Kerala Plum Cake

Step by StepJump to Recipe

My Kerala plum cake is an easy and tasty recipe for making a Kerala style fruit cake without eggs and alcohol. Bonus – my recipe is also made with whole wheat flour and is vegan.

About this recipe

We love fruit cakes. So no wonder, I already have two eggless fruit cakes posted on the blog – Red Wine Cake and Fruit Cake (made with rum).

One major difference in this Kerala fruit cake and the other fruit cakes, is the addition of caramel. This does give a nice brown color to the cake. Here I show you how to make homemade caramel and it adds a lot of depth and flavor to your plum cake.

My recipe of Kerala plum cake is made without alcohol. I have made this Kerala fruit cake both with fresh orange juice and apple juice on different occasions.

Soak the dry fruits in either of the juice overnight in the fridge. With orange juice, you need not worry as the cake does not become bitter.

photo collage of a round kerala fruit cake on a white plate and slices of kerala fruit cake on a white rectangular tray

I have used organic apple juice and 100% whole wheat flour (atta) for this Kerala plum cake. So this is a healthy bake. The amount of sugar and oil added is also not too much.

The sweetness of the dates, golden raisins and black currants used in my Kerala fruit cake recipe, compensates for less sugar being added.

To make the caramel syrup for this Kerala fruit cake, I checked the method on Nag’s blog. Preparing caramel is not difficult. So don’t worry on that. Just cook the sugar and water on a low flame and keep on stirring often.

This Kerala plum cake is soft and moist. The recipe yields about 1 kilogram of cake. I have used an 8-inch round pan. Though you can even use a loaf pan with 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 dimensions.

Do use dry fruits and nuts of your choice, but do not skip on the candied orange peels. These give lovely bitter notes in some bites while savoring the plum cake.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Kerala Plum Cake

Soaking dry fruits

1. Take all the dry fruits and nuts in a bowl. I rinse them in water once or twice and then drain them very well. I prefer to rinse them, but you can skip this step.

I have added dates, cashews, almonds, walnuts, raisins, black currants, pistachios, glazed cherries and candied orange peels.

You can add the nuts and dry fruits that are easily available to you. My suggestions are dried apricots, figs, pecans, pine nuts, hazel nuts and various dried berries.

dry fruits  and nuts in a steel bowl for kerala plum cake recipe

2. Now finely chop all of them and collect in a mixing bowl. For faster work, chop the fruits and nuts in a food processor or food chopper.

If using dates with stones, then after chopping with a knife discard the stones. If you use a food processor, then add roughly chopped dates with the other nuts and dry fruits before chopping.

Try to chop the nuts, dry fruits finely. Larger chunks will make your plum cake crumbly while slicing.

finely chopped dry fruits and nuts

3. Add 1 cup apple juice. The apple juice that we need is the flowing, thin, transparent apple juice available in stores.

In a pinch, you can also use fresh apple juice. But given that fresh apple juice will have a bulk of the pulp, add 1.5 cups fresh apple juice.

apple juice being added

4. Mix very well. Allow the fruits to soak in the apple juice for a day. Keep the bowl covered in the fridge.

Whether you use packaged apple juice or fresh apple juice, do not keep the dry fruits soaking at room temperature. Mix and immediately refrigerate.

apple juice mixed with dry fruits and nuts

5. The below photo is of the dry fruits + apple juice mixture the next day. Bring this to room temperature before you proceed with the recipe.

soaked dry fruits and nuts for making kerala fruit cake recipe

Preparing caramel solution

6. In a saucepan, take ½ cup sugar (100 grams) and 2 tablespoons water. I have used organic unrefined cane sugar. White sugar can also be used.

raw sugar and water in a sauce pan

7. Mix and stir very well. Keep this pan on the stove top on a low flame.

stirring sugar solution with a wooden spatula

8. Bring this sugar solution to a boil on a low heat. You will see the mixture bubbling initially.

simmering frothy bubbling sugar syrup

9. Continue to cook and do keep on stirring often.

sugar syrup being cooked further

10. At one point it might look that the sugar is getting crystallized.

sugar seen getting crystallized in the syrup

11. Continue to cook and stir frequently.

sugar syrup being stirred with a wooden spatula

12. The pale brown color is still there as you see in the photo below.

color changed in sugar syrup

13. Continue to cook and stir and you will see the color changing to a dark brown.

color becoming dark brown

14. Here the caramelization process has started. Since I was also handling the camera, I stopped here fearing that the caramel should not get burnt.

