Festive and flavorful homemade eggless fruit cake is bursting with cheerful holiday spices and delicious rum-soaked fruits and nuts. It’s a classic Christmas recipe that makes a light, crumbly, and perfectly moist Christmas cake that you’ll love to enjoy and share all season. No eggs needed!
Table of Contents
About This Fruit Cake
Traditional Christmas fruit cake is a yummy treat made by soaking dried fruits and nuts in rum or wine, and mixing with fragrant spices in a simple from-scratch batter.
To make my eggless version I use a blend of whole wheat flour (atta) and all-purpose flour (maida). This helps to create a wonderfully tender and fluffy cake every time!
Although most of the alcohol will bake out of the cake, it’s easy to adapt this as an alcohol-free recipe if you choose. Substitute rum with Orange Juice or apple juice.
I soak the dry fruits and nuts in rum for 3 days at room temperature before using to bake. However, if you want you can soak in rum for as little as 12 hours or 24 hours, or for even as long as one full year in the fridge.
Place the dried fruit and rum in an airtight container with a secure lid. If soaking in apple juice or orange juice, then soak in the fridge for 1 to 2 days.
Here are two other Christmas cakes you should try after you make this easy fruit cake recipe:
- Kerala Style Plum Cake (made with whole wheat flour, apple juice and caramel)
- Wine Cake (made with red wine)
Fruit cakes take more time to bake. The exact time will vary from oven to oven, but it took my eggless fruit cake about 1 hour to bake at 180 degrees Celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit).
I use my favorite dried fruits and nuts in this recipe, but feel free to substitute or add whatever you like for your Christmas cake!
How to Make Eggless Fruit Cake
Soak Dry Fruits and Nuts
1: In a large bowl combine the following nuts and dried fruits:
- ¼ cup of golden raisins
- ¼ cup black raisins (seedless)
- ¼ cup cashews
- 2 tablespoons of dried cherries
- 8 apricots
- 8 to 9 dates, small to medium-sized
Rinse them well and drain thoroughly.
2: Finely chop everything with a knife, or use a food processor to roughly chop.
Keep in mind to finely chop the nuts and dried fruits as larger chunks will cause the cake to crumble while cutting it.
3: Transfer the chopped dried fruits and nuts to a bowl.
4. Now add ¼ cup of tutti frutti and ¼ cup chopped candied orange peel.
You can skip these ingredients if you don’t have them. But candied orange peels, gives a lovely citrusy, bitter-sweet notes in the cake.
5: Pour in one cup of rum, wine, or apple juice.
6. Mix very well and let the dried fruits and nuts soak in the rum for at least 12 hours, or for 2 to 3 days. You can keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.
TIP 1: If soaking in rum for more than 3 days then transfer to a sealed container and keep in the fridge for up to one year.
TIP 2: If soaking in apple or orange juice, then refrigerate for 1 to 2 days.
7. Here is what the mixture will look like after soaking for 3 days.
Prepare Spice Mix
8: The spice blend in this fruit cake smells and tastes just like the holidays.
For this recipe you need to gather 2 inches of cinnamon, 2 green cardamoms, 2 allspice, ⅛ teaspoon of grated nutmeg or ground nutmeg powder.
You can also add 2 cloves for an extra festive boost of flavor.
9: Add the spices in a spice grinder or a small grinder jar.
10: Grind the spices to a fine powder, and set aside.
11. At this point you want to go ahead and prepare your Christmas cake pan. To do so grease a 7 to 8.5 inches round pan very well with a neutral oil. Since this is a moist cake, you can also line the cake pan with butter paper or parchment paper.
Also preheat oven at 180 degrees Celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit) for 20 minutes to get perfectly hot.
Sift Dry Ingredients
12: To make the batter, combine 1.5 cups of all-purpose flour and 1 cup of whole wheat flour in a sieve over a large bowl.
13: Then add the ground spice powder and ½ teaspoon of baking powder.
14: Sift the ingredients together into the bowl.
