East Indian Dark Fruit Cake (Christmas Cake)

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5 out of 5 Stars by 3 readers!

East Indian dark fruit cake is so delicious and dense, it will tickle your taste buds. Serve this plum cake with raisins and dry fruit for Christmas lunch or dinner with some great homemade wine.


Dark fruit cake is a must for Christmas. This dense and moist plum cake with rum will bring a smile to your face. Any East Indian will tell you that almost every occasion is celebrated with cake, be it a christening, a communion, or a wedding, and of course, Easter and Christmas.

We have been baking with mom since we were schooling, and mom’s sweets or cakes are so yum, just like Mama’s used to be. Be it Nankhatais or Marzipan, or Vanilla cream or Walnut Fudge, Christmas would not be the same without them. It’s always fun when you have a lot of hands helping.

The preparation for this rich plum cake with rum begins months in advance when you soak the raisins in rum, knowing that Christmas is coming, what joy! And the rest of the process is here below, so read on, bake and let us know how your cake turns out…

What Ingredients do you need to make Dark Fruit Cake?

What you need to make Dark fruit cake is eggs, butter, sugar, all-purpose flour and semolina, baking powder, cherries, cashews, dates, rum-soaked raisin and rum-soaked orange peel, candied peel, spices, and cocoa powder, vanilla essence, and rum or brandy.

How to make Dark Fruit Cake?

Prep the Ingredients

Keep your dry fruits, cherries, and wet dates ready before you make the batter. Break the cashews into small pieces, cut the cherries into circular slices, and shred or chop the dates into smaller pieces as well. Dust them with flour and set them aside for later.

Place cherries, dates and cashews in a plate.
Cherries, dates and cashews
Chopped dates and cherries and broken cashewnuts in plate.
Chopped dates and cherries and broken cashewnuts

Also keep your rum-soaked raisins and orange peel ready. The ones below have been soaking in rum for about a year and that’s why they give it an awesome flavour.

Soak raisins and orange skins in rum.
Rum soaked raisins and orange skins.

Prepare Cake Batter

Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks. Beat the egg whites separately and beat the yolks separately and keep them aside.

Beat white egg in a bowl.
Beaten egg whites
Beat egg yolk in a bowl.
Beaten egg yolks

Add the butter to a vessel and add in the sugar, then cream this mixture. The butter needs to be at room temperature. Once this is done, add in the beaten egg yolks and whites and mix.

Put sugar and butter in a bowl.
Sugar and butter
Mix the yolks with the butter and sugar.
Mix the yolks with the butter and sugar

After this add in the semolina or sojee and mix lightly. Then add in the cocoa powder and ground spices too. You get a lovely chocolaty batter with an awesome aroma.

Add the sojee to the butter, sugar and egg mixture.
Add the sojee aka semolina
Creamy batter in a bowl.
Creamy batter
Add cocoa powder and spices to the batter.
Add cocoa powder and spices

Now mix the baking powder into the flour and then add it to the batter and mix lightly.

Add the flour to the batter.
Add the flour

Next add in the flour-dusted cashew nuts, cherries, dates, rum-soaked raisins and orange peel, candied peel and mix together into the batter.

Add all the dry fruit to the batter.
Add all the dry fruit

Pour the batter into lined tins and bake in a pre-heated oven at 190 degrees Celsius or 360 degree Fahrenheit for about 55 mins.

Check with a toothpick, to see if it is ready. Poke the center of the cake with a toothpick, if it comes out clean, the cake is ready, if not, keep it in for a little while longer and check again.

Fill the square, rectangular and round tin with batter.
Fill the tins with batter
Fill the batter in the round tin.
Doesn’t it look lush

While still warm remove from the oven and pour some rum or brandy with a teaspoon over the cake and allow it to soak. Wrap it up with cling film and store it till Christmas! Or put it in a closed cloche and keep feeding it alcohol every day.

Freshly baked dark fruit rum cake.
Soak with rum and wrap with cling film to store

Slice the cake and serve for Christmas. Doesn’t it look lovely!

Cut the cake into slices and serve on plate.
Cut into slices and serve

Cooking Tips & Tricks

  • Cut the cherries, break the cashew nuts, shred the dates and keep ready before you start with the batter.
  • Ensure that the butter is at room temperature while making the batter.
  • Mix the baking powder into the flour to get a better rise on the cake.
  • We soak the raisins and orange peel in dark rum for almost a year or a few months. 
  • Cocoa powder adds the dark rich colour to the cake. 

