I love a good fruit cake at Christmas, but not everyone does And not everyone wants to eat the same thing every year...that's me I'm talking about there! On every second year I'll bake traditional Christmas cakes, and make trifles and so on, but this year, I'm baking a Christmas Bundt cake, with a platter of assorted biscuits (home baked of course!). Here is my recipe alternative for a fruit cake that has the essence of Christmas festive smells and flavours but without the heavy "fruit cake" body. The cake itself is a rich buttery cake, flavoured with eggnog, nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice and orange zest and it is strewn with rum soaked dried fruit and nuts. Yes, I do have SOME dried fruit including cranberries, currants and glace cherries, peel and flaked almonds which have been soaked in rum. You can use any dried fruits, so long as the total amount of fruit and nuts is equal to 3/4 cup- which isn't too much, but it's fruity enough for the festive occasion without being a fruit cake..you get what I mean! Lastly the whole cake is soaked in a rum and orange glaze. I have baked my cake in a Christmas bundt holiday wreath tin, but you could use any round tin and decorate with fondant icing or a butterscotch cream cheese frosting, or what ever icing you wish.
Alternative to fruit cake recipe
250 g unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons grated orange zest (or use orange essence if you don't have orange)
100g vanilla custard/pudding powder
3 cups of sifted self raising flour
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup dried currants
1/4 cup dark rum or brandy
2 tablespoons candy peel
2 tablespoons chopped glace red cherries
3 tablespoons flaked almonds or chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 cup eggnog- if you can't get this or don't like it, then use 1/2 cup caramel or toffee sauce and 1/2 cup milk.
1) Soak the fruits and nuts in rum for 1 hour.
2) Preheat oven to 180C. Grease tin with some extra melted butter and dust tin with plain flour, shake off excess flour.
3) Cream butter until soft and fluffy, add sugar and beat until all incorporated and fluffy. Beat in sour cream and vanilla. Lightly whisk eggs and add to mixture a third at a time while still beating. Sift in flour, custard powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and allspice. Beat until combined, add orange zest, and then adding eggnog a third at a time while the beater is still running until all the mixture is well mixed. Beat mixture on high for 1 minute, it should become lighter in colour. Add half of the batter into the tin, then mix the soaked fruit and nuts into the rest of the batter, and add to the top of the batter in the tin.
4) Put into preheated oven on the middle tray, and bake at 180C for 50 – 60 minutes. Test cake with a skewer to check if ready. Remove from oven and leave the cake in the tin for 10 minutes. Turn cake out onto a cake rack and brush on orange and rum glaze
Rum and Orange glaze
1/4 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons sweet rum
1/2 cup sugar
In a small saucepan, add sugar juice and rum, bringing to the boil. Stir well to ensure that nothing sticks. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then brush onto warm cake, repeat this if there is enough glaze left over.
Let me know what you think about this alternative Christmas cake recipe. Check out the fan page (click the facebook button on top right corner of page), because I've been sharing quite a few alternative designs for Christmas cakes as I find them too! If you have a friend who you think would like this recipe, please share it with them too! Happy Christmas Baking!!