Fruit and nut cake- Christmas came early!

by Sunita on November 9, 2009

Yes, I know, I know, many of you will probably not want to hear the “C” word yet. So, sorry, if I’ve reminded you that you’ve got a hundred and one things that need to be done before it arrives; getting gifts, planning trips!

I love festivities, I feel it brings a spark back to our lives.And please do not get me wrong. By festivities, I do not mean the commercialisation that seems to go along with them, nowadays. For me, it is more the heart warming feelings, the banter with your near and dear ones, and, of course, the special foods that are prepared on such occasions.

Now, if you go by most of my baking recipes, you will notice that I have a very soft corner for fruits and nuts. Every other cake or cookie recipe has them in some form or the other. I was in town the other day and seeing the brightly decorated streets and shops inspired me to bake this fruit and nut cake. Now, Dinesh is not a fan of fruitcakes. “Too rich”, he says! But I so desperately wanted to make one! So, when he asked what I was up to, creating an uproar with my electric whisk  with about an hour to go before midnight, ‘a cake’ was the just what he got as a reply. Fruit cake , on the whole, gets so much of bad press, time to set things right and make my very own!!

And into the night, I baked the cake, taking in the wonderful aromas that emanated from the kitchen. I left the cake to cool completely overnight (not that there was too much of a night left  at this stage, but you get the drift!) I decorated it in the morning and served as a mid morning snack.

Fruitcake (or fruit cake) is a cake made with chopped candied fruit and/or dried fruit, nuts and spices, and (optionally) soaked in spirits. In the UK, certain rich versions may be iced and decorated. Fruitcakes are often served in celebration of weddings and Christmas.

This was all I needed to get me started on my cake and before I begin, I must mention that this is my very own take on the classic fruitcake. Ideally, the  dried fruits are soaked in  fruit juice or alcohol, sometimes for months at a time, to get that flavour. The cake is also left to mature its flavours, for days. But I did not want to wait that long. Instead, I cooked the fruits in rum and fruit juice and they were soft and juicy. The cake was spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. And we had it the very next day :-)

Here’s how I  made it-

What’s needed-

2 C of dried fruits (I used raisins, sultanas, cranberries)
1/2 C of  fruit  juice (I used red grape juice)) mixed with 5-6 spilling tblsps of rum ( you can use just rum, if you like)
zest of 1 orange
5 eggs ( medium sized)
1 and 1/2 C dark muscovado sugar
2 tblsp + 1/4 C of rum
1 and 1/2 c of vegetable/sunflower oil
2 and 1/4 C whole wheat flour (atta)
1/2 C ground almonds
1/4 C roughly chopped hazelnuts
2 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp nutmeg

To decorate-

fruits and nuts of choice
a little melted chocolate to fix the fruits and nuts on to the cake.
a few tblsp of icing sugar mixed with some warm milk( thick, but pouring consistency) to drizzle over the cake.

How to-

  1. In a small saucepan, soak the dried fruits in the juice and rum mixture for about 20 minutes. Place the pan over very low heat, and stirring gently, cook the fruits till they soften and the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat, mix in the orange zest and keep aside to cool completely.
  2. Pre heat the oven at 140 deg C and grease an 8 and 1/2 inch spring form pan.
  3. Beat the eggs till fluffy. Add the sugar and beat till they are well incorporated. Beat in the oil and 2tblsp of rum.
  4. In another bowl, mix together the flour, ground almonds, chopped hazelnuts, baking powder, soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, in 3-4 batches and fold in.
  6. Fold in the fruit mixture.
  7. Spoon the thick batter into the prepared tin and bake for about 15-20 mins or till the top is nicely browned. Place a piece of foil over the pan and bake for another 55mins – 1 hr or till a skewer inserted through the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  8. Cool the cake in the pan for about 10minutes. remove from the pan and place it upside down on a rack. Drizzle the 1/4 C of rum over the cake and also brush some of it on the sides. Cool completely. ( I left it overnight)
  9. An hour before serving, decorate the top. Stick on the fruits and nuts with some melted chocolate and drizzle with icing.


