Desserts/ Sweets/ Snacks

Christmas 2011 and Delectable Fruitcake

Our 6ft Christmas tree decorated by us 🙂

It’s late to write about Christmas…..but I wanted to complete what I started. The past decade I always worked on Christmas day or just spent the day by myself. A price paid for living overseas away from family and friends. Last year, PR and I were with my family and had a great time with our relatives. This year was special because we were on our own as a couple. Practicing customs helps us follow traditions. We put up the Christmas tree on the second week of December, decorated with candy canes, santa, snowman, nut crackers, glitter balls and bows. Along with putting up the tree, buying a poinsettia plant, sending greeting cards to family and friends, making orange pomanders and filling the flower vase with my favorite fresh tulips for a festive holiday display came the week long baking and cooking.

If you wish to know more about fruit cakes, click here

Christmas morn was bright and sunny.

What’s Christmas without a fruit cake. Fruit cakes at Christmas is a holiday tradition. It is a must have in some families. Usually, our family buys it from the neighbourhood bakery. Last year, mom bought one from Thoms Bakery in Frazer town, Bangalore. In India, Fruit cake is called Plum cake. I have no clue why it is named Plum cake,as there is no plum in it. Most of the store bought fruitcakes are thick like a brick, so I was not an avid fan of fruitcakes till I baked my own.

To establish family traditions, I baked a fruit cake 2 weeks ahead and religiously basted it with Cognac every 3-4 days. I baked gingerbread cookies and a yule log (that was a boo boo,not good enough to publish here). On Christmas day, there was lamb briyani and mirchi ka salan – Indian version of Christmas lunch. I was tired to make anything more.

After hunting the internet for almost a week, I settled for Alton Brown’s Free Range Fruit Cake. For a first try I wanted a workable recipe. I tweaked a bit to suit my taste.

Fruit cake decorated with fondant icing. My amateurish attempt at fondant decoration

Christmas Fruit Cake 

Yields 12-15  slices. 8 x 8 square casserole dish or cake pan.

1 cup Raisins

1 cup Sultanas / dried black currants

2 cups Candied fruit mix or use a mix of dates, prunes, dried apricots, dried figs, dried cherries, dried cranberries, dried pineapple, dried papayas, dried mangoes and dried bananas. * I used ‘glow in the dark- neon red and green’ kind of colorful fruit mix. It had Cherries, Orange Peel, Lemon Peel, Pineapple, Citron, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Water, Citric Acid, Natural & Artificial Flavors and lots of preservatives.  😦  Had I known the requirements of AB’s Free range recipe I would have bought good quality dried fruits instead of this colorful mix with so many preservatives. Lesson learnt!

1 cup Almonds (toasted and roughly chopped)

1 cup Pecans (toasted and broken) *Can be substituted with walnuts

1  3/4 cups All purpose flour/ Maida

1/2  cup  Granulated sugar

1/2 cup Molasses or Treacle * see notes for molasses substitute.

2  Eggs, lightly beaten * For an egg free version, use half a cup of whipped plain yogurt as a substitute for 2 eggs

1  stick unsalted Butter (4 ounces)

1  cup Apple juice

1  cup Cognac/Brandy of choice/ Rum * I used Courvoisier VSOP Fine Champagne. For a non-alcoholic version, use grape/ orange juice/ freshly brewed black tea (2 black tea bags in a cup of hot water)

4  Clove buds (ground)

1  teaspoon All spice powder * All spice is a berry that looks similar to black pepper. 

1  teaspoon ground Cinnamon

1  teaspoon grated fresh Ginger

1/2  teaspoon ground Nutmeg

1/2  teaspoon Caraway seeds/ Shahjeera/Cake seeds * Back home, fruit/ plum cakes have cake seeds to enhance the spicy flavor

1  teaspoon Vanilla extract

1  teaspoon Lemon zest * Zest is the yellow colored portion of the peel, not the white pith which is bitter and unpleasant.

1  tablespoon Orange rind * Though the candied fruit mix had orange rind,it was soaked in corn syrup with no flavor. I added fresh orange rind.