The color should become a little more brown and you will also get the caramel aroma.

color has become darker and caramel is ready

15. Remove the pan from the stove top and place it down. Immediately add 1 cup water to the caramel. Be careful while doing so as the mixture splutters.

water added to caramel syrup

16. The caramel will harden as soon as you pour the water. Keep the saucepan back on the stove top on a low flame. Stir often and bring to a gentle simmer until all the hardened caramel is dissolved. Do stir often so as to aid in dissolving the caramel.

water mixed with caramel syrup

17. Below is the caramel liquid. Let this caramel solution cool completely. Filter this solution and keep aside. You can see the impurities from the unrefined sugar in the picture below.

You can also use brown sugar or jaggery instead of preparing the caramel solution. Simply dissolve the jaggery or brown sugar in 1 cup water and proceed to the next step – 18.

caramel liquid ready for kerala plum cake

18. Once the caramel solution has cooled, add ⅓ cup oil. I used olive oil. You can also use sunflower oil or melted butter. If using melted butter than add it when the caramel solution turns warm.

adding oil to caramel solution for making kerala fruit cake

19. Mix the oil with the caramel solution thoroughly.

oil mixed thoroughly with the caramel solution

20. Next add 1.5 tablespoons lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. I used lemon juice. You can also use regular white vinegar. Mix again thoroughly.

lemon juice being added

Making plum cake batter

21. Grease an 8 inch round pan very well with oil or butter. Preheat your oven at 180 degrees celsius(356 degrees Fahrenheit) for 15 mins before you bake the cake.

greased cake pan

22. In a seive, take 2 cups whole wheat flour/atta (240 grams), 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg powder, ⅛ teaspoon clove powder and ½ teaspoon cardamom powder (optional).

You can also add ¼ teaspoon allspice powder and ¼ teaspoon ginger powder.

flours and ground spices in a sieve

23. Sift all the dry ingredients. Set aside.

sifted dry ingredients in a black bowl

24. Next add the soaked dry fruits + apple juice mixture to the sifted dry ingredients.

soaked dry fruits added to sifted flour

25. With a spatula just mix lightly and do not over work. You don’t want any gluten strands forming in the batter mix.

soaked dry fruits mixed lightly with sifted flour for kerala plum cake

26. Add the caramel solution.

caramel solution being added

27. Finish off the entire caramel solution in one go.

caramel solution floating lightly on top of the flour mixture

28. Now fold the flour ingredients with the caramel solution. Don’t mix. To see how folding is done, you can check my Eggless Banana Bread youtube video.

batter being mixed with a wooden spatula

29. Fold to a smooth batter. If the batter looks thick, then you can add some more water.

kerala plum cake batter ready

Baking Kerala Plum Cake

30. Pour the batter in the prepared pan. Gently shake and tap the pan so as to even out the batter.

plum cake batter poured in the cake pan

31. Place the pan in a preheated oven and bake the cake at 180 degrees celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit) for 1 hour or 1 hour and 15 minutes.

A wooden skewer should come out clean and dry when inserted in the cake. There will be some moisture from the dry fruits on the skewer but there should not be any sticky cake batter on it. You should see fine crumbs.

This Kerala plum cake has to be baked very well. If the top gets browned too much, then cover with an aluminium foil or parchment paper and continue to bake.

Baking time varies with various brands and models of oven. So do keep a check. In case you remove the cake and find that it has not baked and has a sticky or too moist a texture, then keep the cake back in the pan and continue to bake.

beautiful golden baked kerala plum cake

32. Here’s the base of the plum cake. I was in a hurry and while the cake was still hot, I removed it from the pan. Result is a crack on the base. Do remove the cake gently from the pan once it completely cools at room temperature. All the time, keep the cake pan while cooling on a wired rack or wired tray.

inverted kerala plum cake on a steel plate

33. You can sift some powdered sugar on top of the cake to hide the cracks on the top. Slice and serve the eggless Kerala plum cake.

slices of Kerala plum cake on a white rectangular plate

Storing suggestions

Kerala plum cake cake can also be refrigerated. It keeps good for 10 to 12 days in the fridge. I sliced the cake in slices and stored the slices in an airtight box.

Tips

FAQs

Can we replace whole wheat flour with all-purpose flour?

