This light fruit cake recipe is a butter and semolina-based cake with lots of dried fruits such as raisins, currants, and cherries along with almonds and cashews. A simple and easy recipe that gets done in no time at all and is the perfect Christmas cake.
The fruit cake recipe was brought to India by the British and is now become a tradition, especially during Christmas. In fact, for an East-Indian family, Christmas without a fruitcake is incomplete.
While the British feed their traditional fruitcakes for weeks with alcohol we in India don’t necessarily do that. We love our fruitcakes fresh made with lots of fruit and nuts.
This cake is made with semolina (rawa) which keeps the cake moist. The dried fruit soak up moisture from the cake and nuts add a nice crunch. Most cakes are made with alcohol such as rum or brandy, though you can omit the alcohol and make your fruitcake with orange juice.
Ingredients and substitutes
- Semolina or rawa – while you can make a fruitcake with all all-purpose flour, I think the semelina adds stability to the cake as well.
- Butter – I like to use unsalted butter but you can use salted butter and omit salt in the recipe
- Sugar – today, I am using white sugar but light brown sugar does add a wonderful caramel flavor from the molasses
- Fruits -dried rainsins, currents, glace cherries are most commonly used but I love the additon of dried figs, apricots, dates, and cranberries
- Nuts – a combination of almonds and cashews are very common but walnuts, hazelnuts and macadamia are very delicious too.
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- 8-inch round baking pan
- Kitchen scale
- Mixing bowl
- 1 cup (125 g) All-purpose flour plain flour
- ½ cup (85 g) Semolina rawa
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- ½ tsp Salt
- ¾ cup (170 g) Butter unsalted, room temperature
- ¾ cup (150 g) Sugar
- 2 Eggs large
- ⅔ cup (156 ml) Rum or orange juice
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Fruit and Nuts
- 1 cup (145 g) Raisins
- ¾ cup (85 g) Black currants
- ½ cup (85 g) Glace Cherries chopped
- ½ cup (58 g) Walnuts chopped
- ½ cup (65 g) Cashew nuts chopped
- ½ cup Almonds chopped
- ½ cup (120 ml) Rum for a boozy cake
- Soak the raisins, currants, cherries in the rum for 30 minutes or well-sealed up to 3 months in the fridge. Drain and set aside. Pro tip – make sure to drain the fruit well so you can add it to the flour. This will prevent the fruits from sinking to the bottom of the fruitcake.
- Preheat the oven at 160°C / 325°F / Gas Mark 3
- Grease and line the bottom and sides of a 3 inch deep 8-inch round baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Dry ingredients – combine the flour, semolina, salt, and baking powder – set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or you can use a bowl and whisk. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract,
- Add the flour and rum to the cake batter saving a few tablespoons of flour for the fruit. Then add the flour-coated fruit and chopped nuts to the cake batter as well. Pro tip – once coated in flour add it immediately to the batter and do not overmix.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for about 40 to 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean
- Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes then invert on a cooling rack to cool completely Pro tip- For a boozy Christmas cake pour the optional rum over the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven.
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