1  tablespoon Flax meal * I add flax meal to all my cakes and curries (optional). It helps as a binder. This is optional.

1  teaspoon Salt

1  teaspoon Baking soda

1  teaspoon Baking powder

Cognac/ Brandy/ Rum for basting  * If you do not prefer alcohol,  add 1 teaspoon of rum extract to the cake batter. Depending on the company which makes it, rum extract may contain a small amount of alcohol, although alcohol-free versions are also available. Non alcoholic fruit cakes do not require basting. 


  • Roughly chop raisins, sultanas and the fruit mix. Combine the chopped dried fruits with lemon zest and orange rind.
  • Add Cognac to this mixture. Macerate it for a week mixing it once everyday for good results. If short of time, macerate it overnight or microwave it for five minutes to re-hydrate the fruits. * Non alcoholic version calls for soaking the fruits in grape/ orange juice overnight. If you soak the dried fruits for longer, keep it refrigerated till used.
  • In a large stainless steel pan or any non reactive utensil, place the dried fruits + cognac or non alcoholic substitute + zest + rind mixture. Over medium heat, add sugar, molasses, butter, spices and apple juice.
  • Bring to a boil and simmer for 5-7 minutes stirring frequently. Remove from heat and cool it to lukewarm. *  If you plan on baking the rest later, cover the mixture and keep it refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before baking the cake.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients and flax meal (optional) to the liquid mixture. I used a large wooden spoon to bring the batter together.
  • Now, fold in lightly beaten eggs (or whipped plain yogurt) one at a time and integrate into the batter.
  • Combine the nuts and vanilla extract to the batter. If making non-alcoholic version, add the rum extract now.
  • Butter or spray vegetable oil and prepare a square cake pan/ loaf pan. If you have parchment paper, line the pan with that.
  • Pour prepared batter into the prepared pan and set the oven timer 60 minutes . Check cake after 50 minutes for doneness. If not, bake for another 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Remove cake from oven. Cool the fruitcake completely in the pan. Using a skewer prick holes on top of the cake. Bast with Cognac/ Brandy/ Rum/ non-alcoholic substitute. Remove from the pan.
  • Wrap fruitcake in plastic wrap/ cling film + aluminum foil. Place the wrapped cake in an airtight container and store at room temperature. Non alcoholic fruit cake need to be refrigerated beyond 2-3 days. Else the cake will grow mold and get spoiled.
  • Periodically (3-4 days) lightly dampen the cake it with more rum, brandy or cognac and wrap it tightly. This is not necessary for non-alcoholic fruit cakes.
  • The cake’s flavor will enhance considerably over the next two weeks. This cake ages well and can be frozen.
  • Slice the  fruitcake with a thin sharp serrated knife, dipped in hot water to cut through the nuts and dry fruits.
  • My cake had few cracks on top. It was easy for me to sptriz it. I decorated with ready made Wilton’s fondant to cover the cracks 🙂
Fruit cake placed in a pyrex casserole tray before spritzing with Cognac

Molasses substitute – Traditionally treacle is used in fruit cakes to give that robust flavor and moist texture. I substitute with molasses. If you can’t find molasses, make a syrup with palm jaggery. This gives a similar flavor and viscous texture. You can also use honey or maple syrup. But the flavor differs.

  • 1 cup grated palm jaggery. Khejur gur in Hindi/ Karupatti vellam in Tamil
  • 3/4 water

Method – Bring water to a boil. Add grated jaggery. Keep stirring till the syrup reaches the thread consistency. Strain syrup using a tea strainer to remove debris. When cooled the consistency should be like honey. Store in a bottle. Keep refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using for fruit cakes.

