Plum Cake/ Rich Plum Cake recipe/ Christmas Cake

Plum cake baking, towards the end of Advent season is a ritual, that I look forward to every year. The preparations go a long way – shopping for good quality dry fruits, cutting/ chopping, mixing, soaking and finally the intricate baking process – it is a wonderful, enchanting experience. Although rum soaked Rich plum cake is a pleasure to indulge at any time, baking Plum cake during Christmas season has become a tradition in our home.

This time, I wanted to try a different recipe, instead of my mom’s tried and tested recipe for traditional Christmas cake/ Dry Fruit cake. So, this time, I added many more dry fruits to my shopping basket, like dried prunes, apricots, berries etc. However, this time, I didn’t mix the dried nuts together with the dried fruits, they were added just before baking, to retain the crunchiness. The rest of the process was almost the same, only the measurements were different. My Plum Cake had slight crunchiness, and it was super moist and flavourful.

This time, Dry fruits for the rich plum cake were soaked in a mix of Rum and Homemade Dates Wine. That combination was heavenly, but then you can use Grape wine instead of Dates wine and it will give almost the same divine results. When you soak the dry fruits in Rum/ Brandy/ Wine, it plumps up with flavours. The name Plum cake is because of the plumped fruits in it, not for the “Plum fruit”. There isn’t any plum fruit in this Christmas Fruit cake. Rum/ brandy act as preservatives, ensuring long shelf life, but I doubt that it will last long enough. For me, it gets over very fast.

To celebrate Christmas, I invite you all to wander through my wonderful recipe collections. You will love the Duck Pepper Roast, the delicious Kuttanad Tharavu Puralan, Mutton stew and other Mutton dishes, Kerala Beef Fry, Beef Ularthiyathu, Pork Pepper roast, Chilly Pork, Chinese specials, Chicken specials, Starters, Seafood platter, Festive breakfast ideas, Desserts etc. Also, check my festive collection of cakes which includes Mocha Rum cake, Dates and banana Cake, Black forest cake, Carrot Apple cake etc.

The magical Christmas season has arrived and most of you might be busy with all the preparations to make it more joyful. Happiness is at work and you can see the excitement and cheer all around – it is beautiful. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and may the true joy of Jesus fill your hearts and homes this season and stay with you forever.

Soaking of Dry fruits (Ingredients)

You can take less quantity of dry fruits, if you are not planning to make extra cakes. Since it is preserved in Rum/ Brandy, it will stay for longer period, so, if you have extra soaked fruits, you can bake cakes anytime you feel like indulging in that rich Plum cake!

Dates

: 150 gms

Kishmish/ Sultanas

: 100 gms

Black Raisins

: 100 gms

Dried Prunes

: 100 gms

Apricot

: 50 gms

Figs

: 25 gms

Candied berries/ cherries

: 100 gms

Candied Ginger

: 2 tbsp

Orange Peel

: 2 tbsp

Rum + Wine

: 500 ml (+ or -)

Cashewnuts

: 100 gms

Almonds

: 100 gms

Pista

: 100 gms

You can add more Sultanas/ dates as per your liking. Chop the dry fruits and mix together all ingredients in a dry Glass jar with Lid. Add Rum and Wine ( I used Dates wine, you can use grapes wine as well) to the bottle, enough to immerse the fruits. Shake the bottle well. If you are planning bigger quantity, mix well in another vessel and transfer to the jar. Dry nuts (Cashew, Almond, Pista) can be chopped and added at the time of baking to retain crunchiness. Shake the Glass bottle weekly and add more Rum/ Wine if required.

Ingredients for Plum Cake:

Flour/ Maida

: 250 gms (2 cups approx.)

Baking Powder

: 1 ¼ tsp

Baking Soda

: ½ tsp

Salt

: 1 pinch

Cocoa Powder

: 1 tbsp

Cake Masala (Check Link)

: 1 ½ tsp

Brown Sugar / Demerare sugar

: 250 gms

White sugar for caramalizing

: ½ cup

Hot water

: ¼ cup

Butter

: 250 gms (1 cup + 1 tbsp approx..)

