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!