If using all purpose flour, you might need to add less amount of caramel syrup. Since we are making the caramel syrup ahead, it is tricky to tell the correct amount. My suggestion would be to add an equal proportion of both whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour.

Can I halve or double the recipe?

Absolutely! You can easily halve or double or triple my Kerala style plum cake recipe.

Can I bake the cake in a microwave oven?

In your microwave oven, use the convection mode for baking. The cake cannot be baked using the microwave mode or microwave option. Preheat and bake your microwave oven using only the convection mode at 175 degrees Celsius.

Can I use fresh orange peels instead of candied orange peels?

No – fresh orange peels will make the cake very bitter. Omit the candied orange peels if you do not have them. But you can add orange zest – which is the orange colored part of a fresh orange peel. Use a grater or a zester, to get fine grates of the orange part of the peel and not the white part. You can add about 1 tablespoon of orange zest to the batter.

Is it fine if I soak the dry fruits for a couple of hours?

Dry fruits and nuts soften and soak really well when kept overnight. But if you are short of time, then soak them for 2 to 3 hours.

Can I make this cake without an oven?

Of course, you can make the cake in a stove-top pressure cooker. Follow the steps outlined in this recipe post to make the cake in a cooker – Pressure Cooker Cake.

More Eggless Cakes

If you made this recipe, please be sure to rate it in the recipe card below. Sign Up for my email newsletter or you can follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest or Twitter for more vegetarian inspirations.

slices of Kerala plum cake on a white rectangular plate

Kerala Plum Cake (No Eggs, No Alcohol, Whole Wheat)

4.89 from 27 votes
Kerala plum cake with a soft and light crumb, made without eggs and alcohol. My Kerala style cake is made with apple juice, caramel and whole wheat flour.
Prep Time 1 d
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Total Time 1 d 1 hr 15 mins

Cuisine World
Course: Desserts
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Difficulty Level: Easy

Servings 1 kilogram
Units

Ingredients

To be soaked overnight

  • 25 grams walnuts or ¼ cup walnuts
  • 15 to 20 grams golden raisins or 2 tablespoon golden raisins
  • 20 grams black currants or 2 tablespoon black currants
  • 30 grams cashews or ¼ cup cashews (kaju)
  • 100 grams dates or ½ cup dates ( I used 7 kimia dates)
  • 25 grams almonds or 2 tablespoon almonds
  • 20 grams pistachios or 2 tablespoon pistachios
  • 25 grams glazed cherries 8 to 10 glazed cherries
  • 40 to 45 grams candied orange peels
  • 1 cup apple juice

Dry ingredients

  • 2 cup whole wheat flour levelled (atta) or 240 grams whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder (dalchini powder)
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg powder or grated nutmeg (jaiphal powder)
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder (choti elaichi powder)
  • teaspoon clove powder (lavang powder)

For caramel

  • ½ cup sugar or 100 grams sugar
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup water

Wet ingredients

  • cup olive oil – can add sunflower oil or any neutral flavored oil
  • 1.5 tablespoon lemon juice or lime juice or apple cider vinegar or white vinegar

Instructions

Soaking dry fruits

  • Take all the dry fruits and nuts in a bowl. I just rinse them once or twice and then drain them very well.
  • Now finely chop all of them and collect in a mixing bowl.
  • Add the apple juice and mix very well.
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate letting the dry fruits soak in the apple juice for a day.
  • Bring the dry fruits and apple juice mixture to room temperature before you proceed with making the cake.

Preparing caramel

  • In a sauce pan, take the sugar and water.
  • Mix and stir very well. Keep this pan on the stove top on a low heat. I have used organic unrefined cane sugar but you can use white sugar.
  • Bring this sugar solution to a boil on a low heat. You will see the mixture bubbling initially.
  • Continue to cook and do keep on stirring often.
  • At one point it might look that the sugar is getting crystallized.
  • Continue to cook and stir frequently till you see the color changing to a dark brown. Switch off at this point.
  • Remove the pan from the stove top and place it down. Immediately add 1 cup water to the caramel. Be careful while doing so, as the mixture splutters.
  • The caramel will harden as soon as you pour the water. Keep the saucepan back on the stove top on a low flame. Stir often and bring to a gentle simmer till all the hardened caramel is dissolved. Do stir often so as to aid in dissolving the caramel.
  • Let this caramel solution cool completely.
  • Once the caramel has cooled, add the oil. I used olive oil. You can also use sunflower oil or melted butter. If using melted butter then add it when the caramel solution turns warm.
  • Mix the oil with the caramel solution very well.
  • Next add lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. I have used lemon juice. You can also use white vinegar. Mix again very well.

