Saturday, January 04, 2014

Christmas Cake

Plum Cake or Fruit cake is a must in Christian households. In India no matter what religion we follow we share our festivities and sweets with neighbors and friends. So every year there is enough Christmas cake to eat. It is only recent or may be a decade ago that I started making my own Christmas cake. I know Christmas cakes are rich and boozy. I make mine rich and citrusy. Dry fruits and nuts soaked in honey for atleast a month. Try it and tell me if you really miss the booze in it?

Adapted for vegetarians from Joy of Baking

1 cup softened butter
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup demerera sugar
3/4 cup caster sugar
3 teaspoons flax seed powder (soaked in 9 teaspoons water)
3 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup fresh curd or 1 cup Orange juice
3/4 cup ground almonds
750 gms of *soaked dry fruits and nuts*

Soaking dry fruits and nuts in advance.

Chop up all sorts of dry fruits and nuts. I used Turkish apricots, Nectarines, White peaches, Figs, raisins, cashews, almonds etc. You can use any combo of fruits and nuts. Traditionally atleast raisins and cashews.

In a 1 litre jar put 2 cups of chopped dry fruits and nuts and add a cup of honey. Add 1 cup Homemade orange marmalade. Leave it to soak for atleast a month. I soaked these for about 2 months. Since you are using honey you will not need to drain the fruit.

On the baking day

Begin with creaming the butter and the two types of sugars together. Add the Balsamic vinegar, flax seed powder that has been soaked in water and gelatinized. Add the curd and whip till light and fluffy wet mix.

Now in a big bowl measure out the flour, ground almonds and baking powder. Whisk to mix evenly. Slowly add the mix into the creamed wet mix. Whip in the stand mixer on slow.

Next take the *soaked dry fruits and nuts* dredge them in a handful of flour. Add to the batter and mix with spatula till distributed well in the batter.

Prepare a 9 inch springform round tin by lining it with greased parchment or foil both at the bottom and sides. This is a must as this cake needs a long baking time at lower than usual temperature. Pour the batter in the tin and tap the tin on the counter to even out the batter. Level out the top with the spatula.

Preheat oven for 10 mins at 180 degrees Celsius and put the tin in for baking for the first 60 mins. You should get a nice golden colored cake by the end of the hour. For the next 1 hour of bake cover the golden cake with foil or parchment to avoid charring. At this time lower the temperature to 160 degrees Celsius. A skewer inserted in the cake should come out clean to prove the cake is well done inside.

Let the cake cool completely in the tin itself. Once cooled upturn it on a plate lined with a nice doily or decorative paper napkin.

I dusted the Christmas cake with confectioners sugar and added a ribbon for the festive feel. Yeah we are past Christmas but the cravings made me make this cake else I had started to dig into the honey marmalade soaked dryfruits and nuts after meals. 

Good thing is I am taking this cake for Akshada's BD party today. Recently our families traveled together and ever since I have grown fond of this lovely girl. Hope she enjoys it.

Special Note:

Incase, you do not have the time n patience for soaking the fruit. Then just cook the fruit in honey and and water till its all plump.

If the fruit and nut are dry the cake crumbles when slicing. The soaked or cooked fruit holds the crumbs together as this is a cake with as much dry fruits and nuts as the flour.

Updated after the birthday party : 6 Jan 2014

Sliced and enjoyed by the Birthday buddies Akshada and Tejas!


  1. it seems i was right abt fruit cake on facebook :)
    great idea to soak the dry fruits in honey and marmalade!

  2. Hi Anjali tai,
    sorry to not have posted my comment before...I have been a silent reader of the blog and I really like the informal and personal tone of your blog...asa vatata ki you are talking to me in person..pan theres something that kept me from writing al d while, even anonymously.
    Im from mumbai and currently in Blr for we both have that in common(at least upto some pt of time)
    I have tried some of ur recipes of daily simple veggies and they have turned very good.
    lately I got a M/w wth convection and started baking. so ur cake is bookmarked :)
    I saw in the pics above that you are using Croma hand mixer..i have been dong some search on a good hand mixers particularly for icing and cakes/mousses that would require eggs and cream to be fluffed until they form soft/hard peaks.
    Does your hand mixer work for these requirements? I am really not sure what Watts and attachments would work best.


    1. Hi Samidha, good that you delurked. That's nice that you have started baking just remember that this cake is a success only with soaked dry fruits and nuts. If trying to make it without the soaked dryfruits then you need to cook them till plump. Thanks for letting me know that you tried my recipes and liked them too.

      Sharing here a discussion on the stand mixer.

      The whisks work well for fluffing up anything.

      Frankly I love this piece of equipment and its light on the purse too.

  3. thanks tai...that does a novice baker, i was wondering how much shud i be spending(considering that i have already spent a lot on baking equipments and supplies...n none of those are cheap)

    1. You are most welcome Samidha! If you take pictures of my recipes that you have tried do share on the FB page. Keep visiting and writing in.


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