  • Feel free to substitute the given nuts and fruits with others of your choice.
  • You can substitute the rum with any fruit juice of your choice.
  • Ideally, a fruit cake should be kept for a month, or even months to develop the flavours. We were impatient and had to give it a try. Moreover, we do not celebrate Christmas, so did not have to worry about keeping it till that time ( my excuse). But yes, I must agree that the flavours get better with each passing day. Today is just the third day after I made my fruit and nut cake, and I can already feel the difference in the taste. This is called “ripening“.  After the cake has cooled completely, wrap in liquor-dampened cheesecloth, and store in airtight containers in a cool, dark place. The fridge is fine, but don’t transfer cakes to the freezer until the flavors have ripened and mellowed.
  • To store  fruit cakes for a long period of time, wrap the cake in brandy or wine soaked towels, and then wrap in either plastic wrap or aluminium foil.  Non liquor soaked cakes may be kept in a cool place or in refrigerator for short term storage or a freezer for long storage. Be sure to ripen fruit cake a few weeks before freezing.
  • If you are decorating the cake, then do so a little before serving.
  • The only thing I might do a little differently next time is to reduce the oil as there was enough oil from the nuts in the batter as well.

There you go!  Another fruit cake recipe to give a try. Did we love it? Without a doubt! The cake was all it should be, rich, but not too much; sweet, but not overtly. And yes, it was fruity alright. I’m sure to try this cake again, as we really loved it. I wouldn’t bother icing the cake the next time. It tasted great as it was. This time, I just got a bit carried away; can’t blame me though! The cake was a bit crumbly, but, mind you,  these are great tasting crumbs indeed!

A slice will go very well with a cup of tea/coffee.

And did I mention that we have a convert in our house; ever since he had a slice of the cake,  Dinesh has been hovering over the cake container all too frequently. And this was the man who didn’t like any fruits in his cake!!

What about you? Are you a fruitcake person?

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{ 92 comments… read them below or add one }

1 deeba November 9, 2009 at 2:25 pm

Love it LOTS! Another great fruit cake recipe…lovely!!


2 Sunita November 11, 2009 at 11:40 pm

Thanks deeba :-)


3 Elle November 9, 2009 at 2:47 pm

Oh my gosh, this is a gorgeous cake! I’ll have to remember this for the holidays. As much as I love fruitcake, it can be heavy, like you said. This seems like a wonderful replacement!


4 Sunita November 11, 2009 at 11:40 pm

Thanks elle, do give it a try, hope you’ll like it :-)


5 Rosa November 9, 2009 at 2:50 pm

A deloightful cake! Irresistibly fruity!




6 Sunita November 11, 2009 at 11:41 pm

Oh yes, it’s fruity alright :-)


7 SGD November 9, 2009 at 3:20 pm

Ooooo!! The cake looks delicious!
I, too, am not a fruit cake person! But your pics tell me the cake is droolworthy!


8 Sunita November 11, 2009 at 11:42 pm

Thanks SGD, perhaps i can tempt you to bake one :-)


9 Sarah, Maison Cupcake November 9, 2009 at 3:42 pm

I am definitely a fruitcake person. I never understand people who say they don’t like fruited Christmas or wedding cakes. Even so, they can be a bit dark and heavy and I really like the look of yours because it’s not swamped with fruit and retains a good proportion of crumb too!


10 Sunita November 11, 2009 at 11:42 pm

Thank you Sarah. We absolutely loved this fruitcake :-)


11 Soma November 9, 2009 at 3:50 pm

Yes, Yes Yes I am a fruit cake person, my favorite of all favorites. I cannot understand why some have a thing about the fruit cake. I could eat this all day everyday, and i am not even much of a dessert person. I made it last year, and dare not make it again for i will eat it all for sure ;-) always reminds me of home.. Calcutta.. Flurry’s Fruitcake we would get during the christmas time.


