Christmas Cake/ Plum Cake/ Nuts & Fruits Cake

Christmas Fruit Cake

(Nuts and Fruits Cake)
 
Christmas Fruit Cake, a very rich, moist cake loaded with tons of flavors from the fruits, nuts and spices.
 
 
 
Baking is such a joy. I believe that it tests our patience and perseverance and has a calming and therapeutic effect on me. Every time I bake something and the results are up to my expectations, my joy has no bounds. I feel on cloud nine.
One look at this cake and you will fall in love with this simple beauty. These are not my words and neither I am saying this to boast about myself. This really is a very aromatic and flavorful cake. 
 
 
 
This Christmas Fruit Cake is a simple fruit cake bursting with the flavors of spices, nuts and tutti-frutti. It’s incredibly easy to make, even though the ingredients list might intimidate you ;) But believe you me, once you gather all the ingredients it becomes pretty easy to make this cake.
It has a rich, velvety, moist texture that’s full of flavors. Each and every bite of it is like party for your taste buds.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The best part is you don’t have to slather it with cream or fondant. It can be very well eaten as plain so as to enjoy all the flavors of fruits and spices.
This is best eaten after 2-3 days of making so that all the individual flavors of each ingredient seep into the cake, leading to a divine flavor.
Since we are a family of teetotalers, I have made it without any booze, thus skipping the traditional way. However, you can soak your dry fruits either in wine or rum instead of juice.
I baked this beautiful flavorful Cake for Christmas.
 
 
 
 
 
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This recipe of mine is going to my FB bloghop group Healthy Wellthy Cuisines, wherein participating bloggers share recipes every fortnight on a pre decided theme. This time the theme is #XmasBakesatHW to go with the upcoming festivities.
 
 
  
 This time the theme was suggested by Vanitha Bhatt who blogs at CurryandVanilla.com. Her blog has amazing Indian recipes and she is a wonderful and expert baker too. I love her Carrot cake with honey lime icing and wish to make it soon. Do check her space for amazingly delicious recipes!!
 
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Now, jumping to the recipe part by having a look at the ingredients.

Preparation Time: 3-4 hours (for soaking the dried fruits)
Cooking Time: 40-45 minutes 
Yields: One cake of 8”X 4” size + 4 cupcakes OR Two cakes of 6” diameter.

INGREDIENTS:
 
DRY INGREDIENTS-
All purpose Flour(Maida)- 2 cups
Baking Powder- 2 teaspoon
Baking Soda- 1 teaspoon
Salt- A pinch
 
WET INGREDIENTS-
Condensed Milk- 1 can (approximately 400 ml)
Sugar/ Brown Sugar- 1/4th cup
Oil- 1/2 cup
Vanilla essence- 1teaspoon
Caramel syrup- 2 tablespoon 
 
SPICES-
Green Cardamom- 6-7
Star anise- 2
Cloves- 5-6
Cinnamon stick- 3-4”
Nutmeg powder- 1/4th teaspoon 
 
NUTS-
Almonds- 1/2 cup, chopped 
Walnuts- 1/2 cup, chopped 
Cashews- 1/2 cup, chopped 
 
DRIED FRUITS-
Tutti-frutti - 1/4th cup
Dried Apricots - 1/4th cup, chopped 
Dates - 1/4th cup, chopped 
Dried Cranberries - 1/4th cup, chopped 
Dried Cherries - 1/4th cup, chopped 
 
FOR SOAKING DRIED FRUITS-
Grape juice OR Apple juice- 1 cup, 250 milliliter 
 
OTHER INGREDIENTS-
Lemon zest- 1 tablespoon (Rind of 1 lemon)
Maraschino Cherries- 7-8
 
 
DIRECTIONS:
 
We will start making this cake by soaking all the dried fruits in the juice.
 
 
For that, put juice along with all the dried and chopped fruits- apricots, dates, cranberries, cherries and tutti-frutti in a bowl.
 
 
Mix them well. Cover and keep aside the bowl for minimum 3-4 hours or overnight.
 
 
 
Now we will start with the preparations to make the cake. 
For that, Prepare the cake pan by greasing it well with oil or butter and dusting it with flour, or generously spray non-stick spray. Alternatively you can use parchment paper.
 
 
 
Squeeze the soaked dried fruits to remove the juice, keep them aside.
Start preheating the Oven at 180*C.
 
Meanwhile mix and sift twice the dry ingredients- All purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 
Dry mix is ready.
 
 
Take all the ingredients mentioned under spices- cardamom, star anise, cloves and cinnamon stick.
 
 
Blend them all to a fine powder with the help of a blender.
 
 
Mix nutmeg powder in it.
 
Your spice mix is ready.
 
 
Next, Mix well Condensed milk, sugar, Oil and Vanilla essence.
 
 
 
 
 
Add in Caramel syrup too.
 
