary. As soon as you put water, mix it nicely. Likewise, add all the water and mix. Cook this solution until a little thick. To know its correct consistency, you should watch the video. Once done, take it off the flame and let it cool.
3. Cake Batter – Mix powdered sugar, milk, oil and butter very nicely. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon powder, clove powder and nutmeg powder. Mix dry ingredients well in the wet ingredients. No lumps should remain. Then add the soaked dried fruits. You can strain these fruits to take out the excess juice, if any. This juice can be used later to adjust the batter consistency. Add black caramel (which should be cold by now). Mix everything nicely. In the end, add vinegar and give a thorough mix. Pour the cake batter in a greased baking tin and bake in a pre-heated oven at 150 °C for about 1- 1.25 hours or until done.
The time taken can be more or less than mentioned here, due to your oven settings. Once its baked, let it cool completely before cutting it.
NOTES : 1. Do put parchment paper in the base of your greased tin. This is a heavy cake with lots of dried fruits, which have the tendency of sticking to the pan, even if its well greased. So this is an extra cautious step to avoid that.
2. You may use half jaggery and half sugar for making black caramel.
I would love to hear from you if you try this recipe of Christmas Cake. Do mention it in my comments section how you liked it or if you made any changes in it. Also if you make this and share on social networking sites, remember to add #flavourhomebysutiksha and tag me there. I would be glad to see and appreciate your efforts.
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