Good amount of moistness with delicate crumbs, this Christmas Fruit Cake with Carrot Orange is quick and bakes to perfection. I baked the cake repeatedly three times and everybody not only loved it but also asked for the recipe. With no alcohol and no caffeine, this is one of a kind Christmas fruit cake!
Christmas Fruit Cake
Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of Christmas traditions except for one and that was a Christmas fruit cake. Ma always baked a simple vanilla flavored Christmas cake in her ginormous round oven that she still has and uses occasionally. She never liked alcohol so there are no alcohol in her cake recipes! Then, my brother took over and started baking rum-soaked fruitcake (traditional Kolkata Christmas Cake) which will always turn out rich and fudgy. We absolutely love his cake. This year, for the first time, I baked my version of Christmas fruit cake with Carrot and Orange! I steered clear of the alcohol even though I know it bakes off, making the cake harmless for kids. But I am one of those paranoid Moms and had to find an alternative.
This cake is a blend of the traditional Kolkata Christmas Cake that my brother bakes and Nigella Lawson’s Carrot Walnut Cake! The orange juice was a very last-minute thought and worked out so perfectly. The first time I baked this cake, I did it without soaking the fruits in orange juice. It was tasty but it did lack the subtle moistness that you get from soaking the fruits.
Soaking the dried fruits!
I tried soaking the fruits in orange juice for overnight and also for an hour. Both turned out equally great and pretty similar in taste and texture. Alternatively, you could always use dark rum, brandy or tea to soak the fruits.
Greasing the pan with oil and flour is extremely important. Because the cake has orange juice, it adds a lot of moisture and releasing the cake from the pan will be tough, if it’s not prepared properly. You can surely also add a parchment paper instead.
When it comes to baking the cake, I always look for an easy route where I can just throw everything in one bowl, whisk it up and done. This cake is so fuss free that even if you don’t bake often, you can easily pull it off without much effort at all.
- Dry fruits and nut:
- ¼ cup dried pineapple
- ¼ cup dried raisins
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup crystalized dried ginger
- ½ cup dried apricot
- ½ cup walnut
- 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1¼ cups grated carrot
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup tightly packed dark brown sugar
- ¾ cup canola oil
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- pinch of salt
- powdered sugar for dusting on the cake, optional
- Roughly chop the dried fruits. Do not grind as you want the chunky bites in the cake. Also, roughly chop the walnut. In a mixing bowl, pour the orange juice along with the chopped dried fruits (NOT THE WALNUT, it will be added later). Mix it around and keep it aside for minimum an hour or overnight.
- In a big mixing bowl, crack the eggs and whisk it with the brown sugar. Then, pour the oil and whisk it again to mix everything.
- Next, sift all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt). Whisk it again. The batter will be thick and not too runny.
- Finally, add the soaked dried fruits and the carrot. Using a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon, mix everything.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9-inch round baking pan with oil and dust it with flour. If you want, you can also line a parchment paper at the bottom of the pan.
- Pour the prepared batter in the pan and layer the batter evenly. Tap the cake pan a couple of times to set the batter. Place it it the preheated oven on the middle rack for 50 minutes.
- After the cake is baked, take it out of the oven and let it cool down on the pan. Do not try to release the cake at this point. Give it a good 10 minutes to cool down completely.
- Release the sides of the cake before try to flip the cake. Dust it with powdered sugar (optional) and serve.
- You can surely add a cream cheese frosting or even serve the cake with some freshly whipped cream or ice cream. I personally prefer it just as is with a cup of tea!
I love to see your creation from my blog, so if you make this spice mixes, tag me on social media @playfulcooking.