ROOM FOR CAKE …C is for Chistmas & C is for CAKE…

“Nutty as a fruitcake”
Always room for cake in our little home, and winter screams fruit cake, a cake we love to enjoy from December to February. This is the time for an annual tradition at our place. As long as I can remember, my mother always baked this cake over the Christmas holidays, year after year. It became part of our life, something we looked forward to every winter. Gradually it became a holiday favourite, and with vacation madness came to be known as New Year Cake as it never got made in time!
Then I got married, and slowly baking passion took over my life. Gradually Mom stopped baking this cake, and now it’s an annual tradition over at my place. Now she sits and waits for her share!! I got a little late soaking fruit this year because of the FBC, and barely managed to bake the cake 2 days before Christmas. It was so delicious that it got sliced and was history before Christmas even arrived.
We enjoyed the last few slices on Christmas eve, and I happily have one loaf tucked away, maturing for New Years’ as I type! That’s how I like it … something ready and waiting to be sliced, somewhat like this awesome Stollen. Always tastes so much better after a couple of weeks because you forget the hard work that went into the making!
It’s a delicious recipe that my Mom got when she did a baking course many years ago. The measures are all mixed up. Some in cups, some in grams, and each time I whine at her to ask why, she goes, “Be thankful I’ve managed to keep the recipe at all“.So here I am, with the recipe that’s been handed down to me, with it’s very special ingredient – GARAM MASALA!! It increases the deep flavour of the fruit cake, marrying well with the cinnamon and brandy soaked fruit! ! Next year I plan to make this 1 month in advance because I know it tastes a lot better mature, much like Christmas Stollen.
I drizzled the top with some icing sugar and milk mixed together to form a thick icing. Topped them off with marzipan snowflakes, using the snowflake plunger cutters that Nic @ Cherrapeno gifted me! I used them here too with cookie dough to decorate my gingerbread house for the Daring Bakers December challenge. As you can see, I am really enjoying using them.

Mom’s Christmas Fruit Cake
400 gms mixed cut fruit (currants,peels,crystallized ginger,raisins,tutti-frutti etc)
1/2 cup cashewnuts, chopped
1/2 cup amonds, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
Juice and zest of 1 orange (approx 3/4-1 cup; or substitue with brandy)
2 tsp garam masala (I like to make mine fresh, but any works well)
2 tsp cinnamon powder
Juice of 2 limes
230gms plain flour
60gms cornflour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
230gms butter
200gms sugar
Caramel made out of 2 tbsp sugar
Instant coffee powder – 1 1/2 tbsp
Eggs – 5, beaten

2 tsps pure vanilla extract


Preparing fruit:
Soak the mixed fruit in the juice/rum with the garam masala + cinnamon + zest + lime juice overnight or up to 7 days in the fridge.
Sift the flour + cornflour + baking powder + salt & keep aside.
Take the soaked fruit & toss them well with the sifted flour. (This ensures that the fruit don’t sink to the bottom of the tin while baking.)

Heat 2 tbsp of sugar in a pan till dark brown & caramelised. Allow to cool a bit. Top with 1/2 cup water + coffee. Let it sit for a while till it all comes together as a thick syrup.

Line a 9″ round tin, or 2 loaf pans,or 2 7″ square cake tins with parchment paper.
Preheat the oven to 150C.
Beat the eggs in a separate bowl. Keep aside.
Cream butter + sugar well. Add vanilla and beat.
Add the beaten eggs and beat for a minute, followed by the caramel.
Mix in the tossed fruit in 3 goes till just mixed in. Don’t over mix.
Turn batter out into prepared tins and bake for approximately 1- 1 1/2 hrs on the lower rack of the oven. Cover loosely with foil if the top starts browning too soon.

Cool and wrap in cling wrap or foil. Keep overnight at the least before slicing.

♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥
This cake is off to Nic @ Cherrapeno who is hosting the Sugar High Friday this December! Sugar High Friday (SHF) is a blogging event created by Jennifer of The Domestic Goddess, where the participants create, cook and photograph something sweet within a theme. This is SHF no. 60, and the December’s theme is ‘holidays’!
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Passionate About Baking has been nominated at ‘The Homies 2009′ in the Home Cooking category at ‘The Kitchen‘. If you like, you can vote HERE!
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About me: I am a freelance food writer, recipe developer and photographer. Food is my passion - baking, cooking, developing recipes, making recipes healthier, using fresh seasonal produce and local products, keeping a check on my carbon footprint and being a responsible foodie! I enjoy food styling, food photography, recipe development and product reviews. I express this through my food photographs which I style and the recipes I blog. My strength lies in 'Doing Food From Scratch'; it must taste as good as it looks, and be healthy too. Baking in India, often my biggest challenge is the non-availability of baking ingredients, and this has now become a platform to get creative on. I enjoy cooking immensely as well.


  1. indosungod says:

    What a lovely fruit cake. It seems every fruit cake has a story that goes with it. Fruit cakes have such a bad rep. that I thought I was weird that I liked these. I am coming to know otherwise now.

  2. Helene says:

    You always have the best decorations on your cakes. Looks delicious.

  3. Barbara Bakes says:

    How wonderful that you're now baking a cake your mom made for you when you were young! Sounds like my kind of tradition! Have a sweet new year!

  4. Chow and Chatter says:

    wow perfect for Christmas amazing cake,

    love ya


  5. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    What cute decorations! That cake looks delicious!

    All the best for the New Year!