FAQ’s about Dark Fruit Cake

How long can You store Dark Fruit Cake?

Dark Fruit Cake can be stored in a refrigerator in an air-tight container for about 6 months or in the freezer for about a year.

What is the difference between Light and Dark Fruit Cake?

A dark fruit cake is richer and denser than a light fruit cake which does not have spices, rum-soaked raisins or caramel, and cocoa powder and alcohol.

Why do You soak Fruit cake in Alcohol?

Other than adding to the flavor of the cake, the alcohol also acts as a preservative that helps to store the cake longer. We’ve stored rum and fruit cakes in the refrigerator for months.

What is the best alcohol to put in Fruit cake?

Any alcohol with a strong flavor is good. That being said you can put any spirit of your preference like rum, brandy, whisky, or even liqueurs.

What Other East Indian recipes can I make with Semolina/Rawa/Sojee?

Other East Indian recipes you can try are snow balls, chocolate honey balls, bolings, borose cookies, sojee sweet, thalie sweet, carambolas, bol de coc, and many of our cakes.

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Cut the cake into slices and serve on plate.

Dark Fruit Cake for Christmas and Celebrations

Sarah
East Indian dark fruit cake is so rich and dense, you'll go back for seconds and thirds. Serve for Christmas lunch or dinner with some great homemade wine. Or serve for celebratoins and dinner parties!
5 out of 5 Stars by 3 readers!

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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Christmas, Dessert
Cuisine East Indian
Servings 50 Slices
Calories 121 kcal
Cake icon on Abbysplate website.
Desserts icon on Abbysplate website.
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Ingredients
  

  • 300 Butter
  • 250 Sugar
  • 6 Eggs Large
  • 200 Flour
  • 100 Sojee
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • .5 teaspoon Spice Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
  • 100 grams Raisins Rum-soaked
  • 100 grams Orange Peel Rum-soaked
  • 100 grams Cashewnuts
  • 100 grams Cherries
  • 100 grams Tooti Frooti or Candied peel
  • 20 ml Dark Rum or Brandy or Whisky
  • 10 ml Vanilla Essence
  • 10 ml Glycerine Optional

Instructions
 

Prep the dry fruits and fruits

  • Break the cashews into small pieces and cut the cherries into circular slices. You can leave the cashews in halves if you prefer.
  • Shred the dates and dust all of them with flour and set aside for later.
  • Keep the rum-soaked raisins and orange peel within reach as well.

Cake Batter

  • Beat the egg whites to a froth and beat the egg yolks too.
  • Add butter to a vessel and add sugar to it and cream the mixture.
  • Then add in the beaten egg whites and yolks and mix.
  • Add in the semolina and mix.
  • Add the vanilla essence, cocoa powder and spice powder.
  • Mix the flour with the baking powder and then fold gently into the batter.
  • Lastly, add in all the nuts and fruit, candied peel, and rum-soaked raisins and peel.
  • Pour into lined tins and bake in a pre-heated oven for about 1h10mins at 190 degrees Celsius or 360 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Once the timer goes off, check with a toothpick to see if the cake is ready. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is ready. If not, keep it in a while longer.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and while still warm sprinkle with some rum or whisy or brandy.
  • Wrap it with clingfilm so the alcohol does not evaporate. Or put it in a closed cloche and keep feeding it alcohol every day.
  • Open for Christmas, cut slices and serve.

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Notes

  • Soak the raisins and orange peel in dark rum for almost a year. 
  • Mix the baking powder with the maida to get a better rise on the cake. 
  • If you want it less richer, add about 50 grams more sojee or semolina.
  • Prep the other ingredients before starting with the cake batter. 
  • Cocoa Powder adds the dark rich colour to the cake. 
  • If you want something less rich, make this light fruit cake

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Nutrition (Per Serving)

Calories: 121kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 61mg | Potassium: 58mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 190IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Nutrition Information per serving is estimated by a third party software based on the ingredients used, and is for informational purposes only. It will vary from product to product, based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients. Please consult the package labels of the ingredients you use, or chat with your dietician for specific details.

Pinterest image of cutting the dark fruit cake into slices.
Pinterest images of dryfruits and nuts on a plate and baked rich dark fruit cake.

4 thoughts on “East Indian Dark Fruit Cake (Christmas Cake)”

  1. Hi, I would like to try this recipe. I noticed that the quantity for semolina (soojie) is missing in the ingredients section. Could you pls help?

    Reply

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