More about this fruitcake

  • While baking, the aroma and flavor was divine.
  • This cake was moist and rich with balanced spices, not overly sweet.
  • Cognac added while mixing the batter is baked out in the oven. The alcohol is destroyed by the heat, but the flavor is retained. However, not all alcohol is lost. So be mindful if you’re giving this cake to kids, pregnant women or lactating mothers. Periodic basting and feeding with cognac is required to enrich the flavor.
  • I decorated the cake with Wilton’s rolled fondant and colored fondant for the red ribbon and green holly leaves. I placed a few cranberries for holly berries. The icing was for a festive display. PR and I didn’t bother to taste it.
  • We finished half the square cake and kept the rest for later. After thawing, we had quarter of it yesterday with tea, it tasted wonderful. I didn’t stop at one piece.

85 thoughts on “Christmas 2011 and Delectable Fruitcake

  1. Niiiiice Cheryl! Been looking for a nice fruit cake recipe! I made a few cakes last year from a recipe I got from my mallu christian classmate…came out super that even my christian cook took the recipe from me! 😛 I used Old Monk rum for soaking and did not baste the cake but still….need to try this one! Tks for sharing! 🙂
    Cognac works best or can we alternate with cognac and rum? What say? Too much going on?

  2. Hey Cheryl, I tried this recipe today and the cake has come out fantastic. I could not wait for a few days so I did cut up a small portion to taste and the rest of it has gone into the fridge. Thank you so much for the recipe. I was wondering if i could add a bit more sugar to this recipe cause my folks love sweet cakes. Please do let me know.

  3. Wow Cheryl Wow … The passion for good food is obvious in your writing !! One life to live and one to enjoy good food …, done by visiting your blog

    1. Hey Rashmi,
      You’ll have to replace eggs with flaxmeal sub. If not the moisture balance will be off resulting in a dry n crmbly cake. Good luck!

    1. Heya,
      You may want to sub with flaxmeal substitute instead of omitting the eggs. That will keep the moisture balance intact. Since this is a dense cake, eggs play a role in moisture balance rather than leavening. Hope this helps.

    2. You can skip the alcohol and use grape juice (for dark colored cakes) or orange juice (light colored cake). You need to soak the dried fruits at least overnight. This will plump up the dried fruits which when baked will ooze out flavor and moisture in the cake. The batter is quite dense opposed to regular cake batter. It’s as thick as cookie dough. Do not skip the soaking as it will result in a dry cake. Spritzing with juice just once after baking is good to keep it moist. If you want to lock in the flavor and moisture, apply a coat of apricot glaze and cover with fondant.

    3. Good Luck. Make a small cake using half the ingredients and check whether you like it. This is very rich in taste, and the raw materials are expensive.

  4. Cheryl, I have a doubt. I have come to the stage where I have boiled the mix. Now do I add the whole mix for preparing the cake or portions of it? It seems like a lot of mix!! And ofcourse I want to make a small batch before I use up all the boiled mix.

  5. Hi Cheryl! I tried this recipe of urs – vegan option. I messed up the apple juice quantum by adding extra. So, it came out too moist. I am loving it moist!!. It tastes amazing. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Woow…vegan sounds good. You replaced the eggs with flaxmeal sub and the butter with oil. That’s really good. Glad to know you enjoyed the outcome.

  6. Merry Christmas! Finally made the cake with this recipe. It tastes fantastic!! My dad loves it! My friend and his family loved it! Infact they say it is so much better than their other shop-bought cake! The only negative I had was that it didnt stay firm perhaps because I used flax seeds to replace the eggs. Thanks for the regular guidance Cheryl!!

    1. Merry Christmas Rashmi. Yes in deed, it tastes so much better than the store bought fruitcake. These cakes are dense by nature, get all crumbly upon slicing. Use a serrated knife. It helps reduce the crumbles.

  7. hey cheryl. this looks like a really interesting one, and I am sure starting off with the soak this sunday. 1 question- what is your cup measure- 200ml or 240 ml?
    Also, what is the ideal quantity for basting, and then later on for feeding as well?

    I want to bake it in larger quantity, say like some 15 cakes, anything specific I should know. Can I bake it in sheet trays and then keep feeding it on that itself, while re-covering it with cling wrap each time.

    Also, you have decorated it with readymade fondant only. there is no ABC/Whipped cream etc., if I am converting it to a multi layer cake, please suggest some suitable filling and topping; later i shall be covering it with fondant and decorative gumpaste figurines.

