Christmas is incomplete without baking this delicious, flavourful, moist plum cake at home. But what if we can make it healthy so that we can enjoy it guilt-free. Sounds interesting haan?
This cake is made of whole wheat flour and oat flour instead of refined flour (maida). Instead of refined white sugar, it has brown sugar. These are Eggless and Vegan too. All these things might make you feel ehhhh…Boring. But trust me on this. These are incredibly soft and moist and you can’t even tell the difference. Really.
& The best thing is that you can make your kids eat it without worrying too much. Oh did I mention that there is no alcohol in it? Yay. It has got fruits, nuts, and seeds and no refined flour. You must bake it for them, for yourself, this Christmas season. Fa la la la laaaa…
Honestly speaking, I never liked Christmas Plum Cake (or Christmas Fruit & Nut Cake). I remember my mom used to get it every Christmas and all my family members used to enjoy it a lot. I mean A LOT. But there was something in it which was not pleasing for my taste buds.
Now when I baked it myself, I realized that the flavor which was not enjoyable for me was the flavor of clove. Yes. But I am always ready for homemade cakes. They taste much better. And now I enjoy this Christmas delicacy too. I mean what’s not to like 🙂
Since I made them healthy, I literally enjoy it more. I already had a lot of sweets on Diwali so at least with this cake, I know I am eating something healthy and don’t need to worry. And guess what, despite the fact that these are made of whole wheat flour and oat flour, they are not at all dry and crumbly. They don’t get dry even after 3 or 4 days of baking. The natural, plant-based ingredients do their job pretty well.
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HOW TO MAKE OAT FLOUR AT HOME?
For this recipe, you can use store-bought oats flour too. But I prefer to make it at home using instant oats. Store-bought ones are a little expensive. Moreover, making it at home is quite easy and quick. Just grind the instant oats till you get a fine powder. A little bit of husk is fine. That will be separated out while sifting.
TIPS TO BAKE IT RIGHT
- Room Temperature: Make sure that all the ingredients are at room temperature. It is very important in baking.
- Measure Accurately: Correctly measuring the ingredients is very important. Adding extra flour is one common mistake. Just fill your measuring cup with the flour and then level it off with a knife. If the wet ingredients are not measured well, the muffins will become soggy.
- Sifting: Sift the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, cacao powder, salt. This ensures that there are no lumps in the batter.
- Over mixing: This is something that happens accidentally. Over mixing crushes all the air bubbles and you end with dense brownies. To ensure that the brownies are light, mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients until they are just combined. That means you don’t see any dry ingredients left in the bowl.
- Leavening Agent: Baking Powder & baking soda helps the brownies rise. Double-check to make sure they are not expired.
- Resting: Whole wheat flour and oat flour absorbs a lot of moisture compared to the refined flour. So, it is important to let it rest for 10 – 15 minutes and then adjust the consistency of the batter accordingly. That ways, the flour doesn’t absorb moisture while baking and remains soft and moist. This resting time is not needed in refined flour recipe. I let it rest because I used the recipe of Bake with Shivesh. He baked it using refined flour. So, I have to make some adjustments to make it perfectly soft and moist.
- Baking Time: Baking time depends on a lot of factors. Even over bakes at a different time even at the same temperature setting. So be careful with that. Also, the time of baking also depends on the mould size. If you are using a mould with high depth, it will obviously take a longer time to bake.
ADJUSTMENTS – YOU MAY WANT TO MAKE
- Flour: I made it using 1 Cup whole wheat flour and 1/4 cup oat flour. You can make it using whole wheat flour only (1 + 1/4 cup). But you need to understand the texture of the batter needed. Every flour has a different liquid-absorbing capacity. Hence, you can not just change one ingredient and keep the rest of the ingredients the same. I would suggest trying the same recipe first and then start making adjustments. Also, the texture of the cake may change with different flours.
- Sweetener: I added brown sugar to this recipe. But you can even add date syrup, maple syrup or jaggery. Adjust the sweetness as per your taste. The liquid sweeteners are natural and perfect to make the cakes soft and moist.
- Flax Egg: Instead of ground flax seeds, you can use ground chia seeds, thick curd or apple sauce.
- Alcohol: Generally, the christmas cake is made of alcohol or rum in it. All the dried fruits are soaked in it well in advance. They absorb the flavour and it tastes quite nice in christmas cake. But not everyone prefers the cake with alcohol. That’s why, in this recipe the dried fruits are soaked in orange juice, lemon juice and water. The flavour and aroma that it gives to the cake is beyond words.
CAN I MAKE IT IN THE MICROWAVE?
Yes. Of course. If your microwave has a convection mode, you can easily bake this cake in it.
To bake this cake in the microwave, you just need to preheat the microwave to 165 degrees celsius for around 10 minutes. Once preheated, place the baking tray in it and let it bake for 45 to 55 minutes. Now, every machine is different. So, keep an eye on it and once you see the golden edges, insert a toothpick at the center to check if it is fully baked.
If the toothpick comes out clean, it means the cake is perfectly baked. But if it doesn’t, bake it for a couple of extra minutes.
HOW TO STORE THIS CAKE?
