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Kerala Christmas Cake, Xmas Plum Cake

by | Dec 15, 2018 | 37 comments

kerala-plum-cake-christmas-xmas-fruit-cake-recipe-20
Recipe for Kerala Christmas Fruit Cake, Xmas Plum cake made with dry fruits soaked in brandy, caramel syrup and spices. Recipe with step by step pictures.

Here are the other Christmas fruit cake / Plum cake on the site.
Rich Plum Cake – Christmas fruit cake with brown sugar and spices
Whole Wheat Christmas Plum Cake

kerala-plum-cake-christmas-xmas-fruit-cake-recipe-19

I have got a lot of requests for Kerala style Christmas cake. Kerala style plum cake is a simple pound cake (equal weight of flour, sugar and butter) with the addition of caramel syrup, dry fruits and spices. The caramel syrup is called as black jack and is also referred to as black jack Christmas cake. The spices that are traditionally used are nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Some use dry ginger and some don’t. It is totally up to you. Here is how to do Kerala style plum cake.

Here is the video of how to make Kerala Christmas Cake, Xmas Plum Cake

Here are the things you can buy for making this recipe
Real Vanilla Extract https://amzn.to/34Vuu1a
Glass Jar https://amzn.to/3sDdIw9
Silicone Spatula Set https://amzn.to/34V5g3g
Pyrex Glass Bowl Set https://amzn.to/363cu5C
Ceylon Cinnamon https://amzn.to/34YYtpf

For detailed recipe and measurements, scroll to the bottom of the page.
Soaking the fruits in rum / brandy
This fruit cake has currants, golden raisins (called as Kishmish locally), cranberries, candied pineapple and candied papaya. The fruits you use are more of a personal choice. Use whatever you like. Candied fruits can be bought from dry fruit store or online. Candied papaya is nothing but tutti frutti without the color. Clean the dry fruits and get rid of any stems. The trick with fruit cakes is to chop the dried fruits. I cut the raisins in half and the candied fruits into small bits. Yes its time consuming work but its rewarding. I find that the fruits absorb more flavor if chopped and the end cake is even more tastier. Chop the dry fruits and mix them with brandy or rum. I have used brandy for this recipe. Use whatever alcohol you can get hold of. Soak the fruits in brandy for at-least a week. I soaked the fruits in brandy for a month. Shake the jar once in a couple of days. Also store them in a glass or ceramic container. The brandy would have been completely absorbed by the fruits after a week and there would be no need to strain the brandy.
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Prep Work
Making the caramel
Caramel syrup is an important ingredient in Kerala style fruit cakes. Add sugar to a small sauce pan. Add two tablespoon of water from the sides. Combine the water and sugar. Gently stir to moisten the sugar thoroughly. Bring the mixture to a boil until the sugar is completely dissolved and the liquid is clear. ( Do not stir at this stage. Stirring will cause the sugar to crystallize)
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Cook until the color of the caramel becomes dark amber. Switch off the flame and add in half a cup of water to the caramel. Be very careful as it may splutter. Watch the pan and gently stir to dissolve. If the caramel has become solid, gently heat the pan for a minute to dissolve. Remove the syrup from heat and set aside to cool.
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Spiced Sugar
Take a mixie and add in the spices and the sugar. Grind till the sugar is well powdered and the spices are also powdered. Set aside.
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Separating the egg whites and yolks and beating the egg whites
Separate the egg whites and egg yolks. Do one egg at a time into a small bowl and add the bowl to a bigger bowl with the egg whites. If the yolks get mixed with the egg whites by mistake, discard and start with another egg. If yolks or any fat gets mixed, the egg whites wont fluff up when beaten. Make sure the whisk is clean and the bowl is clean too. Fat will hinder when beating egg whites.
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Beat the egg whites until fluffy and soft peaks form. Add couple of tablespoons of the powdered sugar we made before while beating egg whites, so the egg whites whip well. Set aside.
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Make the cake batter