    After what point should it be frozen?

    thanks well in advance.

    1. 1. I use US cup measurement. 240 ml per cup.
      2. I didn’t use a measured quantity for basting. I belong to more the merrier category. It depends on the surface area you want to cover. A 8×8 square cake can easily drink up 1/4-1/3 cup liqueur.
      3. Larger quantity, Is it for commercial baking? Well, people have tried this recipe for wedding cakes and fared well. So why not? Gladly go ahead. Nothing to keep in mind. Just bake as much as you need.
      4. Sheet cakes, meaning half sheet like 12″ x 16″. Yes, you can bake a thick sheet. Basting it in a metal tray is not advisable. Alcohol reacts with aluminium and changes the taste of the cake. Transferring the cake to a non reactive medium is recommended.
      5. Traditionally, marzipan is used under fondant for covering fruitcakes. Since I did this for home use, there was no need for a layer underneath as I knew that we were going to peel it off anyway. No ABC or ganache is used. IMO, Whipped cream under fondant is sacrilege for any kind of cake. I suggest you read up more on fruit cakes as these are very rich and dense cakes. They are not suitable for carving or torting. I’ve never seen a fruit cake with filling or frosting, except royal icing, marzipan or fondant. So I can’t be of help with regards to that. Topping? You can use a neutral flavored sieved preserve or jam to paint over the fruit cake which will help with marzipan or fondant stick to the cake.
      6.If basted and wrapped well, fruit cakes keep well for months at room temperature. Freeze it when you decide not to use it any longer. Christian weddings have fruit cakes as wedding cakes. It’s frozen till the first anniversary. That will explain how long and what point fruit cakes can be frozen.
      Phew! This is the longest query thus far in 2 yrs of blogging. Good luck and happy baking 🙂

  8. Hi.. seems to b yummy recipe. . Hv a request. . Cud u pls mail me a tweaked version of d recipe as per the availability in India.. like lemon zest, orange rind, all spice powder, cake seeds etc r not available or atleast not easily available. . I generally use wheat flour instead of maida to make it more healthy for my 5yr old.. hope I cud do d same here as well. . Awaiting ur reply. . Thanks in advance. .

    1. Hi Vidhi,

      Thanks for stopping by. There is nothing much to tweak. You’ll have to replace with ingredients that is locally available. Use lime zest instead of lemon zest, Orange rind is available all over the world (buy an orange and use the rind). All spice can be skipped. I’ve given options instead of cake seeds which is shahjeera that can be picked from any grocery shop back home.

      Atta is not the equivalent of whole wheat flour used in the western recipes. You can use atta, but the outcome will not be like AP flour bakes. Due to the high gluten content, it will be heavy and dense. Hope this helps! If you have queries, leave a comment here or on the face book page –

  9. Hey Cheryl! Merry Christmas! I was tempted to buy your X-mas cake this year but I told myself that I should bake using the recipe from the same gal just like last year. And I did! Ofcourse, I am sure it is nowhere as good as yours but still the cakes came out very well! Totally yummy and rich and fruity! I forgot to make my notes after last year’s bake using this recipe and therefore my learning continues. I still feel the cake was a little dry and my replacing the eggs made the cake a tad bitter but I got no complaints from my family and friends! They shooed shooed all my doubts about that cake and have almost finished it. I already made my notes after this year’s bake and hope that next year it will be even more better! Thanks!!

  10. Hi Cheryl, I tried your fruit cake recipe and it came out great for a first attempt. Some things I would like your advice on:
    1. I added cashew instead of pecan(couldn’t find pecan). But it didn’t taste very great in the cake( chewy hard bits). Maybe cashew is not a good idea?
    2.I didn’t read the recipe properly and soaked the cashew and almonds along with the fruit.Your opinion?
    3.I used brandy (1 cup) to soak the fruits and I basted the cake twice with brandy again before cutting. The cake was not as moist as I wanted it to be, coz I was find the booze too overpowering. Is there a non alcoholic alternative for basting which goes with brandy?

