I learned the process of making of Traditional Christmas cake, the Indian version from one of my ex-colleagues Granny who was from Kerala. This is the Indian or better to say, the Anglo-Indian Recipe of the Christmas cake is a bit different from the Typical Western Version of the same.
I just adore the entire process involved in making the Traditional Christmas Cake. It is not complicated but requires lots of patience and love. I still remember her uttering "it actually is the old utensil, aged liquor concoction, the love we put in while mixing and baking you know; that makes your Christmas cake different! It should not be perfect but rich; it can have a crack on the top but that makes the cake close to us!"
Christmas Cake memories
My childhood memories are all about the big fat joint family and especially the colorful events that I had celebrated as part of the beautiful family in Kolkata. The morning of Christmas is one of them. The smell of the freshly baked cake and the age-old Cake maker that we had there in Kolkata. Rangajethu( my uncle) purchased it from the Canteen of the Ordnance Factory since he was working there in OF. My Rangama (aunt) used to prepare the cake and the gang of kiddos including me were too much curious about the process of cake making. For me, Christmas is always 'Borodin", the banter, the visit to the zoo with the freshly baked cake and fresh sandwiches and oranges.
Every year it was a simple vanilla-flavored Christmas Cake with a pinch of Cinnamon and lots of dry fruits and not a single drop of alcohol! Rangama is no more today but I still feel the aroma of freshly baked cake every year on Christmas Day. For me, that was the ultimate cake for Christmas for years and to be very frank I was not aware of the typically traditional version of the Christmas cake then.
Fruit cake aka Rum cake
This cake requires some preliminary preparation including Soaking Fruits in Rum or Brandy for at least 1 month. I have shared the process in another post. Though Candied Peel and Candied Gingers are easily available in the market, however, this year I have used homemade candies. Click on the links for further details.
Rich Fruit Cake Recipe Tips
- The simple ratio of 1:1:1 for Sugar, butter, and All purpose flour works the best!
- Almond Flour is optional however it makes the cake dense.
- I used to add candid Peels separately; however, these days I prefer those to be added to the alcohol-soaked fruit mixture and I skipped adding those separately. This way, the bitterness can be controlled.
Christmas cake or rich fruit cake with the flavor of spices and Rum soaked fruits from the state of Kerala.
- 200g All Purpose flour
- 200g Butter at Room Temperature
- 200g Granulated Brown Sugar (I prefer my cake moderately sweet)
- 100g Almond Flour
- 2 cups Rum Soaked Fruits and Dry Fruits
- 2 Tbsp. Alcohol ( to be taken from the Rum soaked fruit for better flavor) or Brandy/ Rum/ Whiskey
- 1 Tsp. Mixed spices (Cinnamon and clove)
- 1 Tsp. Nutmeg Powder
- 6 Egg
- 1 Orange (zest to be used)
- 25g Cashew Nuts
- 25g Raisins and Tutti Frutti
Other (you can skip these two)
- 2 Tbsp. Icing Sugar for decoration
- 5 Cherries
- 2 Tbsp. Brandy/ Rum/ Whiskey
- Take Butter in a bowl.
- The butter should be at room temperature.
- Using a hand blender blend the butter until it is smooth and airy. Instead of a hand blender, you can use a manual whisk as well.
- Now add the granulated brown sugar in 3 batches and mix.
- Do not add the sugar at once. Small batches are a must.
- Now add 6 eggs and blend till smooth.
- Now add All-purpose Flour in small batches
- Upon adding each portion, mix with a manual whisk following cut and fold method.
- Now add 100g Almond Flour and mix. This is optional.
- Chop Cashew nuts.
- Be ready with 25g Raisin and Tutty frutty as well.
- Add 2 Cups of alcohol-soaked fruit mixture.
- Now add the chopped cashews, raisins, and tutty fruity.
- Add 1 Tsp. Mixed Spices and 1 Tsp. Nutmeg Powder.
- Now add zest from one Orange.
- You can add candid peels separately as well. I have not added them as those are listed with the soaked fruit.
- Now mix again.
- Add 3 Tbsp. Liquid from the fruit jar or Brandy/ Rum/ Whiskey
- Mix again.
- The cake mix is ready!
Getting the cake tin ready
- Prepare the cake tin using butter paper as shown in the video
- You can use a non-stick cake tin or silicone cake mould and even aluminum foil; however, I prefer good old cake tin lined with butter paper.
- Apply some butter before putting it on the paper.
- Pour the cake mix.
- A 10-inches tin is ideal for the ingredients used.
- Tap 2-3 times to level the cake mix.
Baking the Rich Fruit Cake
- Preheat the oven to 140 degrees C for 10 minutes before baking the cake.
- The cake is to be baked for 1 hr 30 minutes ( 5/10 minutes plus minus).
- After 1 hr 10 minutes check with a toothpick and keep checking after every 5 minutes.
- Once done, the toothpick will come out clean.
- The baking time varies a bit from oven to oven.
- Cool the cake over a wire rack.
- Once cooled, brush the cake with brandy/rum/whiskey.
- Cover with paper and keep the cake for a minimum of 1 day to a maximum of 7-10 days before cutting.
- At the time of serving the rich fruit cake, remove the paper.
Christmas Cake Decoration
- The decoration is optional; I decorate the Christmas cake with icing sugar and cherries.
- You can use fondant or brandy-based cream as well.
- The eggs and butter must be at room temperature
- The Alcohol-soaked fruit mixture used in this cake is 3 years old I have jars full of this mixture from different years. If not available use freshly made mixture, However, season the mixture at least for 15 days (minimum).
- I use the old mixture in rich fruit cake and keep the new one for the coming years. Ideally, you should make this Christmas cake at least 7 days ahead and let it season with the alcohol.
- Sugar needs to be adjusted based on preference. I like moderately sweet cakes.
- Butter can be proportionately substituted with refined Oil.
- For this cake, baking at a low temperature is necessary, and hence I baked at 140 degrees C for more than an hour.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 90 mins
- Category: Cake
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Indian
- Serving Size: 200g
- Calories: 636
- Sugar: 31.7g
- Sodium: 404mg
- Fat: 36g
- Saturated Fat: 19.3g
- Carbohydrates: 65.1g
- Fiber: 2.7g
- Protein: 10g
- Cholesterol: 176mg
Keywords: christmas cake recipe, indian plum cake recipe, rum cake recipe, indian rum cake recipe
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Have you tried the easy Christmas rum and fruitcake recipe from Debjanir Rannaghar!
I would love to see a picture if you are making it following my recipe. You can share here at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can use my hashtag #debjanirrannaghar and share it through Instagram as well. and in addition, you can tag me at @foodofdebjani.