Christmas Cake Recipe (also includes an eggless cake recipe)

What's Christmas without Fruit Cake! (which is how Christmas Cake is also known) When I was a kid, my mom would buy the most delicious Plum Cakes from a cake-seller who would come to their bank quite regularly. These fruit cakes are no replacement for those childhood memories of rich-dark cake, but do come close nevertheless.

I have been making Christmas Cake since the last five years, but not putting down the recipes in one place always led me into a mad scramble for the recipe that worked for me. So, I'm adding these fruit cake recipes, as much for my reference as it is to share with you, something simple, without a laundry list of ingredients. The perfect recipe for me would be low on butter or oil and also an eggless recipe that tastes as good as the eggy one, if not better, so that the friends who don't eat eggs, don't have to miss out on cake. 

The eggless version, I got inspiration from Anushruti's Divine Taste. The idea of using smoothly mashed potatoes in place of eggs was a first for me. And since it worked beautifully for her, I had no doubt that it would for me too. I am glad to report that my eggless version is yummier and softer that the one with eggs.

The recipe with eggs is adapted from Raaga's blog. I used the same recipe last year too, with much success.

Both recipes have a common starting point which is soaking the fruit a few days ago and then making the caramel a few hours before starting the final cake making.
Although, fruitcake covered with white frosting is popular, i have never been a fan of any kind of icing or frosting, whose only purpose is to send us on a sugar overload. So here are the two recipes that I have used this year with much success.


Prepare in advance
3 cups of mixed dried fruits, citrus peels (raisins, apricot, fig, currants, tutti fruitti, glaced cherries soaked in 1 cup rum with 1 tsp cinnamon powder - for one week-1 month

[Chop the apricot, cherries and fig into small pieces before soaking] I use half this fruit (two cups) per recipe - so 4 cakes for this quantity of fruit.
One batch caramel - reqd per recipe that makes two 8” cakes.

Making caramel

Place ½ cup sugar in heavy bottomed pan. Keep ¾ cup water to boil on the side. On a low heat, let this melt. When it is melting, stir it until it is dark brown in colour. Once sugar has reached this stage, carefully add the boiling water little by little stirring well, until you get a smooth caramel syrup. You can make this ahead as it needs to be completely cool before using in recipe.





Easy Christmas Cake Recipe 
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1-2 tsp instant coffee powder

1 cup oil
1 cup fine sugar
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp ginger powder
2 tsp vanilla essence or 1 tsp mixed fruit essence
3 eggs
¼ cup mixed nuts and seeds (chopped)
3 tbsp Cointreau or Limoncello (optional)
2 cups of soaked fruit

Directions
Grease two 8” round tins and line with parchment paper. You can also bake in multiple foil tins for gifting away smaller cakes. Baking time will be less in case you are using smaller foil tins.
Preheat oven at 175 C.
In a large bowl, beat together oil, sugar, cinnamon and ginger powder, vanilla essence and 3 eggs.
Add the cooled caramel. Whisk well.
In a large dish, sieve the flour, soda, baking powder and instant coffee powder.
To the wet ingredients, add the dry ingredients in batches, folding well to incorporate.
Once nearly done, add 2 cups or half the soaked fruit, nuts and the liquor. Mix well and pour equally into the two greased tins.
Bake for 30 minutes at 175 C and another 15-25 minutes at 150 C covered by foil.
Test the center of the cake if it is done. Cool for 15 minutes in pan. Remove along with paper onto a cooling rack.
Poke holes with a skewer or toothpick and pour two tablespoons of rum or any other liquor. Once cooled, cover with parchment paper and keep in a tin. Repeat the rum-soak every other day for a week or so (optional)



 Eggless Christmas Cake Recipe (Low fat Christmas cake recipe) 





Ingredients
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1-2 tsp instant coffee powder

1 cup finely mashed potatoes (pressure cook 3 medium potatoes. Remove skin when cool and mash with fork, removing any lumps) Bring to room temperature.
1 cup yogurt plus keep ½ cup yogurt if batter too thick
½ cup oil
1 cup fine sugar
Caramel made using ½ cup sugar and ¾ cup water
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp ginger powder
2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 tsp mixed fruit essence
3 tbsp Cointreau or Limoncello (optional)

Directions

  1. Grease two 8” round tins and line with parchment paper. You can also use multiple foil tins for gifting away smaller cakes. Baking time will be less in case you are using smaller foil tins.
  2. Preheat oven at 175 C.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk well the oil, yogurt, mashed potato, sugar, caramel, spices and vanilla.
  4. In a large dish, sieve the flour, soda, baking powder and instant coffee powder.
  5. To the wet ingredients, add the dry ingredients in batches, folding well to incorporate.
  6. Once nearly done, add 2 cups or half the soaked fruit, nuts and the liquor. Mix well and pour equally into the two greased tins.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes at 175 C and another 15-25 minutes at 150 C covered by foil.
  8. Test the center of the cake if it is done. Cool for 15 minutes in pan. Remove along with paper onto a cooling rack.
  9. Poke holes with a skewer or toothpick and pour two tablespoons of rum or any other liquor. Once cooled, cover well with parchment paper and keep in a tin. Repeat the rum-soak every other day for a week or so (optional)
Tip
For both versions, let the cake sit overnight before slicing or it may be very crumbly.

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