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe Anna.

      1. I find cashews softer than pecans. The crunch differs. You can do all almonds instead of other nuts.
      2. I do not soak the nuts at all. The nutty crunch goes amiss. I suggest, do not soak the nuts. Roast it a wee bit before adding. It brings out the flavors.
      3. Grape juice is the non alcoholic alternative I use. You can also use orange or apple juice. You have to wrap the cake with cling film to keep it moist.


  11. Hey Cheryl I am a fan of your blog n follow u r posts religiously …..want to try this cake …. But I haven’t got few things can u please suggest easily available substitutes go these please …..all spice powder …. Dried cranberries …. N I have only white rum at home can I use it for soaking the fruits? I couldn’t get the pecans but Above u suggested to add almonds so I will do that but the other things all spice n white rum would these do? Please let me know ….. N can I baste the cake with white rum after baking ? Please pls help ….
    Thanks in advance ….. Of cos I will thank u after baking as well …..:-))

    1. Thanks Sireesha 🙂

      All spice powder can be omitted. Replace dried cranberries with some other dried fruit. Replace pecan with almonds.

      White rum is mild flavored compared dark rum which is rich and deep. Go ahead and use what is available. This is a very flavorful and rich cake. I’m sure you’ll make a good one 🙂 Happy baking.

  12. I made small cakes and shipped them to my family in Chennai and Mumbai. They loved it so much. My 10 year old daughter stays in Mumbai and for her, I had baked a non-alcoholic cake. She loved it and is proudly boasting to her friends that her Mama baked it :)) Thank you so much Cheryl for such a delicious and workable recipe. Thanks a lot.

    1. Since I didn’t have treacle or molasses or palm jaggery either, I used date syrup which is more easily available in Delhi. Also, instead of pecans, I used walnuts. Just wanted to tell that date syrup worked well too 🙂 Though, next time, I will buy molasses and try with that to see the difference in flavour. Thanks again.

    2. Thanks for letting me know about the replacement. Dates syrup works fine in terms of consistency and behaviour as an ingredient. But the flavor differs. The robust caramely flavor of molasses is absent in dates syrup. 🙂

      Nuts can be replaced as per choice. Walnuts is an excellent choice for pecans.


  13. Hello Cheryl,

    I will finally be baking this week. One query before I start:
    Can I bake these in the small paper loaf pans? How should I time the baking for small pans?

    Also, if I choose to skip the pecans, is it ok? My husband isn’t too fond of nuts.

    Thanks in advance,
    Smita Lakhotia

    1. Thanks Smita.

      1. Yes you can. 2. I’d say about 25-30 mins or till done. I can’t say definitely cos I haven’t got a clue about the size of your pans or how the performance of your oven.

      Yes,you can skip the pecans or nuts. But replace it with some other nut.Do not omit any ingredient. It alters the consistency of the batter and eventually the outcome.


  14. Hello Cheryl,

    I wish to try this recipe…jus wanted to know substitute for molasses or khejur gud. I didnt find either. I have honey at home. As u said one can use honey but it will alter the taste….But do u think it wont taste good at all?


    1. Hi Sushmitha,

      Yes you can use honey but the flavor and color will be different. Texture will not be compromised.You can make a black jack if you’re ok to play with sugar.

    1. Black Jack recipe

      Sugar – ½ cup
      Water – 1 tbsp
      Warm water – ¼ cup

      In a heavy bottom deep pan, heat sugar and 1 tbsp water. DO NOT STIR.
      Sugar starts to caramelize and melt. Color changes from golden amber to a dark brown. Use a candy thermometer to check temp 350-360 degrees F. Switch off heat and add rest of the water. The mixture will boil vigorously water is added. Pls be careful. Now stir. Cool it and use in your cake instead of molasses.

      The syrup will taste a bit bitter. It’s normal. It adds color and robust flavor to the cake.