12 Sunita November 11, 2009 at 11:44 pm

You know what, I’ve been gorging on this cake so much, not sure if I should make it again :-)


13 Bethany November 9, 2009 at 4:06 pm

Sunita that cakes looks absolutely beautiful!!!!! Stunning! Irresistable as rosa said! I shall make this for sure!


14 Sunita November 11, 2009 at 11:45 pm

Thanks Beth. Do give it a try :-)


15 Happy Cook November 9, 2009 at 4:47 pm

Hi hi baking by midnight, if i do that my hubb will say i have surley gone nuts ;-)
Love the cake, i like fruit cake, but like dinesh my hubby also don’t like them, he think they are too heavy also.
Still i would love to make this too.
1140°c that is really low heat.


16 Sunita November 11, 2009 at 11:49 pm

Mine already thinks so :-) Yes, you need to bake the cake slowly in low heat, if it i too high, the sweetness of the dried fruiyts will scorch and turn bitter :-)


17 Asha@FSK November 9, 2009 at 5:15 pm

Lovely! I always liked the fruit cakes that you get around Christmas in bakeries in India :) ) agree, somehow adding fruits and nuts justs adds an incredible depth of flavor – so fulfilling :)


18 Sunita November 11, 2009 at 11:51 pm

Thanks asha, yes, fruits and nuts do add to the taste :-)


19 Nora November 9, 2009 at 5:54 pm

Wow, that might well be the fruit cake recipe I’ve been looking for! I love fruit cake and I developed a nostalgic yearning for one, but couldn’t find the right recipe. But now all my troubles are over, as that one looks just delicious. I love the white icing, too, actually – really gorgeous.


20 Sunita November 11, 2009 at 11:51 pm

Thank you Nora. Hope you make it and enjoy it as much as we did :-)


21 Maninas November 9, 2009 at 6:06 pm

oh wow! this looks fantastic!

i made a date & walnut cake yesterday – craving for the warmth of the dried fruit and earthy walnuts


22 Sunita November 11, 2009 at 11:52 pm

thanks ; and btw, date and walnut sounds heavenly :-)


23 sanjeeta kk November 9, 2009 at 6:12 pm

Great clicks, Mouth-waterig ! Can feel the festivity in the air.


24 Sunita November 11, 2009 at 11:53 pm

Thanks :-)


25 Sayantani November 9, 2009 at 6:55 pm

What a gorgeous cake Sunita. I also have soaked some dried fruits in rum last night. will make the cake during christmas. love this idea of decoration. easy yet elegant.


26 Sunita November 11, 2009 at 11:53 pm

Thank you, will look forward to youe version :-)


27 snooky doodle November 9, 2009 at 7:27 pm

WOW I say wow this cake looks awesome delicious, festive etc. I love fruit cakes and this one will surely be my Christmas cake this year :)


28 Sunita November 11, 2009 at 11:54 pm

Aww, thank you, do make it :-)


29 Ramya Kiran November 9, 2009 at 7:42 pm

looks divine!


30 Sunita November 11, 2009 at 11:54 pm

Thankjs Ramya :-)


31 Malar Gandhi November 9, 2009 at 10:06 pm

Its helpful that you posted already…much b’4 x-mas…one cud keep trying, right.

Wow, the pictures are too good, makes me crave for it, I don’t know whether I could make it…guess I need to go shopping now.


32 Sunita November 11, 2009 at 11:55 pm

Go shopping malar, and do make this cake :-)


33 Ben November 9, 2009 at 11:03 pm

When read the title I was going to write a comment to complain! LOL But how can I complain about such a great looking cake? With food like this you want the holidays to come early and never leave :)


34 Sunita November 11, 2009 at 11:55 pm

Yes, the food is definitely a great attraction during festivities :-)


35 Sonia November 9, 2009 at 11:39 pm

I haven’t tried it at home yet. Long time before, I also read a beautiful post at Mishmash’s blog. Since then, I decided to try it at home some day.
Here, your notes are very noteworthy. Cake looks so fabulous Sunita! :) Thanks for sharing.


36 Sunita November 11, 2009 at 11:56 pm

You’re welcome Sonia :-)


37 Hélène November 10, 2009 at 1:03 am

I love the C world. Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I’m the only one that eat fruit cakes. I’ll have to make a small one for myself. Looks so delicious.


