I love this part of the year. There is something magical about this season that you cannot escape the merriment and joy that is in the air.
We do not really celebrate festivals but of the whole lot of traditional festivities of the year, Christmas is my favourite. I love the happiness, the joy, the family togetherness, the feast, the gifting, the lights, the stars, the carols... oh, it all warms my heart and makes me smile.
As a blogger, I am lousy at posting dishes that are apt for the festival that is round the corner. I usually end up trying out something on the day of the festival, after seeing loads of posts of friends online, and if at all I post, it would be just past the festival it was meant for!! Tee hee!!
But this time around, I have surprised myself! I really have a beautiful recipe, just perfect for Christmas.... and Christmas is tomorrow! :)
Fruit cakes have never been my favourite. Frankly, I still do not like them too much. I made these for the husband, whose favourite cake in the world is Fruit Cake! He can eat a huge cake all by himself while I am happy with a tiny slice. And while I can gobble up a vanilla tea cake or chocolate brownie, he would be contented with just a single slice or two. I love nuts and he loves raisins.
That is how different our preferences are! :) I guess that is how it is in every house. No two people have identical likes and actually that is what makes life fun and exciting, don't you think? :)
In all my cake experiments so far, I realised I have never baked a fruit cake for him! My earlier attempt at making an egg-less fruit cake didn't turn out too well and since then I have been putting it away.
This Christmas, to go with the merry mood I decided to finally get around baking it. I made little cupcake style fruit cakes. They turned out real good and I am mighty pleased at finally zeroing on an egg-less fruit cake recipe! The husband loved the surprise treat that was waiting for him :)
And oh, I love this square muffin mould! My friend and I picked it up a few months back and finally I put it to use :) Loved how pretty the cakes have turned out in this pan :)
So if you still have not baked your Christmas cake and are looking to make an egg-less Fruit Cake for your family......or if you simply like Fruit Cakes and want to bake one for yourself.....or if you have someone who may like fruitcakes and you would like to gift it to them......or you simply love baking... this is for you! :) :)
Bake it, enjoy it, gift it... love it! :)
Prep Time: 30 mins
Baking Time: 30 mins
Makes: 12 cup cakes OR 1 medium sized cake
Adapted from here.
- All Purpose Flour (Maida) – 1¼ cups
- Brown Sugar – 1 cup
- Butter – 85 gms, softened
- Curd | Yogurt – ½ cup, room temp
- Milk – ¼ cup, hot
- Baking Soda – ½ tsp
- Baking Powder – ½ tsp
- Vanilla Essence – ½ tsp
- Orange Zest – zest of one orange
- Mixed Dry Fruits – 1 ½ cups (I used Dates, Black Raisins, Cashew Nuts, Tutti Fruity)
- Orange Juice – juice of 1 orange.
For spice powder
- Cloves – 1
- Cardamom – 2
- Cinnamon Powder OR a small piece of Cinnamon
- Nutmeg Powder – a dash
Soaking the dry fruits:
- Roughly chop the cashew nuts and dates. Make sure there are no seeds in the dates.
- Soak the dry fruits (except the tutti-fruity, if using) overnight in orange juice.
- If making the same day, soak for at least 2-3 hours for the flavours to get into the dry fruits.
Making the spice powder:
In a mortar grind together the cloves, cardamom, nutmeg powder, cinnamon (or cinnamon powder) along with a tsp of sugar. Make into a fine powder and keep aside.
Baking the cake:
- Preheat the oven at 180 C.
- Just before you begin making the cake batter, drain the dry fruits and keep aside. Add the orange zest and tutti-fruity to the drained dry fruits and coat the mixture with 1 tbsp. of flour before adding to the batter.
- Sift together all purpose flour, baking powder and baking soda.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk softened butter and brown sugar till they combine well.
- Add hot milk, curd and vanilla essence and mix well.
- Fold in the sifted flour in two batches.
- Fold in the drained dry fruits and spice powder.
- Grease and line a cake tin with parchment paper. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake the cake in the preheated oven at 180 degrees for 20-25 mins or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
- Cool the cake completely before serving.
- Sprinkle some icing sugar on top to make them pretty :)
Store the cake in an airtight container at room temperature. This cake stays good for 3-4 days.
Wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! :)