-Submitted by Dahlia on 24th Dec 2011
(Indian Plum Cake, Indian Christmas Fruit Cake, Christmas Plum Cake, No-Alcohol Plum Cake, Xmas Plum Cake)
Plum Cake is a rich dense cake packed with dry fruits and nuts flavored with spices usually made during Christmas. It is made in different parts of the world with slight variations. In India, this is found everywhere during Christmas season, although it is also available commonly throughout the year.
During the Christmas season, people start by soaking the dry fruits in rum a month before Xmas which enhances the flavor of the cake. Though any kind of dry fruits and nuts can be used to make this cake, the most commonly used dry fruits in India are tutti fruity, dates, cherries, kismis (raisins) and cashews which are commonly available in India. It is also called as Christmas Fruit Cake or Plum Cake in Kerala.
I have also shared my recipe for American Christmas Fruit Cake here.
Recipe for Kerala Plum Cake
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 90 minutes
- All Purpose Flour (Maida) - 2 cups (about 250 grams)
- Butter (at room temperature) - 1 cup (= 2 sticks ~ 225 grams )
- Powdered Sugar - 2 cups
- Eggs - 4
- Apple juice - 1/4 cup (Traditionally rum or brandy is used. I'm adding apple juice for the Non Alcohol version of the plum cake)
- Vanilla Essence - 1 tsp
- Baking Powder - 1/2 tsp
- Baking Soda - 1/4 tsp
- Salt - a pinch
Dry Fruits & Nuts
- Mixed nuts - 1 cup (You can use chopped cashews, almonds, pecans or walnuts)
- Mixed dry fruits - 3 cups (You can use raisins, tutti fruity, chopped dates, candied orange or lemon peel, candied ginger, cherries, dried cranberries, pineapple, blueberries, apricots etc.)
- Sugar - 1/4 cup
- Boiling Water - 1/2 cup
- Lemon Juice - 2-3 drops
- Cinnamon Powder - 1/2 tsp
- Cardamom Powder - 1/4 tsp
- Clove Powder - 1/4 tsp
- Dry Ginger Powder - 1/4 tsp
- Nutmeg Powder - 1/4 tsp
Preparing the dry fruits & nuts
- Traditionally the dry fruits are soaked in rum for a month before making the cake. To make cake without alcohol cook the fruits in apple juice (or orange juice) for 5-10 minutes.
- Finally mix in the chopped nuts.
- Let this mix cool before you make the cake. You may also let it rest overnight before proceeding.
Preparing the caramel syrup
- Take the sugar in a pan and add cook on medium heat for 5-10 minutes. The sugar will melt and turn golden brown in color.
- Add 2-3 drops of lemon juice.
- Add 1/2 cup of hot water to the caramelized sugar. Switch off and keep stirring.
- Cool and keep the syrup ready to make the cake.
Preparing the cake pan & oven
- Preheat the oven to 325 degree F (170 degree C).
- Prepare the cake pans by greasing it with a non stick cooking spray or with some butter. The above measurement will make two 8" round cakes, one 13*9 cake or about 24 muffins.
- Take the room temperature butter in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the powdered sugar to it and mix together. Keep mixing until the mixture becomes creamy.
- Add the eggs one at a time and keep mixing till it gets well blended.
- Mix in the vanilla extract with it.
- Dust the dry fruits and nuts mixture with 1/4 cup of the maida (flour).
- Take all the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl - maida, baking powder, baking soda, salt and all the spices under 'spice mix'.
- Sift it and add to the wet ingredients. Do this in little batches while mixing so that you have a smooth batter.
- Mix in the caramel syrup and the dry fruit- nut mixture.
- Pour into prepared cake pans and bake in a 325 degree F oven for about 1 hour. Place a tray with 1" of water in the lower rack of the oven. This will prevent the top of the cake from getting dry.
- It takes about 1 hour for two 8" round cake and 1.5 hours for one big cake. Check if the cake is done by inserting a toothpick in the middle of the cake. If it comes clean, the cake is done. If not, bake for another 5-10 minutes.
- Cool the cake and enjoy.
- To make Egg-Less Fruit Cake, substitute the eggs with additional 1 stick of butter and 1/4 cup water.
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