Fruit Cake or Christmas Cake Or Rum Cake or Plum Cake is a classic cake made with soaked candied dried fruit, nuts, and spices, and optionally soaked in alcohol. This classic rich, dark, moist fruit cake made with Rum-soaked fruit is so delectable that you will not be able to control yourself after one slice.
Fruit Cake or Plum cake is all about the dried fruit which means it is loaded with dry fruits and nuts to cherish in every bite. It is a perfect cake recipe for a flavorful and moist fruit cake to enjoy all holiday season.
This is quicker version of traditional fruit cake, so no need to worry if you made a last minute plan to surprise your loved ones with this delicious and flavorful cake on the Christmas or New Year night.
I just love the combination of nuts and dried and candied fruits with barely enough cake batter acting merely as adhesive to bind the fruit and nuts.
What is Fruit Cake?
Christmas Cake or Fruitcake is a cake made with chopped dried fruit, nuts, and spices. It is a heavy, dense cakes that have a relatively low flour content. It resembles more like a bread and baked mostly in loaf pan, its moderately sweet and has a mixed flavors of dried fruits, nuts, spices and rum.
This fruit cake is moist and perfectly balanced in flavor. Fruitcake is commonly eaten during the Christmas season and given as a gift to the family and friends.
Best Alcohol to put in Christmas Cake
In this recipe I have used Bacardi Dark Rum. However instead of Rum you may use any alcohol as per your choice like brandy, sherry, grand marnier, whisky or orange-flavored liquors are the usual flavors for fruit cakes.
If you are not a Alcohol person or you want to make them for kids then do not worry, still you will be able to enjoy the perfect slice of cake, just replace it with fruit juice like orange or grape juice and make it alcohol free.
Soaking Dry Fruits
To cut the sweetness and add amazing flavor of alcohol, the dried fruit are soaked in a dark Rum for about 24 hrs to 2-3 weeks before baking. Traditionally, dried fruit is soaked in rum for weeks and then added to the cake batter.
For the quicker version of this recipe I recommend soaking the fruit for a minimum of 24 hours. The dried fruit will hydrate and plump up and soak up all of the dark rum during this time. Twirl and shake the jar to mix the fruits and ensure all the fruits are equally soaked. Don’t skip this step!
Types of Dried fruits
This Recipe uses a wide variety of tart and sweeter dried fruit like golden raisins, dark raisins, figs, prunes, cherries, apricots, dried pineapple, tutti frutti, dates, currants, dried cranberries, and peaches etc.
I have added chopped nuts like almonds, cashew, walnuts, pistachio. You can also add pecans, hazelnuts or any nuts of your choice.
Bake the Cake
The soaked dried fruit is folded into the fruit cake batter the following day. As compared to the other cake this recipe required less flour. The amount of flour is just enough to hold everything all together.
Batter for this recipe is very thick as compared to regular cake and is usually baked at low temperature 320-330deg F for about an hour or until completely baked.
Feed the Cake
This gives the Fruit Cake a subtle alcohol flavor and a moist texture, plus it also acts as a preservative so the cake can be stored for long time.
Once the cake is perfectly baked remove the cake from the oven, poke holes in it with a skewer and brush around 2 tablespoon of your chosen alcohol. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin/loaf pan.
You can also use the leftover rum from the soaked dried fruits and pour into a mason jar and refrigerate it and use whenever you want to moist the cake.
How to Store?
To store, peel off the baking parchment, then wrap well in cling wrap/parchment paper or aluminium foil then put it inside the Zip lock bag. Feed the cake with 1-2 tablespoon of alcohol every fortnight, until you are ready to serve. You can also wrap your cake in a alcohol soaked cheesecloth (Re-soak the cloth once or twice a week).
Traditional fruitcake can be stored in the refrigerator up to 2-3 months. Some people also age their fruit cake for about a year. Yes you heard it right. The alcohol acts as a preservative and increases the shelf life of the cake.
Tips for perfect Fruit Cake
- For added flavor, we’ll also be adding orange and lemon zest, orange juice, sliced almonds and diced crystallized pineapple or ginger.
- Instead of alcohol, orange, grape or mixed juice can be used to soak the cake.
- Boil the soaked dried fruits for 2 minutes along with sugar, spices, lemon and orange zest so that all the flavors of spices are infused and the sugar is melted.
- Add any kind of dried fruits in this recipe as per your choice and preference. However, try to add as much as possible so that it sticks to the basic fruit cake recipe also maintain the dried fruits and flour ratio.