Make Fruit Cake Batter
15: Next add the soaked dried fruits and nuts – including the leftover rum – to the sifted dry ingredients.
16: Add 1.5 cups of demerara sugar. You can also use powdered sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, palm or coconut sugar – whatever you prefer!
17: Then add 1 cup of oil and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
18: Gently mix together the ingredients until just combined, making sure to not over-mix.
19: Next, in the same bowl in which dried fruits and nuts were soaked, add 1 cup of soy milk.
Feel free to use dairy milk – or almond milk, cashew milk, lite coconut milk, to make an eggless fruitcake that’s also vegan-friendly.
20: Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar) to the milk.
21: Mix well. Do not worry if the milk curdles a bit.
22: Now sprinkle 1 teaspoon of baking soda all over the milk.
23: Stir gently. The mixture will rise a bit.
24: Pour this milk mixture into the fruit cake batter.
25: Working quickly, use a spatula to combine the mixtures together.
26: It should form a wet batter that is smooth except for the lumps of dried fruits and nuts.
27: Pour the eggless fruit cake batter into the greased pan.
28: Give the pan a gentle shake and tap to level out the batter, using a spatula if necessary to even the top of the cake.
29: As you do not want the batter to reach the very top of the pan, you might need a second pan, like I used here. This is like an extra mini cake for you to enjoy!
Bake Christmas Cake
30: Now bake the fruit cake in a preheated oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour, depending on oven size.
31: The eggless fruit cake will have a beautiful golden brown color. Test the doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center – it should come out clean.
Allow the cake pan to cool completely on a wired rack or stand before flipping the cake out onto a plate.
32: Wrap the fruit cake in a cling film or store in an air-tight container at room temperature for 3 to 4 days.
The flavors mature over a period of time and this eggless fruit cake tastes very good after some days. If you stay in a warm climate then keep Christmas fruit cake in the fridge.
33: Once cool to the touch, slice and serve the eggless fruit cake with a glass of dairy or plant-based milk, or a cup of Hot Chocolate. You can also serve the fruit cake as a sweet snack.
- Baking: Remember to preheat the oven for 20 minutes before you bake. The baking time will vary with the type of oven, size and pans you use. Open the oven door after ¾ of the cake is baked. Opening it many times may cause the cake to sunk. If the top of the cake browns quickly, then cover the top with a parchment paper or aluminium foil.
- Milk and fats: I have used soy milk in the recipe. But you can sub it with almond milk, cashew milk, lite coconut milk or dairy milk. Instead of oil you can use butter.
- Candied orange peels: Do add the candied peels (orange or lemon) as they really add some bitter notes to the cake which is otherwise sweet and this is what makes the Christmas fruit cake different from a regular fruit cake. Candied ginger peels also taste good.
- Nuts: Almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pecans are some nuts you can include instead of cashews. You can also use a mix of these nuts.
- Alcohol: The nuts and dry fruits mixture can be soaked in apple juice, orange juice instead of rum. You can also use equal proportions of rum and wine if you want. For orange juice and apple juice keep the bowl in the fridge. If kept outside even for a few hours in a warm climate like that of India, the juices will get spoiled.
- Flour: You can make this eggless fruit cake entirely with whole wheat flour or with all-purpose flour or pastry flour. You can also use whole wheat pastry flour.
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Fruit Cake | Christmas Cake
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- ¼ cup black raisins (seedless)
- ¼ cup cashews
- ¼ cup chopped candied orange peels or candied citrus peels
- 8 dried apricots
- 8 to 9 dates – small to medium-sized
- ¼ cup tutti frutti – optional
- 2 tablespoons dried cherries or glazed cherries
- 1 cup rum or 1 cup fresh orange juice or apple juice
For cake batter
- 1.5 cups all-purpose flour – 187 grams
- 1 cup whole wheat flour – 120 grams
- 1.5 cups demerara sugar – 250 grams – can also add instead 250 grams brown sugar or 250 grams white sugar or 250 grams powdered sugar/confectioner's sugar
- 1 cup oil or melted butter, use any neutral flavored oil
- 1 cup soy milk or any nut milk or dairy milk
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or regular white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
For ground spice mix
- 2 inches cinnamon
- 2 green cardamoms
- 2 allspice
- ⅛ teaspoon grated nutmeg or nutmeg powder, about 2 to 3 pinches of nutmeg powder
- 2 cloves – optional
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger (ginger powder) – optional
Soaking nuts and dry fruits
- Firstly chop all the nuts and dry fruits and take them in a bowl or a jar. Pour rum in the bowl or jar.
