The plum cake is often made during Christmas or festive occasions. It contains semolina and the batter is soaked overnight. Soaking makes the semolina tender which gives the cake a lovely soft and moist rather than grainy texture. Whipping the egg whites makes sure the cake is light and fluffy.
This has got to be one of my favorite cakes growing up. Mom made it for all our birthdays. In fact, I remember to celebrate our birth mom would distribute a plate with a few things such as a slice of this cake, boiled chickpeas, potato chips, chocolate, and candy to all the neighboring houses.
Ingredients and substitutes
- Semolina – Semolina is a great way to add stability to cakes that have fruit and nuts and this one soaks up moisture keeping the cake moist and with a tender crumb
- Flour – helps bind the fruit and nuts in the batter.
- Eggs – This also works as a leavening so use fresh large eggs.
- Butter – butter adds flavor and richness but also stability to the cake which holds the slices nicely.
- Plums – these are easily available in any dry fruit stores. But, you can also use raisins, currant, or other dried fruits.
- Nuts – I am using cashews but almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, and macadamia are absolutely delicious as well.
- Spices – You can add spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or a dash of garam masala. In fact, in the fall, I like the addition of pumpkin spice, gingerbread spice, or chai spice.
Baker’s schedule for this cake
This cake is not like the standard cakes so here is the process at a glance
- Prepare pre-batter – 10 mins
- Soak with semolina for – 2 hours at room temperature
- Add remaining dry ingredients and rum – 10 mins
- Bake and cool as usual –
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- 8-inch round baking pan
- Mixing bowl
- Wooden spoon
- Baking tray
- 227 g (1 cups) Butter
- 200 g (1 cups) Sugar fine or castor
- 4 large Eggs large
- 125 g (¾ cups) Semolina Sujee
- 2 tsp Vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp Almond extract
- 120 ml (½ cup) Rum or orange juice
- 125 g (1 cups) All-purpose flour maida
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- ½ tsp Baking soda
- ½ tsp Salt
- ¼ tsp Cinnamon powder dalchini
- ¼ tsp Cardamom powder elichi
- ¼ tsp Nutmeg grated (jailfal)
Fruit and nuts
- 150 g (1 cups) Plums dried – roughly chopped
- 150 g (1 cups) Mixed peel preserved – chopped fine
- 125 g (1 cups) Cashew nuts finely chopped or grated
- 2 – 4 tbsp Rum (to pour over the cake)
- Pan – Grease, and line with parchment paper one 3-inch deep pan. You use an 8-inch round or 7-inch square pan for this cake.
- Dry ingredients – Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt. Set aside
- Cream – In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time followed by the vanilla and almond extract.
- Soak – Next, add the semolina (rawa) and combine well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep it aside at room temperature for 2 hours. Pro tip – the sugar and butter work as a preservative so it is ok to leave it at room temperature up to overnight but no more than 8 hours.
- Oven – 20 minutes before baking preheat the oven to 165°C/ 325°F / Gas Mark 3
- Dry ingredients -Add the dried plums, mixed peels, and nuts to the flour mixture. Then add it all to the cake batter along with the rum – do not over mix Pro tip – do not overmix otherwise all the fruits will sink to the bottom of the pan
- Pan – Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Level the top of the cake with a spatula. Sprinkle more chopped cashew nuts on the top of the cake if desired.
- Bake – Bake for about 60 to 70 minutes or until the skewer inserted in the center comes clean. Pour the rum over the warm cake while it is still warm. Pro tip– The rum keeps the cake extra moist.
- Cool – Leave to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then invert onto a cooling rack and cool completely Pro tip– inverting on a cooling rack will prevent the cake from getting soggy on the bottom.
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