- Bake at low temperature 320-330 deg F for about an hour or until completely baked.
- Do not overmix the batter. Use a spatula and mix batter using cut and fold technique.
Lets off to the recipe now! Enjoy this recipe, from my family to yours! I hope it takes its place among your family traditions, too.
To make Easy Fruit Cake at home follow the detailed step by step recipe posted below.
Do try other dessert recipes :
- Chocolate Lava Cake
- Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes
- Almond Coconut Cookies
- Thumbprint Cookies
- Cherry Ice Cream
- Bounty Bars
- Strawberry Jam
- Mango Ice Cream
- Strawberry Lassi
Preparation Time: 15mins(+Soaking) ∏ Baking Time: 1 hour ∏ Servings: 1 loaf
Level: Intermediate(Medium) ∏ Measurement: 1 Cup ≡ 250 ml ≡ 250gm
How to make Fruit Cake
Soak the dried fruits
Step1: The day before baking we need to soak the dried fruits. In a jar add all the mixed dried fruits. I have used dried pineapple, golden raisins, dark raisins, dates, dried cranberries. You can choose any dried fruits as per your choice and preference. Then pour 1/2 cup of orange juice.
Step2: To the same jar add 100ml of Rum or any alcohol of your choice.
Step3: Cover the jar and allow the dried fruit mixture to soak at room temperature for a minimum of 24 hours prior to preparing the cake batter.
Step4: After 24 hours the dried fruits will look something like this, they will be doubled in size and completely soaked in the rum and orange juice. Reserve the leftover rum and juice mixture we will use it later to feed the cake. (Don’t worry If your dried fruits have soaked all of them).
Make the Cake
Step5: In a large pan, add soaked mixed dried fruits (reserve liquid for later use),1 cup firmly packed brown sugar,1/4 cup butter along with spices 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Step6: Heat the pan on medium flame and boil the mixture for 2 minutes. Then remove from heat, and let cool till lukewarm.
Step7: Preheat the oven to 320F (160C) with a rack in the center position. Butter, or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray, a loaf pan. Then line with parchment paper.
Step8: Once the mixture comes to luke warm temperature add 1/4 cup candied and chopped mixed peel (cherry, tutti fruiti), sliced Almond,1 cup coarsely chopped nuts,1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract,1/2 teaspoon lemon and orange zest (outer orange skin).
Step9: Lightly beat 2 eggs then add it to the mixture. Make sure to use room temperature egg otherwise it will curdle when added to warm mixture.
Step10: Mix everything until well combined.
Step11: Now for the dry ingredients, add 1.5 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup ground flour,1 teaspoon baking soda,1/2 teaspoon baking powder. Whisk it together then shift it through the strainer.
Step12: Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir mixture with a large spatula, scraping the edges and bottom of the bowl using cut and fold method.
Step13: Do not over mix the batter just mix until all of the ingredients are evenly incorporated. It is a very thick and heavy batter.
Step14: Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan and smooth the top using spatula and gently tap the pan on the counter so that its evenly distributed.
Step15: Bake the cake on the middle shelf of the oven at 320Deg F for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Step16: Once the cake is completed baked carefully remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool completely before removing from the pans.
Store the Cake
Step17: When the cake is still warm, poke holes on the top surface of the cake using a skewer and liberally brush with alcohol.
Step18: Wrap the cake thoroughly in parchment paper then wrap in a aluminum foil and store in a Zip lock bag. Alternatively you may tightly wrap the cake in a rum(alcohol) soaked cheese cloth, then wrap in a parchment paper and Zip lock bag.
Step19: You can serve this cake right after it has cooled, but the flavors improve greatly with time. You can age this cake from anywhere between 2 days to 3-4 weeks. Moist flavorful Fruit Cake is ready. Enjoy!
- Spices can also be adjusted to your taste, adding more or less of each.
- Use unsweetened dried fruit for best result.
- Soak dried fruit for at least overnight in fruit juice or liquors to soften.
- Be sure to grease the loaf pan with butter or oil spray and line it with parchment paper.
- To check if the cake is perfectly baked, insert a skewer at the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, cake is done. Be careful not to over bake.
- To store for a long period of time, wrap the cake in liquor-soaked cheesecloth, and then wrap in either plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
- If you notice your cake is going dark in the oven too early on and you’re worried about it burning on the top, cover it with some foil or baking parchment.
- For alcohol-free cakes feed your cake with the orange juice but it won’t have the same effect as alcohol so don’t overdo it or your cake will be soggy. Also shelf-life will also be less.