Christmas Fruit Cake

Courtesy: Alice James Paniculam

It might sound like blasphemy but I must admit, I never enjoyed the exalted fruit cake served during the Christmas season. I always wondered what was the hype behind this cake which was barely cake and filled with things that I didn’t enjoy.

Then I met my mother-in-law’s cake and the rest is history. Not only am I an absolute convert but I take pride in encouraging everyone to venture into this area by using her foolproof recipe!

A good Christmas cake is very moist , fruity and doesn’t crumble. So the secret to this is to slowly bake the cake at a lower temperature till taut. A larger quantity of fruits and nuts helps it to be well distributed across the cake.

P.S The choice of ingredients could be varied depending on your likes and dislikes but the crucial fresh orange peel and slow cooking temperatures mustn’t be tampered with .


  • Grease and line a 10″ baking dish (or two 5″) with baking paper. Repeat baking paper lining and set aside.
  • Preheat the oven at 140 deg C.
  • The cake base follows the principle of a pound cake which is based on equal weight for flour, eggs and sugar.
  • Chop all fruits and nuts to required size and keep it aside
  • Dry grind the spice mix. The ratio of spices would be nutmeg:cinnamon:cloves = 1:4:3
  • The inside of the Orange peel has to be scraped off, then chopped and sliced to the tiniest size.
  • You could make your own candied orange peel. First,scrape off the inside white part with a fork. Now thinly slice the peel and stew it in sugar syrup till it’s softened. Toss it in castor sugar and refrigerate it.
  • Prepare the caramel ahead and store in a jar. In a thick bottom pan layer the sugar and melt till it starts turning darker than golden brown. Add boiling hot water.
  • Make sure that all ingredients are at room temperature before you start


Flour – 200gms or 1 and 1/3 cups

Baking Powder – 1.25 tsp

(Self raising flour 200gms)

Castor Sugar – 200 gms or 1cup

Egg – 200gms or 3 -4nos (Separated and at room temperature)*weigh eggs as a whole

Unsalted Butter – 200gms or 1 cup(at Room Temperature)

Dark Brown or normal sugar for the caramel sauce – 100 gms or 1/2 cup

Chopped Dates – 200 gms or 1 cup

Chopped Nuts—(cashew and walnuts) – 150 gms or 3/4 cup

Seedless Raisins (soaked in rum for at least 4-5 weeks) – 250 gms or 1 and 1/3 cup

Any other dry fruit like apricot, cherries – 150 gms or 1 cup

Fresh Orange peel -1 no (finely chopped)

Candied Orange peel- 1 tbsp (optional)Orange Light Cake

Spice powder (nutmeg,cinnamon,cloves) – 1 tsp

Marmalade-1 tbsp (optional)

Dark Rum – required for soaking raisins and painting the cake

So let the party begin,

• Sift Flour and Baking powder thrice and set aside ( if you are using self raising flour, just take same quantity and avoid the baking powder.

• Cream butter & sugar till almost white in colour.

• Separate eggs. Add in yolks one by one. Beat well .

• Add in spice powder and finely grated or chopped fresh orange peel. Beat well.

• Add in required caramel sauce till you get a deep coffee brown colour.

• Fold in flour and the fruits & nuts alternatively in three parts each. The fruits can be slightly floured so that they don’t sink. Stir in the marmalade and candied orange peel.

• Stiffly beat the egg whites and fold it into the cake

• Bake in the prepared baking dish @ 140 deg C for 3 hrs and 30 minutes or till the top is taut. If you test with a skewer, it should have some crumbs left on it. Take it out of the oven and let it cool in the tin.

• Apply rum on top of the cake once it is done. Remove only the outer baking paper. Let the other remain. Cover top with baking paper and foil wrap it again. This way the cake would stay moist.

Just another tip

• While soaking raisins, drown it in dark rum . And store it in an airtight container in a cool, dark place . Make sure that the fruits are always moist. If not , add extra rum and give the container a shake

• Preferably use same rum left behind after soaking raisins for painting the cake later.

To download and print the recipe , click the following link , Christmas Fruit Cake

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Anonymous says:

    Maya, my wife and I are now converts too because of your recipe
    Paul and Annie


    1. Maya’s LAB says:

      Thank you very much Paul & Annie. My mother-in-law would be very pleased to hear about it.


  2. Anonymous says:

    Thanks maya, sure will try, ya, I use lesser fruits, may be the reason


    1. Maya’s LAB says:

      I do hope you’ll like it..


  3. Anonymous says:

    Ma’am this recipe looks so promising and I’ll be trying it!! Thank you for sharing this


    1. Maya’s LAB says:

      Thank you.. I do hope you’ll enjoy it!


  4. Serene says:

    Hi Maya, your cake looks beautiful. When I make mine using the same proportion, my fruits settle at the bottom, I try to flour, but that doesn’t help either. I have tried recipes with more flour, but that kills the taste. Help
    ..I can never get the perfect fruit cake, I tried some other recipes and the cake falls in the center. Really want to try yours. Can I reduce the amount of fruits,or should it be the same


    1. Maya’s LAB says:

      Thank you serene .. this is a tried and tested recipe.. ive been baking the same recipe for almost 9 years now.. ive made a few changes with the type of fruits and nuts and the addition of marmalade., but I’d suggest you to keep the fruit nut ratio.. mummy says that when the fruit is lesser it goes to the bottom.


    2. Maya’s LAB says:

      Why don’t you halve the whole recipe and give it a try.. the cooking time remains the same.. it’s mainly got to do with the depth of the cake .. just use a 5inch tin


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