Christmas is a delightful time of the year for me, and it is a festival I really indulge in simply because of the all warm spices, lots of presents, music and winter nights.

A proper Christmas cake has always been on my mind and this year I managed to soak the dry fruits well in advance. There are many versions of the perfect cake, but I have chosen a method that suited me best – soak the fruits once, and keep ‘em ready for baking in an instant, after at least 3 weeks of macerating. Since I am not the biggest fan of the flavor of rum, I don’t soak the cake in rum either, allowing the spices and dry fruits to take centerstage. I also avoid nuts since I have family members that don’t take too kindly to them. But if you do like nuts, shop them up and soak them in with the dry fruits – a total of 150 g of nuts would do (almonds, walnuts, cashews).

This cake is good to go with just a heavy dose of icing sugar sprinkling!



Recipe Ingredients

Dry fruits soak:

1 kg dried fruit: (makes for 2 cakes)
100 g apricot, finely chopped
100 g cranberry
100 g glazed cherry
100 g prune, finely chopped
200 g raisins
100 g blackcurrant
500-700 ml brandy or rum
zest of 2 oranges
2-4 slices of ginger, slightly bruised

Cake: (one cake)

1 cup / 130 g flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp allspice
¼ tsp nutmeg powder
pinch clove powder
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
130 g butter
1/8 cup castor sugar
115 g brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
280 g soaked fruits (1 1/2 cups)

Recipe Instructions

Dry Fruits Soaking: (yields 2 cakes)

Stir all the ingredients together, ensuring the dry fruits are covered in the alcohol
Store in an air tight container in a cool place for upto 2 months, stirring every third day ( I have always stored in the lowest shelf of the fridge)


Cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy
Add the eggs one after another, whisking well
Add the dry ingredients and combine with a wooden spoon
Add the half of the above amount rum soaked dried fruits and fold well
Pour in the cake tin and bake for 160C for 40 minutes
Let it cool in the tin

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The recipes are tried and tested, some are adapted from various places, and a few are passed down; but every one of them comes straight from the heart.