Preheat the oven to 180C before starting to bake.
Cream the butter and sugar for 3-4 minutes until lite and fluffy.
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Add in the egg yolks and the vanilla extract. Beat for a minute.
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Measure the flour and to the flour, add in the baking powder, baking soda and the salt. Whisk well and set aside.
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Add in the caramel syrup and the flour mixture and beat well until combined.
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Add two tablespoon of flour to the dry fruits and mix well. Add in the dry fruit mixture to the cake batter. Mix well to combine.
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Add in the egg whites and fold everything well.
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Grease and flour the cake pans with butter. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. This recipe makes two 6 inch by 3 inch cakes.  Irrespective of the size of the pans, just make sure to fill no more than 3/4th of the pan with batter. Transfer the batter to the cake tins. Make sure the top is smooth and even. Level the batter with the back of a spatula. Make sure that the batter is not more than 3/4th of the height of the pan. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour on a 180 degree Celcius oven. If using a small pan, check after 30 minutes. The baking time depends on the size of the pan.
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After 45 minutes, insert a tooth pick in the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. If the tooth pick has a little batter sticking, bake for 10-15 minutes more and check again. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan until room temperature.
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Run a knife on the sides of the pan to release the cake sticking to the sides of the pan. Gently invert the pan and remove the cake from the pan and store it in an air tight container. The flavor of the cake improves the next day. The cake can be stored for up-to two weeks at room temperature and upto a month in the fridge.
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Have the cake with your friends and count your little blessings.
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Print
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kerala-plum-cake-christmas-xmas-fruit-cake-recipe-20

Kerala Christmas Cake, Xmas Plum Cake

Recipe for Kerala Christmas Fruit Cake, Xmas Plum cake made with dry fruits soaked in brandy, caramel syrup and spices. Recipe with step by step pictures.

  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 mins
  • Yield: 2 - six inch cakes 1x

Ingredients

Scale

Soaking the fruits in rum / brandy

  • 250 grams dry fruits
  • 90 grams brandy ( I used Mansion house brandy)

Making the caramel

  • 50 grams sugar
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup water

Spiced Sugar

  • 200 grams sugar
  • 1/2 inch piece cinnamon
  • a small piece of nutmeg
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 cardamom

Other ingredients

  • 4 Eggs at room temperature, (whites and yolks, separated)
  • 200 grams unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • 200 grams maida / all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon maida / all purpose flour for mixing the dry fruits

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C before starting to bake.
  2. Chop and soak the fruits in brandy for a month.
  3. Combine the 2 tablespoon water and 50 grams of sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil until the sugar is completely dissolved and the liquid is clear. Cook until the color of the caramel becomes dark amber. Switch off the flame and add in half a cup of water to the caramel. Set aside to cool.
  4. Take a mixie and add in the spices and the sugar. Grind till the sugar is well powdered and the spices are also powdered. Set aside.
  5. Separate the egg whites and egg yolks. Beat the egg whites until fluffy and soft peaks form. Add couple of tablespoons of the powdered sugar we made before while beating egg whites, so the egg whites whip well.Set aside.
  6. Cream the butter and sugar for 3-4 minutes until lite and fluffy.
  7. Add in the egg yolks and the vanilla extract. Beat for a minute.
  8. Measure the flour and to the flour, add in the baking powder, baking soda and the salt. Whisk well and set aside.
  9. Add in the caramel syrup and the flour mixture and beat well until combined.
  10. Add two tablespoon of flour to the dry fruits and mix well. Add in the dry fruit mixture to the cake batter. Mix well to combine.
  11. Add in the egg whites and fold everything well.
  12. Grease and flour the cake pans with butter. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. This recipe makes two 6 inch cakes. Transfer the batter to the cake tins. Make sure the top is smooth and even. Level the batter with the back of a spatula. Make sure that the batter is not more than 3/4th of the height of the pan. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour on a 180 degree Celcius oven. If using a small pan, check after 30 minutes. The baking time depends on the size of the pan.
  13. After 45 minutes, insert a tooth pick in the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. If the tooth pick has a little batter sticking, bake for 10-15 minutes more and check again. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan until room temperature.
  14. Run a knife on the sides of the pan to release the cake sticking to the sides of the pan. Gently invert the pan and remove the cake from the pan and store it in an air tight container. The flavor of the cake improves the next day.
  • Author: Kannamma - Suguna Vinodh
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Category: baking
  • Cuisine: Kerala

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37 Comments

  1. Jyothi Gokul

    I have followed this recipe and baked this cake several times – soaked fruits in Maison House, Bacardi Rum, Red wine, Hennessy Cognac (somehow feel this worked the best and initially, I soaked the fruits for two weeks, and now at least a month or two) – it seems fool proof! Every Christmas, there are a few of us around who very eagerly wait for this cake! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!






    Reply
  2. Karthikha

    Mam I did it
    Tasted awesome
    Substituted Orange juice for alcohol
    I really wonder how a recipe could be posted with the correct proportion of ingredients.
    Wonderful mam
    Loved it

    Reply
  3. Poornima

    Have made it twice since spotting the recipe. I have had to adjust some water, other than that it is so perfect.
    And Sugana that’s the best part about your recipes. In the past many years i have tried many of yours as well as others i find on the web. I always check to see if you have a recipe i am looking for & only if you dont have it, i check elsewhere. Reason being you are so meticulous in detailing it & its hard to go wrong with them.

