‘Tis is the season of cheer, love and of course, a lot of desserts! It is my favorite time of the year when life is all about merry baking some gorgeous desserts in the kitchen and sipping on cups of hot chocolate sitting beside a beautiful Christmas tree. This year, I want to share all my cheer with you and hence, I have planned some lovely recipes for you guys to try out.
This holiday season is different than every other because we’ll be staying at home celebrating with our family and close friends. So why not make it a little more special by baking with and for your loved ones? And you know what! Nothing says Christmas better than a good ol’ Plum Cake! So let’s make an eggless plum cake that is made with the warmest of spices, is rich and absolutely delicious!
What is a traditional Plum Cake?
Plum Cake refers to a wide range of cakes made with either dried fruit (such as currants, raisins or prunes) or with fresh fruit. There is a wide range of popular plum cakes and puddings. In India, plum cake has been served around the time of the Christmas holiday season, and may have additional ingredients such as rum or brandy added.
In the last two centuries since it first travelled out of England, the plum cake has reached every corner of the world. Every country, region and family has a different version of the recipe. Some are made with nuts soaked in rum, some are fed with sherry or brandy for weeks after being baked, and some have no alcohol at all.
Ingredients for Eggless Plum Cake
- For the soak
Traditionally, dry fruits are soaked in rum/brandy for months or even years before using them for baking a Christmas Plum Cake. But let’s be honest, not everybody remembers to do this and if this sounds like you, then you’re at the right place. For this eggless plum cake, I don’t use alcohol and use a very quick, cheat method of cooking my dry fruits with orange juice, lemon juice and some water. What this does is make the dry fruits extremely flavorful for the cake. I use tutti frutti, raisins, dried apricots, dried cranberries and prunes for this plum cake. But you can use any dry fruits you have in your kitchen!
- For the cake
Moreover, I make this plum cake eggless and use yogurt to make a moist, soft cake. I recommend using Yogurt as a substitute to eggs. It gives the cake a very similar texture and makes it fluffy and light. I also use brown sugar in the cake batter to give it a better depth of flavor and beautiful deep color.
Wondering about more egg substitutes? I have written an entire blog post dedicated to that and I know it will give you a better understanding of the entire thing!
Winter spices for Eggless Plum Cake
The best part of winter baking is the sweet fragrance and warming touch of winter spices like cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and so on! For this eggless plum cake, I use powdered cinnamon, clove and ginger. Freshly grounded powder works perfectly fine for this recipe and I would not recommend using whole spices as they would ruin the lovely mouth-feel of the dessert and all you’ll be able to taste are the spices! What we want is a subtle flavor of these spices running throughout the cake.
Process of Eggless Plum Cake
Since I didn’t pre-soak my fruits in liquid this year, I show you a quick cheat version of soaking your dry fruits! What I do is, I simply take orange juice, lemon juice, and water along with my dry fruits and cook them over low heat till the fruits absorb the liquids and become nice and plump. This takes literally minutes and makes your dry fruits as juicy as pre-soaked!
The key process in the making of this plum cake is the time this cake spends in the oven. We cook this cake slowly at a lower temperature so that it becomes really flavorful and the texture comes out just right. A normal cake is cooked for 30 to 40 minutes while this cake is cooked for 50-55 minutes at 160 degrees temperature.
It’s also rather important to prepare the cake batter well. It’s really easy- just make sure to cream the sugar and oil well before adding the yogurt and the rest of the ingredients. This makes sure that the cake comes out moist and fluffy rather than dense and oily. Make sure you chop the almonds, cashews, and walnuts before folding them in the batter.
Can I make this cake in the microwave?
This has to be the most asked question on all my social media platforms. Can we bake the recipe in a microwave? And the answer is YES! I am so glad that I am creating a recipe that can be made both in an oven and a microwave so everyone can bake and rejoice with this beautiful eggless plum cake.
If your microwave has a convection mode, you can also bake this cake in it! To bake these cake in the microwave, preheat until 160 degrees celsius. Place the cake pan on your tray, and allow it to bake for 30-40 minutes only. Again, microwaves differ, so keep a sharp eye out for the golden edges.
This cake can also be made in a cooker or kadhai, the options are endless. Basically, I just want you to make this recipe and share the joy it brings to you!
Eggless Plum Cake recipe
- 1 + ½ cup maida
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon clove
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup orange juice
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup tutti frutti
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼ cup dried apricots
- ⅛ cup dried cranberries
- ⅛ cup prunes
- ¼ cup almonds
- ¼ cup walnuts
- ¼ cup cashews
- In a saucepan, take orange juice, lemon juice and water.
- Add tutti frutti, raisins, dried apricots, dried cranberries and prunes to the juice mix and cook till the mixture thickens and the dry fruits absorb all the juices. Set aside.
- Pre-heat the oven to 160 degree C and line an 8 inch round cake pan with parchment paper.
- In a bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, the spices and orange zest and set aside.
- Whisk together brown sugar and oil in a separate bowl until pale and well combined.
- Now add the yogurt to the oil and sugar mixture and mix well.
- Add the vanilla extract.
- Gently fold in the dry ingredients and mix until everything is well combined and there are no large flour pockets in the batter. Do not over mix at this stage.
- Keep a small portion of the soaked dry fruits aside and fold in the rest along with the chopped walnuts, almonds and cashews in the batter and transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan.
- Bake at 160C for 50-55 minutes or only until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Top the cake with the leftover soaked fruits and serve!
If you happen to make this delicious eggless plum cake, do tag me on Instagram and use #BakewithShivesh. I’d love to see your creations. Happy Holidays!