38 Sunita November 11, 2009 at 11:57 pm

I love festivities too. And yes, go on and make one for yourself helene :-)


39 Nirmala November 10, 2009 at 5:26 am

Me too not fancying fruit cakes. But I can’t stop drooling at the pics. I should first hunt for some alchohol. Or shall I make it in grape juice fully ?


40 Sunita November 11, 2009 at 11:58 pm

Nirmala, you can make it in just the fruit juice if you wish :-)


41 Jayashree November 10, 2009 at 6:26 am

This cake looks truly divine !!
I’m your fan BIG TIME , bookmarked almost all your posts . I’ve tried only one so far , which I’ve posted on my site & I don’t need to mention that it was a huge hit.
I love your lucid style & thoroughly enjoy your posts. Congratulations for your good work !


42 Sunita November 11, 2009 at 11:59 pm

Thanks for your kind words Jayasree, glad you like my work :-)


43 Sharmila November 10, 2009 at 6:34 am

Much thanks for this recipe Sunita! That shortcut method od cooking the fruits instead of soaking them for a long time is indeed a big help … I have always been scared of the soaking thing. Am definitely making this with your given measurements.
Love every snap of this wonderful cake! :-)


44 Sunita November 11, 2009 at 11:59 pm

Thanks Sharmila, do give it a try :-)


45 Meeta November 10, 2009 at 7:25 am

fruit cakes are just my kind of thing in the winter. so i am really liking this. looks great!


46 Sunita November 12, 2009 at 12:00 am

Thanks Meeta :-)


47 Colloquial Cook November 10, 2009 at 9:48 am

**Am I a fruit cake person**? Errr YES I think so :-D Bring it on!


48 Sunita November 12, 2009 at 12:00 am

Claire, join the club :-)


49 Gautam November 10, 2009 at 11:49 am

I just tasted it .. one word ‘divine’ !

Good that Dinesh and I work closely !


50 Sunita November 12, 2009 at 12:01 am

Glad you liked it Gautam :-)


51 Sudeshna November 10, 2009 at 4:56 pm

Christmas reminds me of the semester exam going to be held just before the festive week :( . Nevertheless, even I brought back a full pound of rich fruit cake from the nearby cake shoppe.
Your cake looks so yummy, mind giving me a bite :) .


52 Sunita November 12, 2009 at 12:01 am

Food can evoke so many memories!


53 linda November 10, 2009 at 7:04 pm

this looks delicious! I can’t wait to make … it gives new meaning to the idea of fruit cake.


54 Sunita November 12, 2009 at 12:02 am

Thanks Linda, do give it a try :-)


55 Priya November 10, 2009 at 10:13 pm

Your comment at the end about your husband being a convert made me laugh!! I am convinced enough to try this now. Have only had the traditional “fruitcake” once before from a commercial source and was not a fan – have avoided it since. But I am going to give this one a try this holiday season ;-) Thanks!


56 Sunita November 12, 2009 at 12:03 am

You’re welcome Priya, do give it a try :-)


57 Y November 11, 2009 at 11:53 am

What mouth watering photos! Would you believe I’ve already od-ed on Christmas cake even before December? It’s just as well, I guess, as it’s way too warm during Christmas to be doing much baking.


58 Sunita November 12, 2009 at 12:04 am

Y, I think tere’s no special time needed to enjoy something you really like . So, well done; you’re one clever girl.


59 Veggie Belly November 11, 2009 at 3:59 pm

looks mouth watering, i want some now!!