 
Now start adding the wet mix to the sifted dry mix.
Mix well by using a hand blender or Stand Mixer's Whip attachment.
 
 
Do not over-beat.
Add in the lemon zest and spice mix.
 
 
Add in all the soaked and squeezed dried fruits and nuts (Reserve some chopped nuts for the topping).
  
 
 
Gently mix everything well.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
 
 
The pan should be 1/2 to 2/3 full.
Do not overfill it.
Tap the pan 2-3 times for the batter to settle down evenly and to remove any air bubbles.
Top it up with reserved chopped nuts and maraschino Cherries.
 
 
 
Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 40- 45 minutes at 180*C.
 
 
After that check by doing Skewer test. Insert a skewer  in the cake, if it comes out clean the cake is done, if you see some batter is still sticking to the skewer place it again in the oven.
Once baked, take it out and allow it to cool down completely.
 
The top might look like it’s overdone but don’t worry, the dark color is due to all the spices and juices released by fruits.
Enjoy the delicious flavorful cake!!

Recipe Card



Christmas Cake/ Plum Cake/ Nuts & Fruits Cake
 
Christmas Fruit Cake, a very rich, moist cake loaded with tons of flavors from the fruits, nuts and spices.
 
Preparation Time: 3-4 hours (for soaking the dried fruits)
Cooking Time: 40-45 minutes 
Yields: One cake of 8”X 4” size + 4 cupcakes OR Two cakes of 6” diameter.

 
INGREDIENTS:
 
DRY INGREDIENTS-
All purpose Flour(Maida)- 2 cups
Baking Powder- 2 teaspoon
Baking Soda- 1 teaspoon
Salt- A pinch
 
WET INGREDIENTS-
Condensed Milk- 1 can (approximately 400 ml)
Sugar/ Brown Sugar- 1/4th cup
Oil- 1/2 cup
Vanilla essence- 1teaspoon
Caramel syrup- 2 tablespoon 
 
SPICES-
Green Cardamom- 6-7
Star anise- 2
Cloves- 5-6
Cinnamon stick- 3-4”
Nutmeg powder- 1/4th teaspoon 
 
NUTS-
Almonds- 1/2 cup, chopped 
Walnuts- 1/2 cup, chopped 
Cashews- 1/2 cup, chopped 
 
DRIED FRUITS-
Tutti-frutti - 1/4th cup
Dried Apricots - 1/4th cup, chopped 
Dates - 1/4th cup, chopped 
Dried Cranberries - 1/4th cup, chopped 
Dried Cherries - 1/4th cup, chopped 
 
FOR SOAKING DRIED FRUITS-
Grape juice OR Apple juice- 1 cup, 250 milliliter 
 
OTHER INGREDIENTS-
Lemon zest- 1 tablespoon (Rind of 1 lemon)
Maraschino Cherries- 7-8
 
 
DIRECTIONS:
 
We will start making this cake by soaking all the dried fruits in the juice.
For that, put juice along with all the dried and chopped fruits- apricots, dates, cranberries, cherries and tutti-frutti in a bowl.
Mix them well. Cover and keep aside the bowl for minimum 3-4 hours or overnight.
Now we will start with the preparations to make the cake. 
For that, Prepare the cake pan by greasing it well with oil or butter and dusting it with flour, or generously spray non-stick spray. Alternatively you can use parchment paper.
Squeeze the soaked dried fruits to remove the juice, keep them aside.
Start preheating the Oven at 180*C.
Meanwhile mix and sift twice the dry ingredients- All purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 
Dry mix is ready.
Take all the ingredients mentioned under spices- cardamom, star anise, cloves and cinnamon stick.
Blend them all to a fine powder with the help of a blender.
Mix nutmeg powder in it.
Your spice mix is ready.
Next, Mix well Condensed milk, sugar, Oil and Vanilla essence.
Add in Caramel syrup too.
Now start adding the wet mix to the sifted dry mix.
Mix well by using a hand blender or Stand Mixer's Whip attachment.
Do not over-beat.
Add in the lemon zest and spice mix.
Add in all the soaked and squeezed dried fruits and nuts (Reserve some chopped nuts for the topping).
Gently mix everything well.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
The pan should be 1/2 to 2/3 full.
Do not overfill it.
Tap the pan 2-3 times for the batter to settle down evenly and to remove any air bubbles.
Top it up with reserved chopped nuts and maraschino Cherries.
Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 40- 45 minutes at 180*C.
After that check by doing Skewer test. Insert a skewer  in the cake, if it comes out clean the cake is done, if you see some batter is still sticking to the skewer place it again in the oven.
Once baked, take it out and allow it to cool down completely.
The top might look like it’s overdone but don’t worry, the dark color is due to all the spices and juices released by fruits.
Enjoy the delicious flavorful cake!! 
 

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