Rich Christmas fruit cake

Reblogging last year’s post:

It’s exactly 10 day to Christmas! Woohoo!! My preps are in full swing, although I still have a fair bit left to be done! Remember my post on rum soaked dry fruits? It was about time for those drunken, boozy dry fruits to be used in the making of the the Christmas fruit cake-A cake that is a rich with rum soaked dry fruits, absolutely moist and ย reminiscent of spices. Wow! My kitchen was brimming with the aroma of all the warm spices:)

As I’ve mentioned before, this is the first time I baked a fruit cake, ever! My mum would not make this at home, but instead we bought them from local bakeries, which frankly were just okay, not too bad, not too good either. And then one fine Christmas eve, I had the opportunity ย to taste the fruit cake made at my in laws home, which I fell in love with! It was unlike the ones I had eaten all these years. My in laws have this tradition of cutting the cake after attending midnight mass, followed by a cup of coffee to wash it all down ๐Ÿ™‚

The cakes that I see here in the American stores are filled with all kinds of candied fruits, nuts, cherries etc , In fact I hardly see any cake crumb. I guess that’s why it isn’t liked here as much? Cause whenever I see these shows on Food network, where they asked to bake a fruit cake or transform that fruit cake into something new, I see a look of dismay on most of the contestant’s face (I sure am going to buy a small one, just to know what the fuss is all about :p). ย Well, this fruit cake isn’t like that! It’s got the right balance of all the ingredients, the quantity of fruits and nuts are proportional to the cake, you get a good bite of both along with the exquisite hint of the spices, that just screams Holidays ๐Ÿ™‚

If you have never tried baking a fruit cake before, I would urge you to give it a go. Believe you me! You are going to love it:) Do not be intimidated by the long procedure, yes it’s different from baking a regular cake, but sure is a wonderful experience that will leave you immensely satisfied.


500 grams all purpose flour (maida)

500 grams Salted butter (I used ‘Amul’ butter, easily available in Indian stores)

450 grams Sugar +ย 3 tablespoon sugar

9 medium eggs/6 large eggs ( It should weigh approx 500 grams)

500 grams Rum soaked dry fruits

1/2 cup dates.

9 cloves

2 inch cinammon sticks

14-15 green cardamoms

1 &1/2 – 2 teaspoons salt ( if using unsalted butter)

For the caramel:

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon + 1/8 cup of water


1.Preheat the oven to 300 degree Fahrenheit/ 150 degree celsius. Line a baking tin with parchment paper/ or grease it generously with butter, dust it with all purpose flour. ( You can refer this post for tips on how to get a flat-topped cake )

2.In a pan on low heat, dry roast the cloves, cinnamon, and green cardamom, until fragrant. Let it cool. Transfer it to a grinder jar, add 3 tablespoons sugar, grind to a fine powder. Sift and set aside until further use.


3.Prepare the dry ingredients: Sift the flour and salt if using. Set aside.

4.Drain the dry fruits ,( you can collect the left over rum). Coat the dry fruits with 1/2 cup of the sifted all purpose flour( maida) just before folding it in the batter.



5. Prepare the caramel: In a saucepan, add sugar and water, heat on low heat until the sugar starts melting and turns dark brown. Immediately add 1/8 cup of water( exercise extreme precaution, as caramel is very hot, and it splutters on addition of water), continue heating on low heat till it thickens and leaves the sides of the pan.ย Set aside from the heat until further use.


6.In your electric grinder, add in 1/2 cup pitted, chopped dates, grind with 1/4 cup of the rum , drained in step 4. Set aside.


7.In a mixing bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment ( you can also use a hand beater),beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.



8.Add eggs one at a time, beat on high speed until well incorporated.


9. Add the flour , little at a time, continue beating on very slow speed , just until everything is well incorporated. ( Do not over beat the batter)


10.Add the dates paste, continue beating on the lowest speed.


11. Add the sifted powdered sugar + spice mixture, mix on low speed.


12. Now add the prepared caramel syrup, again continue mixing on low speed, till well mixed.


13.Fold the flour coated dry fruits in the batter gently. Do this with the help of a spatula.image14

14. Transfer the batter to a well greased baking tin ย  ( I used a standard bundt pan and an eight inch round cake pan), tap it on the counter to eliminate any air bubbles, bake it in the middle rack ย at 300 degree Fahrenheit/ 150 degree celsius for about 1 hour, then lower the temperature to 200 degrees F/95 degrees Cย for another 15-30 minutesย or until the toothpick ย inserted in comes out clean. The cake should rise well and have a uniform ย brown color. Transfer to a wire rack, let it cool in the tin for about an hour,ย then remove it from the tin, and let it cool on the wire rack.



Please excuse the bad lighting , this is just to show you how I used the baking tin filled with ice cubes , placed at the lowest rack

15. To feed the cake: Transfer the cake to a aluminum foil / parchment paper, prick tiny holes ย on the surface of the cake with the help of a skewer/ fork, brush with the remaining drained rum/ fresh rum, once or twice every day/alternate day ( depends on how boozy you want it to be), until Christmas.To store the cake, wrap the cake inย  aluminum foil / parchment paper and store it in an air tight container in a cool place.

A big thank you to my mum in law for adding her special touch to this picture!



1.For a non alcoholic version, soak the dry fruits ย in orange juice/ grape juice, cover and refrigerate it for about a 2-3 days to a week, drain and use as directed above.

