This Christmas Cake recipe was originally published on canadianliving.com and has become a family favorite. The “twist” is that it uses tropical dried fruits instead of the usual citrus peels which makes the cake colorful and delicious!
Preparation is a little lengthy but do not be put off, there is a lot of lapse time between the prep stages. It you can make a cake mix you can easily make this, once you have the fruit ready.
This cake tastes best if made a few weeks (or even months) ahead of Christmas and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or fruit cellar to let the flavors mellow.
Traditional Christmas Cake With a Twist
- 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut Hint: I buy my fruit at the Bulk Barn and take a measuring cup with me so that I only purchase the amounts I need
- 1½ cups dried papayas chopped
- 1½ cups dried mangoes chopped
- 1½ cups candied pineapple chopped
- 1 cup golden raisins carefully checked to remove any little stems
- 1 cup red glace cherries halved
- 1 cup rum
- 2 cups all-purpose flour sifted
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups blanched almonds slivered
Pots and Utensils
- Paring knife or scissors and measuring cups for cutting the fruit
- Large bowl
- Electric mixer and mixer bowl
- 2 4" x 8" loaf pans
- Parchment paper
- Wire cooling racks
- Saran Wrap
Prepare The Fruit
Chop and shred the fruit.
In a large bowl, combine coconut, papayas, mangoes, pineapple, raisins, cherries, and ½ cup of the rum.
Cover and let stand for 1 day, stirring occasionally.
Prepare The Oven and Pans
Set a shallow pan on the bottom rack of the oven and pour in enough water to come halfway up the sides.
Preheat oven to 250 deg. F.
Draw the bottom of the pan onto the parchment paper.
Fold the paper around the lines you drew
Cut in the edges of the parchment paper.
Use the parchment paper to double line the loaf pans.
Put The Loaves Together
Gently stir ½ cup flour into the fruit. Set aside.
Sift together 1 ½ cups flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
With electric mixer on high, cream the butter.
Add the sugar gradually and beat until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Add the eggs one at a time and beat well.
Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture.
Add the almonds to the fruit mixture (I find I need to transfer it to a larger bowl at this point.)
Now stir the cake batter into the fruit/almond mixture with a wooden spoon. It will be very stiff.
Pack into the prepared loaf pans, smoothing the tops with the back of the spoon.
Bake in center of oven for 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hrs., until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. If the top begins to crack, shield it with foil.
Let cool in pans on wire rack.
Remove cakes from pans and peel off the parchment.
Soak 2 double thicknesses of 16-inch square cheesecloth in the remaining rum.
Poke a few holes in the cakes with a skewer (which will let the rum run into them).
Wrap cakes in the cheesecloth.
Then wrap with plastic and foil.
Refrigerate for at least 1 month, or up to 3 months...and then be prepared for it to disappear quickly!