Eggs

: 4 nos.

Vanilla Essence

: 1 tsp

Orange Essence

: ½ tsp

Mixed Fruit Jam

: 2 tbsp

Soaked Dry Fruits + Mix. Nuts

: 2 cups

Drained Rum/ Brandy

: 2 – 3 tbsp

Ingredients for Cake Masala:

Cinnamon

: 3 – 4  (1 inch sticks)

Cardamom

: 5 nos

Cloves

: 4 nos

Nutmeg

: half nutmeg (small)

Cake Jeera / Shajeera (optional)

: a small pinch

Method:

Grease Cake tins and line it with butter paper. Again, grease and dust it with flour and keep ready. Measure all the ingredients. Drain one and half cup fruits soaked in Rum + Wine and keep aside. Also, drain and keep  2 – 3 tbsp of Rum + Wine mix. Melt ½ cup of white sugar in a thick bottom pan over medium flame. Put in a heap and allow to melt slowly. It will turn to a deep brown liquid. Do not stir but allow to melt completely. After switching off the flame, add ¼ cup boiling water slowly, little by little, and stir with a spoon. Be careful to stand little away as the boiling water may splash out. Keep aside.

Sieve the flour (250 gms) with salt, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Cake Masala and 1 tbsp Cocoa Powder. Sieve three to four times to mix well. Combine the drained dry fruits and chopped nuts with the flour.

Plum Cake / Rich Plum Cake Recipe / Christmas Cake Plum Cake / Rich Plum Cake Recipe / Christmas Cake

Grind the Brown Sugar (250 gms) to fine powder. Cream the butter and powdered Brown Sugar and cream well. Add eggs one by one and beat well till fluffy. Now, mix the vanilla essence, Orange Essence and mixed fruit Jam. Combine well.

Plum Cake / Rich Plum Cake Recipe / Christmas Cake Plum Cake / Rich Plum Cake Recipe / Christmas Cake Plum Cake / Rich Plum Cake Recipe / Christmas Cake

Preheat the oven to 160o C (320 F). Now, add the flour mix and caramelized sugar syrup alternately and gently fold in. Lastly add the preserved Rum/ Wine mix and fold again. Pour to the greased tins,tap the tins and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour till the top part is brown and the inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Plum Cake / Rich Plum Cake Recipe / Christmas Cake Plum Cake / Rich Plum Cake Recipe / Christmas Cake

Plum Cake / Rich Plum Cake Recipe / Christmas Cake Plum Cake / Rich Plum Cake Recipe / Christmas Cake

Check the top part and if it is dry brush with some brandy or rum to retain the moisture and for better preservation. Allow to cool. The more you wait, more the flavours! So, keep in Fridge for few days and store it till Christmas for best results. Enjoy with your family and friends! Merry Christmas to all. God Bless!

Tips:

  • Always make sure you have the correct measurements. (It is better to have weighing scales. or cake measuring cups, to get exact measures.
  • 1 cup flour is 125 gms approx. So, adjust the measures accordingly.
  • For measuring Sugar – 1 Cup Sugar is 200 gms approx..
  • Use good quality butter and Baking Powder.
  • Please follow the fruit soaking method for best results. The more time you soak, the more flavors and longer shelf life you get. The Alcohol helps in preservation.
  • Fresh eggs should be used for a better result.
  • Cocoa Powder is optional, it is added to provide more color to the cake. Use the correct measurement. 
  • Tapping the pans will force any air bubbles to the surface, which can help avoid holes in your finished cake.
  • Flour, baking powder and salt should be mixed well. Sieve 3 -4 times to release air bubbles.
  • You may also try soaking the fruits in Wine alone, if you need to avoid Alcohol.

Hope you liked this recipe for Rich Plum Cake / Christmas Cake recipe. Enjoy with family and friends. Please continue to encourage me by commenting below or by sharing to your friends using the links on the side. God Bless!!

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