Making cake batter

  • Grease a 8-inch round pan very well with oil or butter. Also preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit) for 15 mins before you bake.
  • In a sieve, take whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder, clove powder and cardamom powder (optional).
  • Sift all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  • Next add the soaked dry fruits + apple juice mixture to the sifted dry ingredients.
  • With a spatula just mix lightly.
  • Add the caramel solution.
  • Now fold the flour ingredients with the caramel solution to a smooth batter.

Baking

  • Pour the batter in the prepared pan.
  • Gently shake and tap the pan so as to even out the batter.
  • Place the pan in a preheated oven and bake the cake at 180 degrees Celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit) for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. A wooden skewer should come out clean and dry when inserted in the cake.
  • This cake has to be baked very well. If the top gets browned too much, then cover with an aluminium foil or parchment paper and bake. Baking time varies with various brands and models of oven.
  • You can sift some powdered sugar on top of the cake to hide the cracks on the top. Slice and serve the cake.

Storing suggestions

  • The cake can also be refrigerated. It keeps good for 10 to 12 days in the fridge. Cut the kerala plum cake in slices and stored the slices in an airtight box.

Notes

  • Baking: The temperatures vary in various ovens. When the cake is baking, do keep a check but do not open the oven door many times as this can sunk the cake. Only open when ¾ of the cake is done and when you see the top nicely golden and baked.
  • Nuts and dry fruits: You can vary the amount and add nuts and dry fruits of your choice and whatever is available to you. 
  • Apple juice: For soaking, you can use 1 cup packaged apple juice (preferably without preservatives) or 1.5 cups homemade fresh apple juice. 
  • Scaling: You can easily halve or double the recipe. 

Nutrition Info Approximate values

Nutrition Facts
Kerala Plum Cake (No Eggs, No Alcohol, Whole Wheat)
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 258 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 98mg4%
Potassium 237mg7%
Carbohydrates 39g13%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 21g23%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 4IU0%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1mg5%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Vitamin E 2mg13%
Vitamin K 5µg5%
Calcium 30mg3%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 15µg4%
Iron 1mg6%
Magnesium 51mg13%
Phosphorus 132mg13%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Like our videos? Then do follow and subscribe to us on youtube to get the latest Recipe Video updates.

Tried this recipe?If you have made the recipe and liked it then do share the recipe link on facebook, twitter & pinterest. For instagram mention @dassanasvegrecipes and tag #dassanasvegrecipes!

Like this Recipe?
Pin it Now to Remember it Later

Pin Recipe Now

This Kerala plum cake recipe post from the archives (December 2015) has been republished and updated on 20 December 2020.

Share This Recipe:

PinWhatsAppPrintShares2.2k

Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

Get My Secrets to Great Indian Food
Sign up for my FREE Beginners Guide to Delicious Indian Cooking

Comments are closed.

106 Comments

  1. I baked the cake yesterday. It’s awesome 👍 I have used Jaggery instead of caramelized sugar
    .It’s delicious
    Merry Christmas 🌲🎄☃️☃️

  2. Thank you so much for such a lovely recipe. I used homemade molasses instead of preparing caramel syrup and some jaggery along with it . It turned out to be one of the most perfect plum cakes ever.5 stars

    1. Nice to know and thank you for sharing your feedback. Thanks for the rating too.

  3. I have always used your receipes, its really great. And best thing is all are veg recipes. Please suggest or make a video on how to use microwave oven with convection mode for cake. Whenever I have made its burnt ,very hard .5 stars

    1. Thank you. I cannot make a video as I do not have a microwave oven. When you use the convection mode for baking, simply use the convection mode only. Do not use convection mode with microwave mode. In a microwave mode only or in combination with convection mode, the cake will get burnt and become hard. If you use the convection mode only, then you can either reduce the time or the temperature. For the plum cake, you can bake in the convection mode for 170 degrees celsius or reduce the time to 40 minutes or until the cake is done.

      1. Yes you can. But keep the bowl in the fridge for the nuts to soak the orange juice.

See More Comments