  6. Gloria says:

    Dear Deeba What really lovely Cake, beautiful!!! as well, I hope you had woderful Christmas and lovely holidays, hugssss! gloria

  7. Shabs.. says:

    Thats a wonderful looking cake deeba..i wish, i just cud see the sliced version as well…want to know the colour of it…:).i have been waiting for this post ever since i saw it on ur header…..
    well, im looking forward to baking fruit cake one day…dono when….but love to clear all my doubts before i do, so that i dont have to make a mess….
    i have few doubts here…..did u use the limes that we get in india, the small ones?…or the large ones?…
    and about the eggs also the same doubt…indian type small ones or larger ones?….and garam masala….we get different ones from stores…..which one do u use?…what are the ingredients in ur garam masala?….the ingredients in ur garam masala?…
    Loved ur recipe…

  8. zurin says:

    The cake looks so moist and delicious Deeba. I like the snowflakes….wish I had the cutter too :) lovely fotos!

  9. foodie ffanatic says:

    I love fruit cake! Recipes that are handed down are the best. Thanks for sharing, Deeba. Beautiful photos as always. The snowflakes are divine!

  10. Nachiketa says:

    Salaam n a bow down to the baking queen…. :-)

    Beautiful fruit cake…..

  11. Wonderful fruit cake Deeba. It's pretty intriguing with all of those spices.

  12. Anita says:

    The fruit cake looks great! Love the snow flake cutters.

  13. Happy holidays Deeba, the snowflakes are so divine. You have such a knack for using simple decorations and turning them into something so stunning!

  14. lúdanyó says:

    It looks like very delicious! I would like to make it (after Christmas :)), but I have only dried garam masala. Is it good for this cake?
    I wish you Happy New Year!

  15. Anushruti says:

    You are a cake queen! I'm amazed at the huge amount of baking you undertake. Simply impressive!

  16. Diana Didona says:

    Winter Holidays as beautiful and quiet, which will fill the soul with joy, confidence, hope and love!

  17. Amanda says:

    A work of art, GORGEOUS as usual!!

  18. glamah16 says:

    I didn't get to baking mine this year. Love the addition of Garamond Marsala to it.

  19. Nicisme says:

    Ahhhh, you've done your mum's recipe proud! Looks fabulous as usual, bet it tasted divine too.
    Thanks for your SHF entry! Happy New year to you and the rest of the family Deeba! xx

  20. Arwen from Hoglet K says:

    Your snowflakes are gorgeous! I like the way you've got garam masala in your cake – it's always nice using a family recipe.

  21. meeso says:

    That is the prettiest fruit cake I've ever seen!

  22. Parita says:

    Truly a Baking Queen! Love the way you have decorated the fruit cake..superb!

  23. faithy, the amateur baker says:

    love all your photos! your fruit cake looks so delicious!

  24. Ma What's 4 dinner says:

    Oh I can tell that you and I are going to be great friends. I want to learn to bake better and I have just appointed you my baking guru! Can't wait to get started…oh good, just in time for New Year's resolutions too…guess my butt will be big for another year. But it looks like it's going to be worth it!

    Thanks for stopping by Ma, What's For Dinner! Glad I got the chance to come check out your little pad! You know I'll be back soon for sure!

    Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner?

  25. Natashya KitchenPuppies says:

    You have decorated it so beautifully, it truly is a work of art.

  26. Trissa says:

    I've never been a fan of fruitcake until recently and you make yours look so pretty!

  27. Lauren says:

    Wow! This fruitcake sounds fantastic! Somehow I've never had it, but this one sounds divine =D.

  28. Sarah, Maison Cupcake says:

    Just when I thought Christmas was over I feel all festive again seeing this cake. I love fruit cakes and I love the way you've arranged your collages of photos and put snowflakes and pretty lettering on them.
    Happy New Year Deeba! xx

  29. Julia @ Mélanger says:

    Deeba, I love that you have carried on the tradition from your mother. So wonderful.

    I love baked goods with rich, deep spices. I've never baked with garam marsala. It sounds fabulous. Not sure why I've not seen that idea before? What else would you bake with it?

    Hope you had a happy holiday. :)

  30. Kitchen M says:

    Beautiful cake, Deeba! I also saw your ginger bread house – so cute and detail!! I'm kind of moving away from DB these days, but still enjoy looking at other people's creations. Happy Holidays!

  31. Patricia says:

    Deeba…this looks like a perfect Christmas cake…I especially like the idea of putting garam masala in it…how inspired, I must remember to do that next year!!, maybe cardamom would work too, I love cardamom. Let me know how the 'hairdo's' come out, you are best to do the meringue part on a dry day…it was snowing here and they started to sag and bead up pretty quickly!! Good luck!! Patricia

  32. Murasaki Shikibu says:

    The addition of garam masala is really interesting. My mom used to make a fruitcake too which started out with raisins (and other dried fruit) that needed to soaked in brandy for at least 2 months before they were baked into the cake. Then after the cake was baked it needed to mature. The end result was always worth it!

  33. This cake is amazing! Makes me want to get out there and get to a baking class asap! I want one like that too for my Birthday bash! Keep up the great work!

  34. Jeanne says:

    I don't even LIKE fruitcake, and your post makes my mouth water. The decorations are too gorgeous!

  35. Hi,
    These Sounds like Yummy..!!
    This Christmas Cake looks delicious and adorable.
    I love cake.I read your recipe Christmas chocolate carrot cake its really unique and easy to make.
    I love Your cake decoration. i really excited to try this recipe
    Thanks For Sharing…..


  1. Cake christmas fruit says:

    […] ROOM FOR CAKE – Passionate About Baking 26 Dec 2009. I would like to make it (after Christmas :). Beautiful cake, Deeba! I also saw your ginger bread house – so cute and detail! ROOM FOR CAKE – Passionate About Baking […]

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