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  1. Lina says:

    You finally made it….love the look of it!!!!! I haven’t made it yet actually…I thought I would let the nuts soak more so I made caramel brownies..your cake looks like the perfect Christmas wreath!!!! I really can’t wait to try itโ˜บโ˜บโ˜บโ˜บโ˜บ

  2. CHCooks says:

    Awesomeness is the only word! I am mesmerized looking at your cake pics ๐Ÿ™‚ It has turned out perfect than any Christmas cake I have seen before.. you are a rock star Freda ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Loretta says:

    Ahh, so there’s that beauty you’ve been working on Freda! Well done, it looks amazing, so do the photos! I’m sure your ma in law and you were thrilled with the outcome. Like I told you before, it’s been a while since I indulged or even made a christmas fruit cake, but now I’m craving a piece. Gorgeous!

    • Freda @ Aromatic essence says:

      Thanks so much Loretta! Yes we were extremely happy on seeing the final outcome, I was actually nervous since I used the bundt pan for the first time, and I have heard it’s really difficult to unmould, I greased every nook and corner of that pan ๐Ÿ˜€ It turned out perfect ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. milliethom says:

    It does look a lovely cake, Freda, and a great shape, too. fruit cake is a must at Christmas, although in the UK, they’re usually topped with almond paste (marzipan) and royal icing. But it’s the cake that matters, and I think yours looks great. A great recipe from your mother-in-law! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Virginia says:

    Hi Freda I liked your recipe of d Rich Christmas fruit cake. I have a doubt hope u don’t mind. D dry fruits mentioned could u pl elaborate n also d cashew pista what is d qty shd they b ground or cut finely. Shd all of this be soaked in rum? Thanks in advance.

  6. susanne says:

    Hi Freda! your cake is beautiful! Just had a bit of a doubt. Does the cake need to be kept in the fridge after it is cooled , till Christmas? Do you need to take it out the cake each time you have to with rum and then put it back in the fridge? I would appreciate your answer because i am tempted to try out your recipe as it looks so good. Please also let me know the reason for grinding some dates? Is it to enhance the flavor ? Thanks.

    • Freda Dias says:

      Hi Susanne, yes grinding the dates adds extra flavor. The cake has to be kept out covered with a cling wrap at room temperature only, no need to refrigerate this cake. You can brush it with rum 2-3 days or even skip it coz the flavor is strong if your dry fruits have been soaking for even a month. So it’s totally upto you, you can brush the cake with rum depending on how boozy you want the cake to be ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Sarah DeNiese says:

    Hi Freda, today I tried making your rich fruit cake and am waiting for the outcome ,your cake looks really moist and delicious, I had a question ,does this cake need baking powder?

    • Freda Dias says:

      Hi Sarah! Thanks a lot! No \the cake does not need any baking powder/soda, as there are enough eggs in there. How did the cake turn out ? Sorry for replying so late. Would love to hear your feedback ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Freda Dias says:

      Ice cubes in an aluminum foil , or tin, release steam in the oven, resulting in an even flat top cake, you can also wrap a moist thin strip of towel round the cake tin for the same results.

    • Freda Dias says:

      Hi Nivedita, if you bake regular cakes and have had no problems, then you can definitely bake this cake too, just remember to bake at the temperature specified, as it may burn from all the sugars in the dried fruits. This cake needs to be baked at a lower temperature compared to regular cakes.

          • Nivedita says:

            I haven’t soaked dates…but lot of raisins and tutti frutti is there along with other dry fruits. Was wondering whether the cake would rise properly without baking powder …can u tell me the quantity of baking powder for the above proportion?

          • Freda Dias says:

            Baking powder is always 1 teaspoon per 1 cup flour. This makes about 2.5 Kgs, you may want to reduce it to half. about the cake rising, then I can assure you it will, my mum in law has been making it for years, so it’s a tried and tested recipe. This is like a pound cake, it’s meant to be dense yet moist,which is later going to be rushed by alcohol . The creaming of that butter and sugar and then the eggs provide the necessary aeration. If you look at some traditional pound cake recipes, they don’t call for baking powder. It’s totally upto you, you can sieve it along with the flour if you wish to add. happy baking., would love to know how the cake turned out ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Nivedita says:

    H, I baked it finally …turned out super awesome. Thanks to u and ur mother- in-law for the perfect recipe. I have posted it on Chef At Large group..have mentioned u in the post but cudnt tag u.

  9. Swathy says:

    A very lovely cake and recipe .. Iโ€™m for sure going to try this. Just a quick question, Iโ€™m a beginner in baking so I do not know some basics. I wanted to know why you have kept a baking tin filled with ice. And is soaking the dry fruits mandatory? Can we use frozen fruits? Thanks in advance.

    • Freda Dias says:

      Hi Swathy! The baking tray or aluminum foil filled with ice cubes, is for attaining a flat top cake. You place tin containing the ice cubes under the baking tin containing the cake batter at the same time in the oven. Leave it undisturbed until the cake is baked. Dried fruits soaked in rum or brandy have the alcohol infused in it, which transfers the flavors to the cake when its baked. Frozen fruit will not be suitable.

    • Freda Dias says:

      Thanks Deepti. This was my first experience making this cake. We usually make a large amount to distribute to everyone. I think you can take halve the recipe for an 8 round inch and a standard loaf cake.

  10. sonalj23 says:

    Hi Freda, I loved reading your Christmas Rich Fruit Cake recipe. I’m gonna try it out in a couple of days. Will let you know how it turns out. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, its the first time I’m baking a real plum cake with boozy fruits and all. Wish me luck. ๐Ÿ™‚

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