      Also check this –


  15. Dear cheryl..gonna bake my first fruit cake. For non-alcoholic version, can I use fresh orange juice to soak dry fruits over night? Also apple juice is just thick apple puree or apple blended with water? Please clarify.
    Merry Christmas!

  16. Hey Cheryl,

    Its my MIL’s burthday n she is very fond of fruit cake so i baked one using ur recipe…turnd out super…wanted to cover it with fondant…jus wanted to kno do we need to crumb coat the cake before laying the fondant if yes then with what i mean butter cream or ganache?



    1. Hi sushmitha,

      Butter cream or ganache is not used for traditional fruit cakes. You need to cover with marzipan first, then a layer of fondant. Check out the other comments regarding this.

  17. Hi Cheryl,

    This recipe looks great and planning to make it for Christmas this year. Had a question:

    If using juices to soak the dried fruits, is canned or fresh better?
    Also, can it be soaked for a week in juices, or overnight is enough?


  18. Hey Cheryl
    How are you doing?
    Am planning to bake your recipe for the fruit cake this year… just wanted to know about the Apple juice..Will a tetra pack Real/Tropicana Apple juice work?
    Had a few more queries.went through the whole post,comments and replies… n i believe am already through with my queries… Appreciate your patient replies.
    thanks in advance….

    1. Thank you so much Cheryl. I tried a small batch and it came out perfect.
      I wrapped it with cling film and kept. I need a small advice… is there a tip or trick you can give me to avoid the cake sweating.
      Please ignore if not possible.
      Thank you.

  19. Hi Cheryl,

    Wanted to bake non alcoholic fruit cake for my 7yr old.. Can I use aata instead of maida to make it more healthy for kids ..

  20. hi cheryl ,

    well happy thanks giving to you and your family. i tried your fruit cake for thanksgiving it was just perfect professional piece of cake.. the process is very intimidating initially but your detailed explanation and your answers to all the comments has helped me a lot in getting the perfect cake. one loaf was finished the same night. the second loaf is also not going to stay last.
    I had used wine which i had in my pantry already, also used molasses which gave a very nice flavour rest followed your recipe. Thank you so much for making my thanksgiving special with these wonderful fruit cake which i was craving for a long time and was not at all satisfied with the store bought. Well one more thing i didn’t spritz the cake with brandy /wine/orange /rum again and didn’t rested it for weeks not very patient to do that and also it was too late but next time will try to do that too but it tasted just awesome without that too.. too too good. Lots of love and God bless you.

  21. Hi Cheryl,

    Thank you so much for the detailed post. I cannot tell you much I have learnt from your blog. Thank you thank you thank you.

    I have a small query thoough. If I have soaked the fruits for over 3 months, do I still need to use the boiling method? The internet seems to be divided into two kinds of recipes, one with boiling and one without.

    Thanks once again,

  22. hey cheryl, already soaked the dry fruits. going to bake tomorrow. What can i substitute apple juice with ?
    And if i want to lessen the butter in this recipe, how can i do it and by what quantities?

    1. Hi Parul,

      You can try using orange juice or grape juice instead of apple juice. Otherwise, stick to the recipe as it is. Do not tweak else the outcome will not be as expected.

  23. Hi Cheryl, I absolutely all your receipes and have successfully tried both versions ( egg and eggless) ones. It is my Go to receipe for fruit cakes 🙂 just a query on the eggless version. How long can the soaked fruits in Orange juice be stored in the refrigerator? Also once the non alcoholic and eggless version of the cake would last for how many days if stored in the refrigerator.

    1. Hi Ashwini,

      Fruits can be stored even for a month when refrigerated. Egg free and alcohol free cakes can be stored in the refrigerator for a week or two.

  24. hi Cheryl, I am a fan of yours, your receipes and creativity and of course your photography! I have successfully tried both the eggless and egg version of the rich fruit cake and my family and friends have loved it. Thank you!!

    A query of the eggless and alcoholic free version- I have soaked the fruits in fruit juice, how long can they be stored refrigerated? Also once the cake is baked, basted once and kept refrigerated, what would be its shelf life.

