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Friday, June 25, 2021

Of memories and friends, this Christmas Plum Cake recipe is more than just flavours

This special recipe was perfected with memories from Anitha Nayak's childhood.

Written by Anitha Nayak | Bengaluru |
December 23, 2015 1:47:05 pm
plum cake-Anitha_759_kelipandotcom I had loads of friends whose mums made this cake for Christmas. It’s very flavourful and while it’s baking away, the whole house would be engulfed in the aroma of spices used in it. (Source:

As a kid, when the Christmas season used to set in with the start of Christmas Holidays, all I used to do was wait for the plum cake made with rum, the yummy Rose cookies and kalkal (Kidio/Kidios). If you did not get enough of them, you could buy these goodies from the famous Vas Bakery in Mangalore, which was on the same street as my school’s.

I had loads of friends whose mums made this cake for Christmas. It’s very flavourful and while it’s baking away, the whole house would be engulfed in the aroma of spices used in it and the dark rum used to soak the candied fruit. The rum adds a juicy kick to the cake.

When we were in Glasgow, my husband received a bottle of Old Monk from a friend in India. I kept looking at the bottle and I thought, this famous dark run from India has to be put to good use.

You can chop the candied fruits, and orange peel into smaller pieces and then soak them in the rum if you wish to. I did not. I just soaked them the way they are available, straight from the packet, for about 8-10 hours.

There are some who add walnuts to this cake as well. But I have not, since I prefer this cake without them.

I cannot purely take credit for this cake. I read the recipe on another food blog called Love Food Eat, though I have tweaked it a lot to suit the flavours that I grew up on. So I made sure I got what I wanted in the cake :)

Christmas Plum Cake
Serves: 8-10

Candied fruits and citrus peel – 1/2 cup, soaked for at least 2 hrs in the rum (I soaked it for about 8-10 hrs)
Dark rum – 1 cup (about 240ml)
Sugar – 3/4 cup
Cooking Oil – 1/4 cup
All-purpose flour – 2 cups
Salt – 1/4 tsp
Eggs – 3, beaten well
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Baking soda – 1 tsp
Cinnamon – 1/2 tsp
Vanilla flavouring – 1/2 tsp
Ginger powder – 1/4 tsp
Clove powder – 1/4 tsp
Nutmeg powder – 1/4 tsp

* In a big mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and all the dry spice powders.
* Pre-heat the oven at 160 degree celsius. Grease a cake tin with some oil. Even if the cake tin you are using is non-stick. I used a springform cake tin as its easier to take the cake out once it is baked.
* Mix sugar, beaten eggs and oil to the soaked fruits along with the rum that was added to soak the fruits. Mix well. Slowly pour this mixture into the flour and spice mix, fold it all together till well-incorporated, and pour the batter into the greased cake tin.
* Bake this in the pre-heated oven for about 40 minutes. The top of the cake should turn a shade of golden brown. Check if a toothpick, when inserted in the middle, comes out clean. That means the cake is baked. Else, bake for another 4-5 minutes.
* After the cake is baked, take it out and let it cool down completely. It should be about 20-30 minutes, before you cut it.
* Cut up slices and enjoy with some red wine and other Christmas goodies.

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