60 Sunita November 12, 2009 at 12:05 am

Thank you; wish i could hand you some ; but then it’s all gone ;-)


61 nora@ffr November 11, 2009 at 7:36 pm

wow!! this is sooo fruityyy!! m loving it!! yummmmmmmm!!1


62 Sunita November 12, 2009 at 12:05 am

Thank Nora; we loved it too :-)


63 diva November 12, 2009 at 11:18 pm

sunita, beautiful. thanks for my virtual slice the other day. it’s so much better when i think of that virtual slice whilst looking at these pics. :D yum yum yum xx


64 Sunita December 8, 2009 at 10:10 am

Thanks hon, glad you like the slice, although virtual ;-)


65 Nidhi November 19, 2009 at 8:03 am

I tried this cake last night but all the raisins & sultanas sunk to the bottom of the cake. I notice that yours didn’t – did you chop them up onto fine bits ? How did you manage to keep them afloat in the cake ?


66 Sunita November 19, 2009 at 9:44 am

Was your batter quite thick when you spooned it in? It should be, if you mixed it well enough. And did you , by any chance tap the pan against the counter after filing with the batter? Because, if you did, the fruits and nuts will all sink to the bottom. I did chop the nuts ( as mentioned), but not the fruits. I added the nuts to the dry flour mixture and folded in the cooked fruits into the thick cake batter. Apart from this, I cannot think of any reason as why your fruits sank. Usually, if the batter is thinner, I mix the fruits in the dry flour mixture first, and this prevents them from sinking. But as the batter for this cake was quite thick, there was no need to do so. Hope this helps and answers your querry :-)


67 Sky November 27, 2009 at 2:51 am

Hi Sunita, your fruitcake looks amazing! I’m thinking to make it and I have a question for you. What type of rum you used? dark rum? ( I have white rum that you use for making mojito….can I use it? ) Thanks!


68 Sunita December 8, 2009 at 10:05 am

Hi Sky, I used dark rum; I don’t think it would affect the taste that much if you used the lighter version.


69 Uthra November 27, 2009 at 6:18 am

Hi Sunita,
I am regular reader of your blog and love the simple , easy and well composed recipes. I have tried few of your recipes that have come out very well. Want to challenge myself and try this fruit cake but i am new to using eggs. Could you tell me more about how to beat the eggs fluffy and also if the final cake would have any hint of egg smell in it.

Many Thanks


70 Sunita December 8, 2009 at 10:08 am

Hi Uthra, I usually bear my eggs with an electric beater. As you continue to beat the eggs, you will find that they willl rise in volume and will be light and fluffy. We didn’t think it had an eggy smell; but then we are used to having them all the time.


71 Anu December 3, 2009 at 10:57 am


I just tried this cake.. i have not yet cut it..
just a few queries.. can this be tried with All purpose flour with the same measurments as whole wheat flour.
Is it necessary to cover it with foil
mine took almost 2 hrs to it because of the foil???

thanks a lot for a good easy recipe


72 Sunita December 3, 2009 at 11:57 am

Hi anu, glad you tried the cake. Yes, you can try the cake with all purpose flour,just reduce the liquid a little bit. The cake has quite a lot of fruits in it, and that is why it is baked at a lower temerature, which means that it takes longer to bake. This cake also tends to brown the top quickly, and that is why it needs to be covered, once the top has coloured nicely. Hope this helps; do let me know how it came out after you cut into it :-)


73 Anu December 8, 2009 at 8:56 am

Thanks a ton !! for such a lovely recipe… the cake just vanished.. the cake really had a very nice rich flavour..everybody at my home just loved it ..and loved the idea of wheat flour and oil .. ..a very healthy cake:)
Thanks once again.. i am going to bake this cake again this week.



74 Sunita December 8, 2009 at 10:12 am

anu, I am so glad that you and your family loved the cake. And yes, do make it again :-)


75 Sharmila December 23, 2009 at 1:06 pm

I came back to say thanks for this recipe Sunita!
I just made it and plan to keep it till Christmas day as you have said … hopefully it will ripen well till then. I made a few cupcakes out of the same batter …. and everybody just went nuts devouring them. The only difference my cake has is I had no nutmeg and used plain sugar and maida.
Will make it again … with atta too. :-)
Merry Christmas and a very happy and wonderful New Year to you and your family!


76 Pragyan February 1, 2010 at 4:51 pm

This may sound like a stupid question – Will Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum also do in this recipe?


