The eggless christmas plum cake is a rich fruit cake with caramel . It is soft, moist, aromatic and super delicious. A Christmas fruit cake usually calls for soaking of dry fruits in rum for days, months and even years. But this recipe is egg and butter free, calls for use of whole wheat flour, has no alcohol and does not require any prior soaking of Dry fruits. What else can we expect from a recipe?
Preparation Time: 3 hours
Baking time: 50 minutes
Servings : 8
•1 cup whole wheat flour
•1 ½ cup Dry fruits (I have used Walnut , Apricot, Golden Raisins, currants , semi dried Plums, Cashew Nuts, dried Figs , Dates, Tutti frutti , glazed cherries)
•½ cup brown sugar
•¼ cup oil
•¼ cup milk
•2 tablespoon sugar ( regular white sugar)
•1 teaspoon spice mix (grind 2 Cloves, a small piece of Cinnamon stick, small piece of Nutmeg and dry Ginger to make the spice mix)
•½ teaspoon baking powder
•½ teaspoon baking soda
•1 teaspoon Orange Zest
•½ teaspoon Lime zest
•1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
•1 teaspoon lemon juice
1.Chop all the dry fruits and nuts and keep aside.
2.For the caramel sauce, in a non-stick pan heat brown sugar on a low flame without adding any water.
3.Keep stirring as the sugar melts and gets dark in color.
4.Put off the flame when a smooth glazy syrup is formed. Pour ½ cup water to the caramel syrup. The caramel will harden.
5.Now put on the gas and allow the mixture to boil again until the caramel dissolves in the water. Keep stirring until it gives a dark brown color caramel sauce.
6.Add the chopped nuts to this sauce and cook for 1-2 minutes. Put off the flame and allow the dry fruits to soak in the caramel sauce for 2-3 hours.
7.Sift the flour with spice mix, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl.Preheat the oven at 180 degree Celsius for 10-12 minutes. Grease the cake pan and line it with parchment paper at the base.
8.In another bowl take milk, sugar and oil. Mix well.
9.Fold in the dry ingredients with the wet ones with a spatula. Add the dry fruits along with caramel sauce, vanilla extract, lemon and orange zest.
10.Mix everything very well. At first the batter will be thick and difficult to spoon. Keep mixing gently until the batter is without any lumps.
11.Spoon the batter in the greased cake pan. Tap the pan twice to remove the trapped air.
12.Bake the cake in a preheated oven at 180 degree Celsius for 30-35 minutes or until a tester toothpick comes out clean.
13.Allow the cake to cool down completely. Run a knife through the edges of the cake pan. Now keep a plate above the cake pan and invert the pan to flip the cake on the plate. Remove the parchment paper gently.
14.Slice the cake and enjoy it as it is or sprinkle some powdered sugar over it.
•If you do not have brown sugar, add regular white sugar. Brown sugar adds to the color.
•Do not skip the orange and lemon zest as it give nice fragrant aroma and taste to the cake.
•Wait for at least 2-3 hours and preferably 5 hours before you slice the cake as the flavors deepen as the cake cools.
Author – Poonam Bachhav
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