Monday, May 4, 2009

Rich Fruit / Plum Cake

I've always been a big fan of the dense, dark slices of plum cake that are wrapped in a translucent sheet of paper that we get in India... On seeing the fruit cakes here, I was rather excited at the prospect of re-living those yummy memories but they didn't stand a chance and came no where close to the taste of the plum cakes we get in India. Since I adore tutti fruiti I picked up a pack of Mixed Fruit & Peels that I saw on sale at the supermarket but the taste was quite different and rather disappointing...yet my craving for plum cake was still strong... and not wanting to add alcohol to the fruit mix, I decided to soak them in Pomegranate Juice (POM) but I didn't have enough so used the Pomegranate Blueberry juice that was in the fridge and let it marinate (refrigerated) for a month or so... along with some dates and raisins that I added to the mix as well, hoping that would improve the overall flavour.

I then used RP's fruit cake recipe primarily and was extremely pleased with the end result and couldn't get enough of it... :) The key is to have a really dark coloured caramel syrup so, the cake develops a rich, dark colour and nice flavour. So, here's my non-alcoholic version of a favorite... with a few changes I made.


Dried Fruits (Tutti fruti, cherries, raisins, dates etc) - 1.5 cups (soaked in POM or Pomegranate blueberry juice for a month or so in the fridge)
Nuts - 1/3 to 1/2 cup, chopped (I used walnuts and almonds)

All Purpose Flour - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 cup
Butter - 1 stick (1/4 lbs)
Eggs - 3
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Baking Soda - 1/4 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder, ginger powder & clove powder - 1/4 tsp each
Pure vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Sugar - 1/4 cup (to prepare caramel syrup)

1) Bring butter & eggs to room temperature.

2) To prepare Caramel Syrup, heat 1/4 cup sugar in a small pan with half tbsp of water. When the sugar begins to caramelize, stir slowly until it turns almost black (pretty dark). Remove pan from stove and place in sink (to avoid splatter - and oven mitts are recommended for the next step). Carefully pour 1/4 cup warm water to the caramel syrup (this is when you have to be careful of it splattering) and stir gently. Add the vanilla extract to this and keep aside.

3) Preheat oven to 350F and spray a cake pan with PAM or no-stick oil spray

4) In a bowl, beat the 1 cup sugar and butter to a creamy consistency. Then add the eggs one by one and beat well to incorporate.

5) In another large bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and the spice powders together. Stir in the fruit & nut mixture.

6) Add the caramel-vanilla syrup, and the creamed butter-sugar mixture and stir. Pour this into the greased pan and bake for abt 45 mins to an hour or until a toothpick inserted comes clean.

Ideally, the cake should be allowed to mature and rest for a few days before consuming but I couldn't resist my temptation.. so I reserved a portion of it to taste as soon as it cools down and wrapped the rest in foil and allowed to rest on the countertop for 2 days before slicing and storing in the fridge. Typically this type of cake lasts a long time but we finished eating it all in a few days... :)


  1. That cake looks really moist, great job Laav.. I used to love the fruit cakes in India too, we used to eat a lot of those during Christmas season.

  2. U make me drool and bake again this rich fruit cake. I always love the flavor of dry fruits in cake.

  3. Wonderful flavorful cake. Wish I could taste it. looks great laavanya.

  4. Droolworthy...the cake looks soo tempting that I want to taste it right away :)

  5. I love the idea of soaking in pomegranate juice! did you soak the tutti fruti too?

  6. yummmmmmmm... am totally in love with this cake :)

  7. i love fruit cakes loaded with plenty of dry fruits and nuts...this one looks very delicious...good one laav!!

  8. lovely cake..its just dryfruits in cakes..droolworthy..

  9. I love these dense fruit cake too, it always makes me feel that i am back hom in India.
    Looks so delicous,

  10. Lovely dense fruit cake looks gorgeous, regarding ur q'n abou cornflour halwa, texture between maida and cornflour halwa will ressembles a bit, but tastewise cornflour halwa will tastes better than maida halwa (its my personal opinion)..

  11. I have been a big fan of plum cakes too but havent really made them at home .. reminds me of christmas

  12. yummy favourite cake..looks perfect

  13. I love the plum cake we get here in India, one Xmas, this is all I ate for lunch and dinner, picking out the peel and fruit and telling myself I was eating healthily!

  14. Very Chirstmassy, Fruit cake looks mouthwatering. Me want a slice ASAP! :D

  15. Looks super delicious and loaded with nuts and fruits... looks moist and tempting...

  16. Looks inviting! You make me crave for some... Yummy cake!

  17. mmm. love this cake! I remember having it in India. Thanks for reminding again Laavanya! You have done a great job by re-creating it. Looks soooo yummy.

  18. Adding POM juice is a Nice idea Laavanya. Cake Look's Delicious!

  19. looks so good! dry fruits are so much more yummier in a cake:-)

  20. Oh cake looks mouth-drooling, yummmmm!!!

  21. Looks delicious Laavanya. I used to adore fruit cakes in India and I am not really sure why they gave such a bad rep here.

  22. I so agree with you Laavanya...the cakes out here cannot compare with the ones we get back home...I too miss them so much, the one we get at Monginis is my all time favorite.
    Your cake really looks awesome, really tempting.

  23. H would love this! He has been making a version of the Kerala plum cake by very loosely following Mishmash's recipe on 2 occasions at least- that he ended up making something which did not resemble the original in any way is another story altogether! I've never been too crazy about plum cakes.
    Your cake looks fantastic and what a great idea to soak the dried fruits in POM juice instead of alcohol.
    You gifted this to someone? :)

  24. Thank you Sig.. I know it's no where close to Christmas now but craving know no season... :)

    Cham, yes i noticed that you tried her version too.

    Thank you Mahima & Sharmilee.

    Sala, yes I soaked the whole thing and added some raisins and dates to the mix as well..

    Thank you Indhu, Sowmya, Pratibha & Happy Cook

    Priya, thanks.. also for your reply to my query. Can't wait to try that halwa.. will let you know when i do.

    Deesha, it's fairly easy to put-together.

    Thank you Shama.

    Sra, i ate a LOT of this cake and I had to eat it fast since my husband offered good competition... :) Healthy or not.. it's too tasty to pass up.

    Asha, I would love another slice now too.. alas it's all gone... :)

    Thank you Ramya, Anu & Uma.

    Lavi, yes.. i was doubtful when i added and thought i should've added orange juice but this worked really well.

    Thank you Shreya & Madhavi.

    Indo, i know... pple dread receiving them.. but I don't like the version we get here that much either.

    Thank you Poornima.

    TBC, I remember mishmash's post - very tempting. I did make this originally to send as a gift to a friend since this would ship well but after tasting it, it was difficult to part with it - i'm awful i know... A also convinced me that we could make something else instead since he didn't want to miss out as well.

  25. Wow, the cake looks so soft and rich. I feel like having a slice of that cake right now :)

  26. i love these plum cakes ......Thanks for the post ......

  27. Yum looking cake...i always pick up one of these from the closet baker during Christmas...they almost get you into the spirit of the season...Grea idea with the pom juice..

  28. wow thats looking wonderful i love plum cake shall i have one

  29. I too adore the plum cakes we get back in india. Your version looks too good! i have a similar recipe in my blog. i used orange juice to marinate..

  30. it definitely looks dark and rich! lovely cake!

  31. i have always always loved plum cake and wait to the christmas time as we used to get a lot of these from friends and neighbours!!

    this looks just too good!!


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