Kerala plum cake, Christmas fruit cake recipe step by step - Edible Garden (2024)

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Kerala Plum Cake or Christmas Fruit Cake Recipe – a delicious and easy step by step recipe for fruit cake or Kerala plum cake, that’s perfect for Christmas or really, all year round.

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Christmas in Kerala is what memories are made of. I haven’t come back in 6 years so this year is extra special. Except for once or twice when I was a kid, Amma hasn’t made fruit cake at home from scratch because every year we are inundated with fruit cakes from friends celebrating Christmas.

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This year’s first cake is this Kerala plum cake from Omana Paul, a popular caterer and good friend of ours. Their plum cake is very popular and they make thousands at this time of the year. Amma had the recipe so I wanted to share it in time for Christmas. I have also shared an eggless fruit cake recipe if that’s what you are after. This tutti frutti cake is perfect for those who don’t really like plum cakes or raisins. I have a few of those in my family too but tutti frutti, they love!

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Also check out a list of easy Christmas cakes and cookies.

This fruit cake recipe doesn’t need you to soak the dry fruits in advance and it’s alcohol-free so you can make the cake instantly just before you need it.

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Kerala Plum Cake, Christmas Fruit Cake Recipe

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Kerala Plum Cake or Christmas Fruit Cake Recipe – a delicious and easy step by step recipe for fruit cake or Kerala plum cake recipe.

5 from 81 votes

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Prep Time 30 minutes mins

Cook Time 45 minutes mins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain flour maida or all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cashew nuts raw, unsalted, chopped
  • 1/4 cup black raisins
  • 1/2 cup mixed dried fruits dates, cherries, orange peels, etc
  • 1/2 cup white sugar for sugar syrup
  • 3/4 cup white sugar for cake batter
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon clove powder see notes
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • In a pan on medium heat, melt 1/2 cup sugar slowly.

  • It will first melt and then turn into a dark brown goop. Keep stirring and let it turn a deep dark caramel colour. Don't let it burn.

  • Turn off heat and add about 1/4 cup water. The sugar will harden.

  • Turn the heat back on and slowly heat the mixture until the sugar crystals dissolve.

  • This will take around 10 mins.

  • Once done, let it cool and set aside.

  • Pre-heat oven to 350F / 180C.

  • Add 3 tablespoon flour to the dry fruits and nuts and dredge completely to coat it. This is so that they don't sink to the bottom of the batter while baking. Set aside.

  • Mix the remaining flour and baking powder, spices, and salt until well combined.

  • Beat the butter and 3/4 cup sugar until fluffy – about 10 mins by hand, 3-4 mins with an electric beater.

  • Add vanilla and mix until combined. Next, add 1 egg and beat. Then add a bit of the flour mixture and fold. Likewise, alternate between the eggs and flour mixture until they are both used up.

  • Add the cooled caramel and dredged fruits and gently fold in.

  • Pour batter into a greased cake pan and smooth the top.

  • Bake for 50-55 mins until the top turns a dark brown and when a skewer inserted into the cake comes out with moist crumbs.

  • Start checking from 45 mins to see if the cake is done.

  • The top will look like it's overdone but don't worry, make sure the inside is also completely cooked.

  • Dust with icing sugar when the cake is completely cooled and serve

  • Kerala plum cake can be stored at room temperature for 3 days and refrigerated for up to two weeks

Notes

    • The amount of fruits and what type you want to useis entirely up to you. I’d recommend to use orange peels if you can because it enhances the flavour a lot. I have also made this cake just with cashew nuts and dates with some raisins and that’s worked really well too
    • If you plan to ice the cake, reduce sugar by 1/3 cup. This cake is sweet enough on its own.
    • I have updated the recipe with cinnamon powder and clove powder I bought readymade but you can also powder together 1 clove + 1 cardamom pod + small piece of cinnamon + a pinch nutmeg to add to the cake if you have the whole spices handy
    • I adjusted the amount of sugar from my original recipe since I found the cake too sweet but if you tried my original recipe and liked it in the past, the measurement for sugar used was 1/2 cup sugar for the syrup and 1 cup in the batter. I have now adjusted it to 3/4 cup for the batter.
    • What is Kerala plum cake?I get this question a lot especially why this cake is called “plum cake” if there are no plums in the cake. Well, I am not entirely sure either but fruit cake is called plum cake in Kerala and maybe traditionally it always involved plums and the recipe has evolved.
    • If you don’t want to make the sugar syrup for Christmas cake from scratch, you can buy treacle from stores. It’s a thick sugar syrup that may also include molasses. Use 1/4 cup in place of the sugar syrup in this recipe.
    • You can replace the cashew nuts with almonds or walnuts too but personally I love cashew nuts in fruit cake.
    • The cake will be a bit tough to un-mould if you don’t grease the cake pan generously

Keyword christmas fruit cake, kerala plum cake

Step by Step Kerala Plum Cake / ChristmasFruit Cake Recipe

This Kerala plum cakerecipe requires you to caramelise sugar into a thick sugar syrup. Don’t be like me and worry about it, it’s really not that hard, you just need to be careful while doing it.