You can store it in an air-tight container. Leave them at room temperature on your kitchen counter for two to three days (depending on the temperature at your place). You can easily refrigerate them for a week.
IS THIS RECIPE VEGAN?
Yes. It is a 100% vegan and plant-based recipe. I used flax egg instead of eggs, olive oil instead of butter, soy curd instead of dairy curd.
MORE BAKED RECIPES FOR CHRISTMAS
Now you are all ready to make this delicious, healthy, soft cake at home. It is perfect for your sweet cravings in this Christmas season. You don’t need to wait for your cheat days to enjoy this deliciousness. So, grab all the ingredients, and let’s get baking.
If you like the recipe, please share the photo on Instagram and tag us too @marriedfriends. We love to see your recreation of our recipes.
Happy Cooking 🙂
Love from us
Richa & Jatin
Healthy Christmas Plum Cake – No Rum!
Soft. Moist. Healthy.
Soaking Dry Fruits
- 1/3 cup Orange Juice
- 1/3 cup Water
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1/4 cup Black Raisins
- 1/4 cup Green Raisins
- 1/4 cup Dried Apricots chopped
- 1/4 cup Dried Cranberries
- 2 tbsp Flax Seeds ground
- 6 tbsp Water
- 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
- 1/4 cup Oat Flour
- 1/4 cup Cacao Powder or cocoa powder
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/4 tsp Cinnamon Powder
- 1/8 tsp Clove Powder
- 1/8 tsp Ginger Powder
- 1/8 tsp Nutmeg freshly grated
- 1 tsp Orange Zest
- 2 tbsp Almonds chopped
- 2 tbsp Walnuts chopped
- 2 tbsp Hazelnuts chopped
- 2 tbsp Sunflower Seeds
- 2 tbsp Pumpkin Seeds
- 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Flax Egg as prepared
- 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
- 1/2 cup Soy Curd or any curd
- 1/4 cup Water or as needed
Soaked Dry Fruits
- In a pan, add all the ingredients and cook them on medium flame till all the liquid is absorbed.
- Once done, let it cool completely. Meanwhile, let's prepare other ingredients.
- Mix flax seeds with water. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes.
- Sift whole wheat flour, oat flour, and cacao powder.
Do not add baking powder and baking soda at this stage.
- Add all the spices and nuts to the flour. Mix together. Keep it aside.
Do not add baking powder and baking soda. We will add them later.
- In a bowl, add brown sugar and vegetable oil. Whisk together for a couple of minutes until well combined.
No need to mix until sugar is dissolved.
- Add prepared flax egg, curd, and vanilla extract. Whisk everything well until combined.
- Add dry ingredients in two parts and mix using the cut and fold method. Mix only till you don't see any dry flour in the bowl.
- Add the soaked dry fruits and fold them gently.
- Let the batter rest for 10 to 15 minutes to let the flours absorb the moisture.
- Once the batter is rested, preheat the oven to 165 degrees celsius at, top-bottom.
- Add baking powder and baking soda to the batter and adjust the consistency by adding a little extra water to it. Add the water 1-2 Tbsp at a time and mix. I added a total of 4 Tbsp water.
- Pour the batter into a baking tray and bake at 165 degrees Celcius for 45 to 55 minutes.
Insert a toothpick at the center. If it comes out clean, your cake is perfectly baked.
- Once baked, take it out from the oven and do not hurry to take it out from the tray. It might break. Let it rest for some time and then remove it from the baking tray. Let it cool down completely.
- Once it is completely cool, slice and serve. Enjoy this sweet treat with family and friends.
We often make the mistake of replacing refined flour with whole wheat flour in the recipes. We generally replace it with the exact same amount. Now that’s the key problem. Every flour has a different absorbing capacity. & whole wheat flour absorbs more moisture than refined flour. The result – dry and crumbly cake. Understanding the texture is more important. Hence, try the exact same recipe first. understand the texture and the consistency and then start making adjustments.
I prefer to make oat flour at home using instant oats. Store-bought ones are a little expensive. Moreover, making it at home is quite easy and quick. Just grind the instant oats till you get a fine powder. A little bit of husk is fine. That will be separated out while sifting.
Even without the eggs, you can make extremely soft and moist cakes. Here are the egg replacements in cakes, muffins, and brownies:
- Flax Egg: 1 Flax Egg = 1 Tbsp of ground flax seeds + 3 Tbsp of water. Mix & let it rest for at least 15 minutes. It will thicken. Replace 1 egg with 1 flax egg.
- Chia Egg: 1 Chia Egg = 1 Tbsp of ground chia seeds + 3 Tbsp of water. Mix and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes. It will thicken. Replace 1 egg with 1 chia egg.
- Yogurt or Buttermilk
Add a little hot water to the baking powder. If it forms bubbles, it is perfect to use. If you are testing for baking soda, add something acidic like vinegar or lemon juice. If it fizzes, it is perfect to use. Otherwise, discard them.
If you take out the cake before it is perfectly baked, it will sink at the center. If you keep opening the oven, then again your cake will sink at the center. To check if the cake is perfectly baked, insert a toothpick at the center. If it comes out clean, it is perfectly baked.