    Sorry for the rush, but by mistake, I soaked an entire batch of the fruits in Orange juice but have to gift it to a friend only post 28th December. Thanks and best wishes for Christmas and the holiday season!!

  25. Cheryl, I tried the non-alcoholic version using apple juice and black tea. The cake turned out to be a success. This is truly a fool-proof recipe. Thanks much. Merry Christmas.

  26. Hi Cheryl,
    Am a home baker and I love your blog . Wanted to try your rum soaked Christmas fruit cake . Soaked the fruit in 6 different jars to be used in 6 different cakes . 4 jars with old monk , 1 with cognac and 1 with wine . Since I am late in soaking I plan to make one with only a few days of soaking , the other 2 on 31st dec and 3 jars with rum , cognac and wine to be used in feb . My query is that as per your recipe the fruit needs to be soaked with 1 cup liquor per 4 cups of fruit ( 1 cup sultans, 1 cup raisins , 2 cups mixed chopped fruits , peels etc ) but that is not covering the entire fruit so do I need to add more alcohol? As per you detailed note on soaking fruit you hv mentioned that the liquid should cover the entire fruit . Am a bit confused . Plz help .
    Second query is that while making the cake you put the fruit , rum / alcohol , in a pan and heat with butter , molasses etc …. so if I put more alcohol to the fruit then should I put all while heating or should I keep a little aside for basting ( it’s also mentioned that you can reserve liquid for basting the cake ) . Sorry if you’re finding these questions silly but am making this for the first time so don’t know where I am going wrong in understanding the process .

    1. Hi Hema,

      If the alcohol is not covering the dried fruits, pls use more. It depends on how shallow or deep your bottles are.

      If you use more alcohol, keep aside the extra alcohol for basting.

      All the best. Happy holidays 😊


    2. Hi Cheryl , thanks a lot for your answers . I have used more alcohol to soak fruits . Will be baking one lot today to be cut on 25th dec . Will let you know how it turned out . Happy holidays dear

  27. My husband is Goan catholic and I am hardcore punjabi. Needless to say, Christmas is a huge time in our house. I have tried countless recipes to get a good cake to replicate the one we used to have in India. Nothing came close until I stumbled across your recipe. Kudos Cheryl! This recipe is amazing! Cant thank you enough!

  28. Hi Cheryl! I am excited to try this recipe to make a fruitcake for my mom this Christmas 🙂

    I am soaking the fruit for a few days in rum, so I can skip the boiling step and just mix the fruit/rum mixture with the butter, sugar, molasses, apple juice, and spices- correct? I don’t need to heat this?
    Also, how do I know if it is the right amount of liquid? You just say to cover the fruit, but I have read to keep some of the rum from the fruit mix for basting. How much of the rum should I add to the butter, molasses, etc., and how much should I set aside?

    Thanks so much!

  29. Hi Cheryl,

    I know Im late on the bandwagon….learning phase.. Im confused when you say in the comments that soaked fruits don’t need boiling and where as in the method when u say boiling the dried fruits, you add molasses, butter, spices and apple juice and boil, simmer and cool it down to lukewarm and add dry ingredients to this. So, If I use the soaker method (as mentioned in the recipe, you just soak in either alcohol or non-alcohol). When do I add the molasses and other stuff to my soaked dried fruit? Also, in the tips section, the soaked dried fruits are to be lightly dusted in flour to avoid sinking down, how do I do that either in soaking or boiling method. Im so sorry if I have misunderstood the recipe. Plz clarify. Highly appreciate your response. Thanks in advance.


    1. Hi Asha,

      – The response to the comments is for a specific scenario where the fruits were soaked for 3 months. That’s quite a bit of soaking time compared to a week.

      – You add molasses and other ingredients as mentioned in recipe method.

      – Tips and tricks is general information pertaining to fruit cakes. If it’s not mentioned in the method of your recipe, don’t do it.

      – Follow one recipe and work around that. Don’t confuse yourself. Master one thing at a time. If that works for you, stick to it.

      Hope this helps.

I truly appreciate your feedback. Drop me a word.

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