With Christmas, just around the corner, it’s time to bake the season’s special fruit cake/plum cake also known as Christmas cake. You can bake Plum cake any time of the year , but historically , this was baked during Christmas hence it is also known as Christmas Cake. Plum Cake was baked with raisins and currants which used to be referred as “plums” in 1600s. Plum cakes were prepared with either dried fruit (such as currants, raisins, or prunes) or with fresh fruit and used Rum and eggs, here I have substituted Rum with fruit juice and bake non alcoholic and eggless version of the cake

Each country has it’s own version of plum cake and name. This is one cake which has a long history and the beauty of the cake was that it could be stored for months and years ( as per history books). Kerala is also known as the “spice garden” of India. Portugal’s entered Kerala in 1497, followed by entry of other European nations, this is how Christmas cake tradition got established and is still known as Kerala Plum cake.

Eggless Kerala Plum Cake

Kerala plum cake has rum and eggs, since I bake this cake for my son every year, I prefer the non alcoholic version , so I have used Orange juice. For the eggless version , either yogurt, apple puree or vinegar – baking soda combination is the best substitute for eggs. I preferred using vinegar for baking this cake and the end result was awesome. It’s quite delectable in taste. I adjusted the quantity of sugar as per my taste as I love the subtle flavor of spices and just right sweetness in a cake. If you like it really sweet, then you can slightly increase the sugar quantity

The darker the color of the caramel, intense would be the color of the cake, so yes, do not worry if your caramel syrup had that dark chocolate, rich intense color, it will bring in that beautiful rich color to the cake. I am not a big fan of store brought cakes as it has too high presence of sugar, raisins and chopped dates, when you make this cake at home, you have the liberty to tweak the amount and type of dry fruits to be used in the cake. Do not worry about the lengthy process or time, believe me, this is easier to bake if you follow steps correctly and tastes superior to any store brought Christmas cakes

Eggless Kerala Plum Cake

Do watch the video for better clarity in preparation and share your experience once you prepare the cake


*Any combination of dry fruits and nuts can be used. But do not skip raisins, cherries and prunes, rest of the dry fruits can be adjusted as per the availability

*All the ingredients must be at room temp before preparing the cake batter. Instead of fruit juice, Rum can be used for alcoholic version. Soak them for 3 days and use, the longer you soak in rum , better the taste. If soaking in Rum, then refrigerate for 30-45 days and give it a stir after every 6-7 days.

**Instead of preparing caramel syrup, mix 1/2 cup Brown sugar with 1 cup hot water and use as alternative

**If readymade spice powders are not available , then dry roast spices and grind to fine powder with 1 teaspoon sugar (for easy grinding)

***Oil gives spongy, moist texture to the cake while butter gives richer taste. Instead of oil, butter can be used. Use 55g soft butter instead of oil as replacement

***Soaking time can be reduced but soaking for 24-36 hours adds in rich taste. if you are in a hurry, then soak the dry fruits for 6-7 hours at room temperature. Similarly slicing the cake next day allows in flavors to set in completely

Christmas Cake

Preparation time: 15 mins Baking time: 65 mins Total time: 80 mins

Servings: 8-10


1 cup = 240 ml

For soaking

  • 3 -4 tbsp Cashews , chopped
  • 2 tbsp Pistachios, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Almonds, chopped
  • 3 tbsp Golden Raisins
  • 2 tbsp Black Currants
  • 3 tbsp Prunes
  • 4 tbsp Cherries, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Figs, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Walnuts, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Apricots, chopped – optional
  • 1 Cup Orange Juice/Apple Juice (Rum for alcoholic version)

For Wet Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1/3 Cup Oil
  • 1.5 tbsp White Vinegar / Lemon Juice/ Apple Cider Vinegar

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 Cups + 2 tbsp Maida / All purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ginger Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon Powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon Cloves Powder
  • 2 tbsp candied peels/nuts/tutti fruitti coated in flour

Steps to prepare

*Always read the notes before preparation

  • Add all cleaned , chopped nuts in a bowl. Add 1 cup of orange juice and let the nuts soak in it. Cover and keep it refrigerated for 1 or 2 days. It’s best to soak it for 24 hours at least for the right flavors
  • Bring the soaked nuts to room temperature
  • Add 1/2 cup of sugar and 2 tbsp of water in a pan and gently stir it
  • Heat the mixture over low flame, till bubbles appear Do not stir or disturb the mixture while sugar caramelizes. It will be nice dark brown in color
  • Immediately pour remaining water gradually and cautiously, the sugar will harden on adding water
  • Continue cooking sugar syrup until sugar melts completely while stirring constantly
  • Keep the caramel syrup aside and cool to room temperature
  • To this, add oil and vinegar and mix well. In case of using butter then blend butter well in a bowl and then add caramel syrup to it and mix
  • In a bowl, mix all the spice powders and keep it aside
  • Preheat the oven to 180 deg cel and line 8″ cake tin with parchment paper
  • Sieve flour, spice powders, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl
  • Add soaked nuts with juice and mix
  • Now add the caramel syrup and mix until just combined. Do not overmix
  • Add 2 tbsp candied peels/ nuts/tutti-fruti coated with flour and gently mix
  • Pour the batter into prepared cake tin and level evenly. Tap the cake tin on the counter several times to allow air bubbles to escape
  • You can optionally add little nuts on top of the cake if desired
  • Bake for 50 -70 minutes until done, this cake takes longer time to bake. Time will vary depending on oven, keep an eye on the cake after 45 mins. Top will be dark brown. The cake might look done from the top but due to caramel syrup, it takes longer time for baking. Toothpick inserted into center should be clean. If you feel moistness , then bake for some more time. If the top browns too quickly, then cover the top with foil
  • Cool the cake to room temperature in the tin on wire rack, Demould the cake and gently remove the parchment paper from the base.
  • The cake can be served immediately but it tastes best when sliced and served next day. Cover with cling wrap or store in air tight container.
  • Dust the cake with icing sugar if desired. Slice and serve the delectable plum cake. Store leftovers in airtight container
  • I had kept the cake at room temperature itself. Refrigerate the cake if living in hot and humid place otherwise the cake can be stored on the counter itself
Posted by:Rekha Unni

Humble quirky soul embarking on beautiful journey of love called Life. Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies and I love experimenting with different types of foods. it's the love of cooking for my family which has made this hobby as one of my passions

4 replies on “Eggless Kerala Plum Cake |Christmas Cake| Non – Alcoholic cake

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