77 Namita February 9, 2010 at 6:26 am

Hey Sunita…..
Can you describe a little how to do this:
Place a piece of foil over the pan and bake for another 55mins –

Should i remove the cake from microwave and then cover it with aluminium foil? fully or partially?
Sorry if i sound naive….but i really want to make it as it looks :p


78 Sunita February 10, 2010 at 1:06 am

Namita, the foil should be just placed over the top like a lid so that the top of the cake does not brown too much or burn. Fruit cakes tend to brown too much too quickly. I just took the pan out of the oven and quickly placed it on top, should cover the entire top. And don’t worry, there is never a wrong question, it’s better to get one’s doubts cleared :-)


79 False Nails ` October 11, 2010 at 5:56 pm

fruit cakes with lots of raisins is the thing that i often much, they are great and yummy*,:


80 bharathi March 23, 2011 at 2:57 pm

I tried this cake yesterday with fruits soaked in orange juice instead of rum and it turned out awesome. Thanks!!
One question though….can I leave the cake out for ripening or do I need to refrigerate it….


81 Sunita March 25, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Glad you liked the cake; I think refrigerating the cake will be a better option. Also, with the orange juice, I am not sure it will keep for very long, so do use it up soon.


82 Tia November 22, 2011 at 8:36 am

Dear Sunita,

I have got to tell you, that this particular cake is what got me into your website… and this note has been overdue for more than two years.

It was a hit the first time I baked it, and believe me – it trumped my childhood “Flury’s on Christmas” (Calcutta) memories by light years, which is quite a feat!

My family absolutely loves it, and this is a personal favourite of my Boudi, who asks me to bake it for her every year on her birthday – and this year my (or should I say your) cake will undergo Trans-Atlantic ripening via Air India ;)

But the most cherished experience was an idea I got when I was looking for my dear old Mishti Polau’s recipe (which my boyfriend loved). The video, in which you let your children bake cookies on their own, and they did such a fine job with very little guidance and a lot of patience, gave me the idea of getting my Mum involved. She has been disabled for some time now, and this was the first time I wasn’t so darn overprotective of her helping out in the kitchen. We baked, we ate, we shared stories and laughed, and even took some videos of our own – and it wasn’t me cooking and my Mum directing, it was a shared experience and we were so proud of our beautiful cake!

So, in many words, and in two – I just wanted to say “thank you.” A piece of your world has given me quite a treat! :)

Wish you the best, and keep sharing…


83 Galaxy Arora November 24, 2011 at 10:03 am

Hey hi…Hv just prepared Fruit and Nut Cake…. It luks as well as tastes awesome …. Thanks aton fr sharing th recipe with us :)
Love to seeing more tasty recipes from your end…Tc …Keep Blogging :)


84 parul January 29, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Your recipe is really nice …I just made it last night.. and it looks amazing ! will be trying it tomorrow …


85 Sunita January 31, 2012 at 7:51 pm

Thanks Parul; hope you like the taste too; we definitely did.


86 Tahirih April 28, 2012 at 4:24 am

Thank you Sunita for this wonderful recipe. I tried it out with my kids and we just couldn’t stop eating….would love to try out more recipes!!!!!


87 Sunita May 3, 2012 at 10:23 am

You are most welcome; glad you liked the cake.


88 Vera Zecevic – Cupcakes Garden November 1, 2012 at 3:09 pm

This is amazing, so yuumy!


89 Jafrina December 11, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Like Dinesh da I never enjoyed fruit cakes bought from the shops, but your one look so sumptuous, I have to give it a try and who knows I might be a convert myself…:-)


90 Sunita December 13, 2012 at 1:04 am

Thanks Jafrina; do give it a try, and I hope I can convert you too :-)


91 Saketh December 31, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Tried this just now..and woww it was a biggie surprise to me..It came out very well!!
I really loved your recipe..thnx a ton!!
2013 tickled me with ur cake :-)
Happy New year to you and all your family members :-)


92 Sunita January 2, 2013 at 9:36 pm

Glad the cake came out well.

Thank you for your wishes, the same to you too.


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