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Friday, December 23, 2011

Kerala Plum Cake | Christmas Fruit Cake (Step by Step Pics)

                  A MERRY CHRISTMAS''

Christmas is a perfect time for all bakes, and cakes hit the most of all. Kerala Plum cake is one recipe is which I always miss after coming to US.I always had my mom's version of cake and liked it the most.But far away from parents and now as a parent, I felt the necessity of baking this cake now.It was a real sweet one to impress everyone at home to bring back the memories of Kerala.This recipe is the true version of my mom's recipe as she prepares it for Christmas each year but with slight variation in one or two steps though.The aroma of the cake with all spices is so good that it spreads in the room by the time you finish baking the cake.I prefer this cake the most to all other cake recipes, even icing ones.I personally don't like the store brought plum cakes, but this really tastes great !!

(Have updated the old post with the latest pictures and step by step clicks, recipe remains the same with a few points)

Preparation time ~ 20 minutes
Baking time ~ 45 minutes -1 hour
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 2 cakes 6' or 1 cake 8' round (1250 gms cake)
Dry Ingredients
all-purpose flour(maida) - 2 cups
* powdered sugar 1 1/3 cups - 1 1/2 cups
baking powder 1 1/2 tsp
baking soda 1/4 tsp
salt 1/4 tsp

spice powder
sugar 2 tbsp
cinnamon 1' inch 
cloves powdered 5-6 
nutmeg 1/2 tsp

Wet Ingredients

butter 1 3/4 stick (at room temperature) or 200 gms
eggs 4 (yolks & whites separated & at room temperature)
vanilla essence 1.5 tsp 
* milk or reserved wine from soaked dry fruits 2tbsp-4tbsp (optional)

To soak fruits

mixed dry fruits & nuts 1.5 cups {TOTAL} i.e 1 cup of dry fruits & 1/2 cup of nuts
[In that you can take raisins 2tbsp, sultanas/ black raisins 4tbsp, apricot/dried cranberries /dried cherries/ dried prunes 1/3 cup, candied orange peel & candied ginger 2tbsp,  tutty fruity 1/2 cup (colours-red, yellow and green), cashew nuts 1/4 cup, chopped almonds 1/4 cup]
brandy/rum/wine -1/2 cup (I used the homemade wine)

To caramelize sugar

sugar 8 tbsp(1/2 cup) - 10 tbsp (3/4 cup)
water 1/4 cup- 1/3 cup
lemon juice 1 tsp

Watch on YouTube 

To Soak fruits-
Cut all the dry fruits into small pieces and then soak it in a clean dry bottle with wine/ rum/ brandy for minimum 1 day. Stir fruits once in a day or at least shake the bottle every alternate day.The more you soak, the tastier it is, I usually soak a month before baking. Here in the pic, I have soaked both nuts and dry fruits, as I didn't soak this mix more than a day. But if you plan to soak more days than soak only dry fruits, not chopped nuts.
Here is a YouTube #shorts on cake fruit mixing.

(This is an optional step, I don't generally do this same step because if you have soaked the dry fruits for a month or so then there is no need to steam at all, just thaw and use). 

The step to take is on the day of baking the cake, place the dry fruits in an airtight container in a pressure cooker /idli mould and steam for 10 minutes.(I used a steel bowl with aluminium foil cover).Cool the fruits completely before mixing in the cake batter.If you are not steaming the fruits, then thaw the chopped dry fruits and nuts before mixing to the cake, reserve the wine if any leftovers.

(left pic-steamed fruits n nuts, right pic-tossed with flour)

To Caramelize Sugar-
-Heat 8tbsp- 10 tbsp of sugar in a pan (if you wish a darker colour then go up to 10 tbsp) on medium heat without adding any water or liquid.
-When the sugar starts to dissolve, start stirring.Keep stirring till the syrup becomes thick and golden brown.
-At this point add 1/4 cup of the water (you may add water even after switching off the flame too, the residual heat is good enough to mix) and keep stirring till the sugar is dissolved completely with milk and gives a coffee/chocolaty colour.
-Put off the flame and cool it down completely before adding to the cake batter. Add a tsp of lemon juice on cooling, give a quick mix.

Making the Cake-
-Prepare a cake tin lined with parchment paper and butter the sides of the pan. Pre-heat oven to 340 degrees F /170 degrees C.
-Sift the flour twice or thrice with the powdered sugar (reserve half of the amount or add the whole amount of sugar with egg whites, omit adding here), salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon powder, cloves powder, nutmeg powder.Whisk the dry ingredients (all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, spice powders and salt) with a hand whisker so that it is uniformly distributed. I generally add powdered sugar in the flour, then half while beating egg whites and then add half to the butter.

-Blend the butter at room temperature till smooth in a bowl.Beat the egg yolks one by one with butter.Add vanilla essence and finally add caramelized sugar.Add the dry flour mix in 3 batches to incorporate well.