    Thank you for the fab recipes you keep posting.
    Its been a while since i left a comment on your recipes… Ideally would love to do so for each one that i use like the vendakkai kuzhambu, egg panizharam kuzhambu, etc.,






    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      Thank you so much. Glad you liked the recipe.

      Reply
  4. Debrupa

    hi I tried this recipe. the cake came out good. however the top was very dark brown unlike yours (golden brown) in the picture. after 30 mins I had to cover the top with a foil to a kid more browning and bake for 10 more mins. how come it didn’t happen for you? after you baking at 180 deg C?

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      Try calibrating your oven for correct temp.

      Reply
  5. Raji

    Love the flavor of this cake. Tried with a hesitation as I have tried a couple of times from other blogs for this plum cake and was not satisfied. But this one is a perfect recipe. I just skipped the caramel sauce as I was too lazy. A million thanks for this awesome recipe.






    Reply
  6. Subasri

    Other than alcohol can be replace it with grape juice

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      Never tried with fruit juices. So do not know how it will turn out in this recipe.

      Reply
  7. Binu

    Thank you for the recipe. It turned out so good. Just like the ones I had as a kid back in Kerala. I have never baked a cake before, but my mom used to bake christmas cakes every year. This year due to Covid, my daughter and I decided to bake a cake and we found your recipe and it was awesome.






    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      Thank you so much for trying. Really glad you liked the recipe.

      Reply
  8. Ubarita

    That’s a great and easy to follow recipe!

    Can we soak the finished product in alcohol?

    Thank you!
    Keep writing!

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      Hi Uba, Yes you can brush alcohol on the cake.

      Reply
  9. Jyothsna

    Explained really well. I have a question though, can I bake this in an 8 inch cake pan ?

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      Yes you can. Bake in two 8 inch pans (2 inch height)

      Reply
  10. Mrs. K. Sirisha

    The recipe turned out perfectly well. Soaked the dry fruits in apple juice a day in advance.






    Reply
  11. Kavitha Karunakaran

    Hello mam,Can i add dark caramel syrup instead of making caramel? If yes how much quantity?

    Reply
  12. Aish

    Any other alternative to soaking the dry fruits? Planning to give to children as well.

    Reply
  13. Kirthi

    Hi what is the temperature for Ifb microwave oven it’s not perfect for me in that microwave






    Reply
  14. Santosh

    Beautiful cake.recipe..came out so perfect..thank you.. had marinated for 3 weeks. Just rite..didn’t need 45 min..I thought more like 30 35mins.






    Reply
  15. Ava

    Hi Suguna,

    I am going to try this cake over the weekend. I don’t have a powerful mixie/blender. Can I use ready made spice powders and sieve them with powdered sugar instead of powdering the coarse ingredients in a mixie?

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      Sure Ava. You can use readymade powders.

      Reply
  16. Pallavi

    I tried this out and it came out amazing!! I really like all your recipes – they’re so concise. Please continue publishing such recipes!






    Reply
  17. Biny Abraham

    Hi. Just baked the cake and loved it. Had couple of queries.
    1. Can we use brown sugar instead of white sugar or a mix of both?
    2. After baking, can we add a spoon of rum or brandy into the cake for flavor?

    Thanks
    Biny

    Reply
  18. Ria

    Hi Suguna,

    Hope all is well.

    I’m a regular follower of your recipes.

    So, in this version of your recipe you mentioned you use both baking powder and baking soda,in your other version you’ve only mentioned that you use just the baking soda. Why is it and what would you prefer? Also, you don’t use coffee powder and zest in this one?

    PS: Was trying to find the best recipe between the 2, which one tasted good according to you? Link attached below

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      Both are very different style recipes. Kerala style cake, the spices used are less. I Personally like Kerala style cake as its a little lite. Please do not mix both recipes. Follow either one of these. In Kerala cake, we add baking powder as its a lighter cake and caramel syrup is also acidic.

      Reply
  19. chhavi

    hey Suguna…Will this recipe work even with just overnight soaked dry fruits?

    Reply
    • Suguna Vinodh

      I suggest you soak it atleast for three days.

      Reply
  20. Deepa

    Awesome. Would really love to do this.. can u give me the baking timing in air fryer pleaSe???






    Reply
  21. maria.K

    your instructtions and methods are so easy to follow and your explanations are so inspiring.
    wish you all the success you desire and for taking the time out and putting up a good blog!!

    btw, can we use just one cake pan or does it have to be two?
    no plans right now but i will eventually – i love fruit cake.

    Reply

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