In a pan on medium heat, melt 1/2 cup sugar slowly. Do not add any water, just the sugar in a pan

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Keep stirring and let it turn a deep dark caramel colour. Don’t let it burn.In the picture below, the sugar is just starting to melt along the sides. Gently stir to get it going.

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You should start getting the smell of caramel at this stage.

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Stir occasionally and keep heating. When it reaches the stage as shown in the below picture, you are ready to move on to the next step.

Turn off heat and add 1/4 cup water to the sugar syrup.

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The syrupwill harden a bit and sizzle.

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Turn the heat back on and slowly heat the mixture until the sugar crystals dissolve. This will take around 10 mins and the mixture will foam and bubble a bit like below.

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Once all the sugar crystals are dissolved and you get a smooth syrup, turn off heat.Set aside and let this mixture cool while you proceed with the preparationof the fruit cake.

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Set the oven to pre heat at350F / 180C.
Add 3 tablespoons flour to the dry fruits and nuts and dredge completely to coat it.

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This is so that they don’t sink to the bottom of the batter while baking. Set aside.

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Mix the remaining flour withbaking powder, spices, and salt until well combined.

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Mix till no streaks of spice powder can be seen.

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Beat the butter and 3/4 cup sugar until soft– about 5-6 mins by hand, 2mins with an electric beater.

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Add vanilla and mix until combined.

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Next, add 1 egg and beat well until incorporated.

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Then add 1/3 of the flour mixture and fold gently.

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Likewise, alternate between the eggs and flour mixture until they are both used up.

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Add the cooled sugar syrup.. (You can see the consistency of the sugar caramel syrup here)

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.. and dredged fruits and gently fold everything in together.

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The batter is ready!

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Grease a 6″ cake pan generously with butter.

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Pour batter into the cake pan and smooth the top gently if uneven.

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Bake for 50-55 mins until the top turns a dark brown and when a skewer inserted into the cake comes out with moist crumbs.

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You can start checking from 45 minutes in case your oven bakes the cake faster. The top maylook like it is overdone but don’t worry about that, it’s just the sugar syrup giving the cake crumb a darker colour. Make sure the inside is also completely cooked before you take the cake out of the oven.

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Let the fruit cake cool completely before cutting otherwise it will crumble.

Typically, Kerala plum cake or our Christmas fruit cakes are not frosted so just dustthe the cake withicing sugar or powdered sugar when the cake is completely cooled and store in airtight containers in room temperature for up to three days, or refrigerate for up to two weeks.

Kerala plum cake, Christmas fruit cake recipe step by step - Edible Garden (2024)

FAQs

Which is the best plum cake in Kerala? ›

Top Plum Cake Manufacturers in Kerala, Thrissur
  • Surya Bakery. 3.815 Ratings. ...
  • Sera Pudding Cakes. 4.511 Ratings. ...
  • Elite Breads PVT. LTD. ...
  • Royal Bakery. 3.08 Ratings. ...
  • Siya Bakers. 4.45 Ratings. ...
  • Royal Bakery. 4.25 Ratings. ...
  • Cutie Pie Cup's N Cake's. 5.04 Ratings. Thuvanur Road Choondal. ...
  • BEST Bakers. 3.24 Ratings. Koratti South.

What's the difference between a fruit cake and a plum cake? ›

A Fruit Cake is a normal vanilla cake with fruits in it. Whereas a Plum Cake is made with dry fruits soaked in alcohol/orange juice for more than a day. A Fruit Cake's colour is white to yellowish inside, whereas a Plum Cake's colour is brown to dark brown inside.

What are the ingredients in elite plum cake? ›

Candied Fruits & Peel (Black Plum (8%), Papaya, Grapes, Dates, Cashew Nuts (5%), Cherry, Orange, Orange Peel And Ginger Peel), Sugar, Acidity Regulator (Ins330), Mixed Fruit Jam Mixed Fruit Pulp, Sugar, Glucose, Thickener (Ins440), Acidity Regulator (Ins330) & Preservative (Ins224), Wheat Flour, Egg, Sugar, Edible ...