- Cover and let the dry fruits soak for 12 or 24 hours or for 3 days. If you have used apple juice or orange juice to soak the dry fruits, then cover the bowl with an air-tight lid or a tightly with a clingfilm wrap and keep in the refrigerator.
- After some hours or every day stir or shake the bowl or jar, so that all the nuts and dry fruits get soaked properly.
- In a spice-grinder or dry grinder, grind the spices listed above, under the heading "for ground spice mix" except for ginger powder. Set aside.
- Prepare a loaf pan or a round cake pan by greasing it very well with oil. You can also line the cake pan with butter paper.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit)for 20 minutes.
Making cake batter
- Sieve the flours, baking powder and the the ground powdered spice mix. You can also add ginger powder at this step. Note that ginger powder is optional.
- Add the soaked dry fruits together with the leftover rum or apple juice/orange juice.
- Add the oil and demerara sugar or your choice of brown sugar or regular white sugar. Also add vanilla extract. Gently mix together the ingredients until just combined, making sure to not over-mix.
- In a bowl or mug add soy milk. Now add apple cider vinegar and stir gently.
- Add baking soda and stir thoroughly. Add this frothing mixture to the cake batter.
- Stir and mix quickly but evenly.
- Pour in the cake pan.
- Shake the pan lightly so that the cake batter is spread evenly throughout the whole pan.
- Use a spatula to even the top of the cake.
- Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 180 degrees celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit) for 50 minutes to 60 minutes or more or less depending on your type of oven.
- The eggless fruit cake will have a lovely golden brown color. Test the doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center and it should come out clean.
- Let the cake pan cool completely on a wired rack or stand before flipping the cake out onto a plate.
- Wrap the Christmas fruit cake in a cling film or store in an air-tight container at room temperature for 3 to 4 days.
- The flavors mature over a period of time and thus the eggless fruit cake tastes very good after some days. If you stay in a warm climate then keep Christmas fruit cake in the fridge.
- Later, slice and serve the eggless fruit cake with a glass of dairy or plant-based milk, or a hot cup of cocoa. You can also serve it as a sweet snack.
- Baking: If the top of the cake browns quickly, then cover the top with parchment paper or aluminium foil.
- Milk and fats: Instead of soy milk you can use dairy milk or almond milk, cashew milk or lite coconut milk. Instead of oil you can use butter.
- Nuts: Feel free to add nuts like almonds, pecans, walnuts, pistachios instead of cashews. You can also opt to add a mix of these nuts. Also, make sure that these nuts are not salted.
- Candied peels: Do add the candied peels as they really add some bitter notes to the cake which is otherwise sweet and this is what makes the Christmas fruit cake different from a regular fruit cake.
- Soaking: The nuts and dry fruits can be soaked in orange juice or apple juice instead of rum. You can also use equal proportions of rum and wine if you want. If soaking in apple or orange juice then keep the bowl in the fridge. If kept outside even for a few hours in a warm climate like that of India, the juices will get spoiled.
- Flours: This christmas cake can also be entirely made with whole wheat flour (atta) or all purpose flour (maida). You can also use pastry flour or whole wheat pastry flour.
- Nutrition info is per slice of eggless fruit cake.
Nutrition Info (Approximate values)
This fruit cake recipe post from the archives first published in December 2012 has been republished and updated on 18 December 2021.