What I love about any festival is the festive mood, the preparation for it, the feeling of something very special is going to happen. I always found the days of waiting for a festival the most exciting part. Christmas is not an exception. Making the wish list, buying gifts for my little one, expecting a surprise, discussing about food with friends, decorating the tree and above all baking cakes and cookies.
I bake several different cakes during this time, but a special Christmas cake is a must. Though I do not like the long elaborate process of soaking dry fruits with alcohol, then baking the cake and again brushing it with alcohol. I found it easier to bake a cake that taste exactly like a Christmas cake but can be baked just the day before Christmas.
This quick and easy Christmas cake has a dense, moist texture, with loads of candied cherries and orange peels. I used store bought tutti frutti, you can always make your own. I did not use any alcohol in this cake, but you can add rum or brandy to flavor the cake, or else add imitation rum flavor to bring the boozy essence. You can add nuts, raisins of your choice. It is a versatile recipe, you can customize as per your choice.
Things needed to make the Christmas cake:
- All purpose flour: 1 and 3/4 cup
- Eggs: 4
- Brown sugar: 1 cup
- White sugar: 3/4 cup
- Salt: 1 tsp*
- Baking powder: 1 tsp
- Unsalted butter: 1 stick (113 gm)
- Vanilla extract: 1 tsp
- Orange extract: 1/2 tsp
- Tutti frutti mix: 1 cup
- Cinnamon powder: 1/4 tsp
- Nutmeg powder: 1/8 tsp
- Extra butter and flour to prepare the pan
- Rum or brandy to brush the cake (optional)
Steps of making the Christmas cake:
1. Pre-heat oven to 375F.
2. Grease a 9 inch loaf pan or 9 inch round pan with butter and dust with flour, keep aside
1. Sieve together all purpose flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon powder and nutmeg powder. Keep aside.
2. Cream the butter for 3-4 min. Add brown sugar and white sugar and cream it with the butter for 5-6 min, scrape the side of the bowl as needed.
3. Add eggs one by one and beat well.
4. Add vanilla extract and orange extract, beat well. You can add the alcohol (if using) at this stage.
5. Add the dry ingredients and fold in gently. Add the tutti frutti and fold.
6. Pour the batter in the prepared pan, bake in the middle rack of the oven for 45 min or till a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean.
7. Carefully take out the cake from the pan. Let the cake cool down on a wire rack for 4-5 hrs. You can slice and serve it. To give it the flavor of alcohol, Bake the cake at least 2-3 days prior the party, after the cake cools down, brush the cake from all sides with brandy or rum, cover with a plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator. Brush the cake with alcohol in between 2-3 times.
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