What is the difference between fruit cake and Christmas cake? ›

Christmas cakes are also commonly made with pudding while a fruit cake uses butter, however there are Christmas cake recipes that do contain butter. The traditional Scottish Christmas cake, also known as the Whisky Dundee, is very popular. It is a light crumbly cake with currants, raisins, cherries and Scotch whisky.

Which brand of rum is used in plum cake? ›

Bacardi Oakheart is a good rum for making rum cake as it contains a lot of compatible flavors like vanilla, cinnamon, butter scotch, caramel and baking spices. Taste a few good rums and decide what you like. Sometimes a very rich rum brings more flavor while a light rum is more subtle.

Which is the famous Christmas cake in Kerala? ›

Before you look at the long recipe notes for this Kerala Fruitcake, I promise, it's not that hard to make. This fruitcake (also known as Plum Cake) is a Christmas-classic in my house. Several years ago, my mom started this tradition of making enormous batches of this cake.

Is plum cake and Christmas cake same? ›

Somewhere around the 16th century, oatmeal came to be replaced with flour, and people began to bake cakes, adding sugar (thanks to colonisation), milk, candied fruits, spices, and dried fruits and nuts. Of course, plum puddings are still baked and are a little different from fruitcakes/Christmas cakes.

What is so special about plum cake? ›

Plum cakes have a fascinating history originating in medieval England where a fasting tradition preceded Christmas. The precursor to plum cake was a porridge-like dish made with dried fruits, oats, spices, and honey. The recipe evolved with the substitution of oats with flour, and the addition of eggs and butter.

Why is plum cake so expensive? ›

Plum cake is generally costlier since it has loads of nuts n berries. Moreover it tastes good in butter and for the rich color brown sugar is added in it rather than normal sugar. Moreover for Alcoholic version it uses Alcohol for soaking , so all these things make them costly.

What is hidden in Christmas cake? ›

A coin was hidden inside a small cake, whoever found it was crowned as mock king. Hiding small tokens in a cake is another tradition that has existed throughout the ages. The Christmas Sixpence, which is hidden inside a Christmas pudding or cake as a token of good fortune, being a recent example of this tradition.

What is Christmas fruit cake made of? ›

Fruitcake is a bread-like cake made with candied or dried fruits, nuts, and spices. The fruit and the cake itself are traditionally soaked in liquor. The sweet treat is usually served (and also gifted) during the holidays. Since it's doused in liquor, Christmas fruitcake lasts for months.

What is traditionally hidden in Christmas cake? ›

Whoever finds the fava bean in their slice is considered to have good luck for the coming year. Additionally, a small trinket or figurine is sometimes hidden in the cake, and the person who finds it is said to be the "king" or "queen" of the celebration.

How long before Christmas should you start making Christmas cake? ›

Some say you should make your Christmas cake 6 weeks before eating, but the advice given on Nigella.com is that 12 weeks before is the optimum time to get baking. Your Christmas cake should be fed every 4 to 6 weeks but in the meantime, after baking, it should be stored away in a secure, air tight container.

How long should you soak fruit for Christmas cake? ›

Most recipes call for dried fruit to be soaked overnight. I take a speedy approach: just microwave the dried fruit with juice and/or brandy, then stand for 1 hour to soak up the liquid. So much faster – and just as effective! Other than that, there's nothing unusual about how this fruit cake is made.

How long should fruitcake be aged? ›

Fruitcake aficionados will tell you that the best fruit cakes are matured – or “seasoned” in fruitcake lingo – for at least three months before they are cut. Seasoning not only improves the flavor of the fruitcake, but it makes it easier to slice.

Why is plum cake famous in Kerala? ›

The story of plum cake in India dates back to 1883, when a British planter in Thalassery, Kerala, named Murdoch Brown asked the local baker, Mambally Bapu, to taste the rich plum cake he had brought from England. Brown provided Bapu with ingredients but asked Bapu to buy a French brandy.

Which country is famous for plum cake? ›

Plum cake has historically referred to an early type and style of fruitcake in England since around 1700.

What is premium plum cake? ›

Plum cake is a delightful confection that harmoniously blends the rich flavours of ripe plums with a moist and tender cake base. This delectable treat boasts a pleasing contrast between the slightly tart essence of the plums and the gentle sweetness of the cake, creating a symphony of tastes with each bite.

What is the price of plum cake in Trivandrum? ›

Cost of Various Types of Plum Cake
Plum Cake TypePricing (500gm)
Rich Fruit Plum CakeRs. 350 onwards
Nutty Delight Plum CakeRs. 400 onwards
Chocolate-Infused Plum CakeRs. 300 onwards
Marzipan-Layered Plum CakeRs. 450 onwards
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