(left to right-1.flour mixed with spice powders, salt, baking powder and baking soda 2. Flour mixing with butter egg mixture & adding caramelized sugar 3.adding more flour 4.the thick cake batter)

-Toss the steamed fruits in 2 tbsp of flour in another bowl, mix well (helps prevent fruits settling at the bottom of cake).Add the fruits and nuts to the batter, mix well with a spatula to combine.

mixing fruits and nuts to batter
-Beat the egg whites in a grease free bowl with the addition of reserved half of powdered sugar until stiff peaks form (takes 4–5 minutes).Fold in half the egg whites in the batter without much, deflating the air gently with a spatula.Add the remaining egg whites and fold in gently until there are no visible white streaks in the batter. The batter may look thick, add in the reserved 2 tbsp milk or reserved wine from soaked dry fruits if required to get the batter right (the batter shouldn't be loose ribbon like consistency else the dry fruits and nuts may settle at the bottom of the cake). Instead, the batter should be thick like idli batter to hold the fruits and nuts together.

OR If you don't have time or don't have a beater, then just beat the eggs (egg yolk plus white) in the blender along with powdered sugar until it's frothy and pale yellow. This also works fine, mom used to do it that way, as during our childhood days we didn't have a beater at home.

(left to right-1.egg whites at room temp,2.meringue(egg white beaten with powdered sugar,3.folding egg whites,4.batter ready)

-Pour it in to the prepared cake tray and place in oven, bake for 45 minutes- 1 hour 15 minutes (mine took 50 minutes)

1.poured in cake pan2.baked cake 3.inverted to cool

-Cool on a wire rack for 15- 30 minutes and then run a knife through the sides, invert on a wire rack.Leave to cool completely before storing.Tightly wrap in plastic wraps and cover with aluminium foil or leave in Ziploc bags or airtight bags.I bake a week ahead and leave at room temperature till Christmas (don't refrigerate).The cake can be brushed with rum/brandy every day to feed the cake till Christmas, keeps the cake moist.(You can microwave the cake for a few seconds before serving just to soften the chilled butter esp if you live in winter affected areas, tastes yum.)


Servings 8" * 8" * 2.2" square cake or 9" * 1.7" round cake


* I used to bake at 340 degrees F or 170 degree C when I was in US but here in India my oven temperatures are higher than needed, so I had to reduce to 160 degrees C to bake the cake which worked fine. So, as per your location and oven brands, you may have to alter the temperature slightly up or down.
* If you are using 10 tbsp(1 cup) sugar to caramelize, then add 1 1/3 cups of powdered sugar to the cake.Don't burn the sugar while caramelizing.Be careful not to burn your hands either as it will be very hot and can cause burns.Add in the water at the right time during caramelizing, otherwise it may get crystallized and tend to become hard. Don't over caramelize the sugar and don't stir with a spoon until the sugar is dissolved, else the sugar gets crystallized and hard. Using 6tbsp of sugar to caramelize may yield a lighter colour to the cake.
* The granulated white sugar is powdered to get powdered sugar and not used in confectioners sugar (which has corn flour in it). I used 1 cup granulated sugar to get 1.5 cups of powdered sugar. 
*If caramelized sugar tends to become hard after cooling, then heat it lightly.Cool slightly and add to cake batter.
*The fruits can be soaked months before, it tastes great.I generally soak a month before. In that case just omit adding nuts to soak, it's always good to soak dry fruits, but please don't soak nuts. Nuts can be added on the day of baking.
*Store the cake in airtight containers at room temperature.Don't refrigerate.Wrap in foil papers and store in Ziploc bags.
*If you don't have time or don't have a beater, then just beat the eggs (egg yolk plus white) in the blender along with powdered sugar until it's frothy and pale yellow. This also works fine, mom used to do it that way, as during our childhood days we didn't have a beater at home.
* You can use 100 gms butter and 100 gms oil too, in that case add only 1/4 cup caramelized sugar.

2018 's bake  photo-

Sending this to Valentines Day Event hosted by Teenz @ Teenz Yummly Delights 

Sending this to The Kerala Kitchen event hosted by Kaveri @ Palakkad Chamayal


Square Meals said... Best Blogger Tips

Very festive looking! Nicely done :-)

Aparna from Square Meals

Mahi said... Best Blogger Tips

Nice cake! Merry X-max to you and your family!

Balvinder said... Best Blogger Tips

You have to soak the dry fruits for one week. I have never tasted this. I really want to try this. happy Christmas to you and your family.

simran said... Best Blogger Tips

looks amazing!...............this and the wine..what a perfect christmas!

Shoutforfood said... Best Blogger Tips

awesome.. perfect for me.

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

Fruit cake looks awesome and inviting...

Nandita SS said... Best Blogger Tips

The plum cake looks very rich and delicious. Very well presented as well :)

Kaveri Venkatesh said... Best Blogger Tips

Perfectly baked plum cake Julie..You are rocking!

MyKitchen Flavors-BonAppetit!. said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow! Yummy and truly Festive Bake Dear.Merry Christmas to U.

