Christmas is a time of celebration, making memories with family and friends. This gives rise to many traditions and one such tradition is the Christmas Fruit Cake. From mid-November onwards, once the shop windows are dressed for Christmas, shiny baubles, silver bells and tinsel line every nook and corner of retail space.  Rich fruit cakes are also on display. You can make these rich fruit cakes at home too.

Below is a recipe to bake your own plum cake and create your very own tradition. 

First stage: Soaking of the fruits:

There are two ways to achieve it.

  1.     Soak with rum: if you choose to soak with rum you need to soak for at least 20 days.
  2.     Soak with cranberry juice: For this you can soak for 2-3 days or for a week.

Let quickly go to the ingredients:

  1.       100 g raisins
  2.       150 g pitted dates
  3.       100 g dried apricots
  4.       100 g candied cherries
  5.       100 g tutti frutti
  6.       100 g crystallised ginger
  7.       125 g orange/mixed peels
  8.       180 ml dark rum/whiskey/brandy (or) 180 ml cranberry juice
  9.       Glass jar to store the above


  •       Chop dates, apricot, cherries, ginger, and orange peel into small cubes roughly 1 cm.
  •       Put the raisins, chopped dates, apricot, cherries, ginger, orange peel tutti-frutti into an airtight glass jar
  •       Pour the 180 ml rum or whisky or brandy or cranberry juice into the jar over the fruits.
  •       Shut the jar and store it in a cool and dry place for a minimum of 20 days if alcohol is used, else 7 days if fruit juice is used.
  •       Give the jar a mild shake every couple of days.

Stage 2: Baking of cake


  1.       275 g flour
  2.       275 g salted butter (softened; extra for greasing)
  3.       275 g brown sugar
  4.       5 eggs
  5.       75 g almonds
  6.       40 g cashew nuts
  7.       40 g pistachio
  8.       Zest of one orange
  9.       8 pcs cloves
  10.   4-cm stick cinnamon
  11.   ¼ tsp nutmeg


  •       Butter the inside of the tin and line the tin with parchment paper.
  •       Preheat oven at 150℃
  •       In a blender take nutmeg, cinnamon and almond and blend it into a fine powder.
  •       Zest an entire orange, making sure not to grate any of the white pith as it is bitter. Chop up the cashew and pistachio into small pieces.
  •       In a large mixing bowl, whisk the butter until it is airy and pale. Add in the brown sugar and whisk again.
  •       Now whisk in the eggs, one at a time. Follow this with the ground almond and spice mix, and orange zest. Incorporate everything thoroughly.
  •       Sift in the flour and fold it using a rubber spatula. Make sure to not overmix the batter after you add the flour as the cake may turn chewy.
  •       Add the chopped cashew and pistachio. Also add your rum-soaked dried fruits/ juice-soaked fruit. The fruits should have absorbed all the alcohol/juice, but if they contain excess liquid, strain, and add just the fruits.
  •       Mix everything until well combined.
  •       Spoon the batter into your prepared cake tin, pushing it into all the corners and leveling the top. Tap out any trapped air bubbles.
  •       Place the cake in the pre-heated oven for 1 hour 30 minutes and insert the skewer to check if it comes clean. And it will develop a rich brown colour.
  •       Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool completely in the tin.

Feeding the cake: This step is optional. Poke holes in the cake with a skewer. ‘Feed’ a spoon of rum, brandy, or whisky through the holes. You can do this once a week for as long as you want, until you are ready to cut the cake. Store it at room temperature wrapped in baking paper and aluminum foil. Avoid this step if you are soaking the fruits in fruit juice.


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