Faseela said... Best Blogger Tips

its really awesome..............moist n luks so delicious

PrathibhaSreejith said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow Julie, The Kerala plum cake is my fav too and I have been planning to make this for the Christmas. Hopefully I'll make it by tomorrow, this luks perfect dear. Very well done :)

Ambika said... Best Blogger Tips

The cake looks fabulous and so perfect!! Loved the simple recipe, Merry Christmas! Just found your page and I'm so glad I did :)

Neetz said... Best Blogger Tips

wow!! that cke looks so superb!! i would definitely have grabbed the whole tray!! :)

Lavanya Selvaraj said... Best Blogger Tips

Perfect looking plum cake. Looks so delicious.

My Recent Post: Popcorn Chicken

Deeksha said... Best Blogger Tips

Super delicious cake.
Merry X-mas to you and your family.

Sobha Shyam said... Best Blogger Tips

wow, i love plum cake, kothiyavunu Julie..dnt knw if i will ever attempt to make this cake :) Great job !! Mom's recipes are always the best. Merry Christmas to u too :)

Sobha Shyam said... Best Blogger Tips

lovely clicks too with the decorations.. :)

Priya Suresh said... Best Blogger Tips

Omg, wat a fabulous plum cake, looks super prefect for this festive season.

Hamaree Rasoi said... Best Blogger Tips

Merry Christmas to you and Family. Plum cake looks simply mouthwatering.

Hamaree Rasoi

Raksha said... Best Blogger Tips

loved the plum cake

Rashida Shaikh said... Best Blogger Tips

Looks Super :)
Nice Clicks too...

Deepa. R. Krishnan said... Best Blogger Tips

Mouth watering cake,Juls..

On the occasion of CHRISTMAS & NEW YEAR , I have but one thing to say-
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Treat and Trick said... Best Blogger Tips

Nice texture and so moist!

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

fruit cake looks delicious dear.....wishing u n ur family a merry christmas :-)

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

wow...cake looks so moist and yummy...:)lovely recipe...:)


cookbookjaleela said... Best Blogger Tips

Plum cake looks tempti julie.

Recipe world said... Best Blogger Tips

Plum cake looks yummy!! Merry Christmas to you and your family :)

Jayanthy Kumaran said... Best Blogger Tips

wow...cake looks marvellous..
merry christmas n happy holidays dear..;)
Tasty Appetite

Binys Recipes said... Best Blogger Tips

hey perfect for xmas....

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

The cake turned out super good. Merry Christmas to you Julie. Enjoy the holidays.

Rachana said... Best Blogger Tips

Such a flavourful and delicious cake. Happy Holidays!

Sensible Vegetarian said... Best Blogger Tips

Superb bake Julie, perfectly done.

Torviewtoronto said... Best Blogger Tips

delicious looking fruit cake
happy holidays to you and family

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

there's an award 4 u in my space....plz collect it :-)

Gayathri NG said... Best Blogger Tips

Soft n moist cake, looks awesome!!

Roshu said... Best Blogger Tips

Ma fav !!!

Zareena said... Best Blogger Tips

Looks very very yummy, soft and moist.

Indu said... Best Blogger Tips

Looks moist and light! Hope you had a merry xmas


Teena said... Best Blogger Tips

Awesome recipe!! Loved it Julie :)

Roshni said... Best Blogger Tips

this is very nostalgic cake to me. used to buy it from the bakery round the corner from our house. comes in the small rectangle wrapped like a chocolate :-) glad to have found your site

Teena said... Best Blogger Tips

I really appreciate your participation for my event with your special treats! Thank you so much !

Param Sekhon said... Best Blogger Tips

This is the 1st time dat i m baking a cake! Can u pls tell me dat wat do v need 2 do wid d caramilzed sugar? is it 2 b used as icing 4 d cake? also, can u pls tell me d idealsize of d baking pan 4 d cake? m worried dt i myt nt buy a very big one n effect d thickness of d cake!

Julie said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanx all :-)
@ Priya: Thanx for mentioning dear,I missed listing in the step..will edit now.The caramelised sugar is to be mixed with the cake batter once completely cooled down.The cake pan that I used is a square one 8*8,You can use a similar round one as well(almost the same(Just see your batter should be poured till 2/3rd of the pan)
Just a suggestion-If you are trying baking for the first time then I think you should omit the caramelisation because that really requires a little experience..You can add dark brown sugar instead of that and adjust the granulated sugar to this (1 cup brown sugar and 1 cup granulated sugar)
Caramelisation is for giving the dark color,if you omit that you get a regular cake colour with all other perfection..Do try n let me know too,how it turned out!!
Thanx for dropping in Priya!!

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

Perfectly baked cake... looks so soft and tempting.. one of my fav cake..

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great-secret-of-life said... Best Blogger Tips

so yummy cake.. I wish I have a slice of it.. Merry christmas and new year! happy holidays

Padhu Sankar said... Best Blogger Tips

Looks gorgeous!