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Monday, December 28, 2009

Alcohol-Free Orange Fruit Cake

I know I'm 3 days late to wish all my readers a Merry Merry Christmas!!
And Happy Birthday to my dear Saviour!
I've been busy busy busy.....

My first fruit cakes, made 4 mini loaves, 3 to give away, one to keep. I didn’t want to use Rum, as it’s so so expensive. Liquors are never cheap here. Due to Liquor tax and with our small small currency. And I decided to go with fresh zest rather than candied peels.

From what I read from the net, fruit cakes need to age to get the best flavour out of the fruits, but this fruit cake uses no liquor, so I dare not let it sit and sit for months. I just let it sit in the fridge, wrapped up for 5 days. And today I cut it up and ate it slowly, piece by piece. I like it, really like it. Maybe the zest makes it different, cos I don't really like candied peels. Try this if u love orange as much(or more) as I do :)

150gm glace cherries (mixed red and green, as u wish, coarsely chopped)
100 gm raisins + 100gm currants + 100gm sultanas (or whatever combination u prefer)
200ml orange juice
2 heaped Tbsp orange zest
250gm butter
150gm sugar
225 gm all purpose flour
4 large eggs

I did it shortcut way.. macerated the fruits in just 1 hour rather than overnight.
U may macerate the fruits overnight.

1. Macerate all the fruits and zest with orange juice, overnight preferably.
2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Beat in eggs, one by one, beating well after each addition.
4. Mix in flour until well combined.
5. Fold in macerated fruits and whatever juice that is remaining.
6. Place batter into 4 mini loaf pans (3X6)
7. Bake in a preheated oven at 140C(fan)/160C for 1 hour. (bigger pans will take much longer)

Another Christmas gift post coming up soon.. gimme so time to do it :)


  1. woah, they look like the perfect fruit cake! So pretty.. nice shots you've got.. A slice to die for!!

  2. Whua! Long wait for your Christmas post! I wanted to see what u made for Christmas n checked everyday...n finally! I love fruit cakes too! I once heard from a friend that his aunt make delicious brandy Fruit cakes, are they made the same way, except that Brandy's added?

  3. Tracie: Thanks. I took so many shots and only selected these few because the shots weren't that good that day(23rd dec, the unsliced loaf pics)Shooting pics in ahurry really messes up things, was too busy. Baking 2 birthday cakes as well, and extra cakes requested last minute by my brother.

    Mel: Got another Christmas gift post coming up. Yeah, they (liquor fruit cakes) are made about the same way, just that I soaked the fruits in juice instead of liquor. And liquor ones are bathed with liquor the moment they come out of the oven, so that the cake can keep and keep and keep.

  4. yeah! yeah! happy to see this! hehehe i can make more more different type of cake lo :)

    Do you know to make birthday cake? or... your previous post.... hehehe

    VEry good!

  5. Voon, I do make birthday cakes... check out my cakes list. My previous post? Durian Puffs?? I made them ler, how can I not know how to make them if I post them here as my bakes??? Or did I get u wrong?

  6. This is a really nice fruit cake. I bet it will go really well with black coffee. Next time if you go through the airport, you should get a bottle of rum at duty free. It is much cheaper there. I have friends who would soak their fruits for a year before baking their fruit cake or tart! I don't have that patience....

  7. Thanks Shirley. Yeah, duty free liquor is cheaper, but still it's expensive cos almost half a bottle will be used, 1 cup for soaking and more for drenching or brushing the cake. It's a bit too much for me :) Or maybe I don't love fruit cakes that much to spend such an amount on it.

    *Liquor Scrooge*

  8. hahaha i think i write wrongly hehehe

    you have make birthday cake in your previous posts! Good...i need to spend sometimes to read through :P

  9. Wendy, if I am going to bake this cake in one loaf pan, which size should I use?


  10. Mel,
    That'll be a pretty big loaf then.
    Maybe go for 4X12. It'll take much longer and I recommend 130C for fan forced oven or 15Oc for ovens with no fans. It should use a lower temp that what I used and bake it for 1 and 1/2 hours or more(test with skewer). So that the cake will be dense and nice.

    If you use a square pan a 8 inch square will be nice. Same temp as the large loaf and time as well.

  11. Hi, came across your blog and love your recipes. You are a great cook and baker! For this fruit cake, you indicated 100 gm raisins, 100gm currants, 100gm sultanas, it should be either 1 of it right or your recipe calls for 300gm of raisins, sultanas and currants?

  12. Anonymous,
    A total of 300gm (100+100+100). There's no 'or' written there.
    I specified so that the amount will be equal.

  13. Ah... Tks! Cos I thought they are all the same! :p Though still haven't really figured out the difference between raisins and currants!

  14. Anonymous,
    Oh no, currants are much smaller, although raisins and sultanas do look similiar.

  15. that is perfect christmas cake. i love fruit cake.

  16. Hi hi!
    It's me again!

    I got some boxes of Fruits Mix... Do u think they are ready to be used or should /must I macerate them first? When u macerate them, u dump them wholesale with the juice and all into the batter?

    My first loaf of fruit cake last week was good except that the fruits mix sunk to the bottom of my loaf tin. I surely didn't use that much... 185gm flour to 200gm fruit mix. Do u suppose it's cos they are too big pcs? As in I should dice them smaller? Or cos I just didn't use enough fruits mix?

    Thanks in advance!

  17. Anonymous,
    It is always best to macerate any dried fruits before baking. Boxed fruit mix is the same as any dried fruit you buy separately, except it is mixed and you don't need to buy a few packs of everything.
    Macerate the fruits first with the juice, then later, dump them all in together with whatever leftover liquids after the maceration.

    About your previous attempt, I'm sorry that I can't give much comments about it as I do not know the whole recipe. But coating your fruits with some flour (if the batter is not thick)will help to prevent the fruits from sinking.
    I only dice the cherries of which are really big, but I leave the other fruits whole... hmm.. as in how to dice raisins? Right?

    Hope this helps :)

  18. Thanks, as always! Just macerated the Mix last night, now preparing ingredients to bake and chill till Christmas! :)

    Then I just realized, this recipe doesn't call for baking powder... Correct? I don't see it listed ya...?

    A side question from here... Can u teach me how to make frosting? Buttercream or whipped cream? What sort of butter to use? SIS unsalted butter ok? How about Whipped or whipping cream? Noticed u used gelatin but some other frosting recipes do not use that... Is there a simple recipe or step u can share that can get me going?

    Thank you!


  19. J,
    Yes no baking powder.
    Any real butter will be fine.
    I use gelatin to stablize my whipped dairy cream.
    There is a buttercream recipe in my blog, please search for it using the search function or go to recipe index. I think if you go through my cake recipes you will find the instructions on how to make whipped dairy cream, there's quite a few of them.

  20. Cool! Wow!,, my fruit cakes are baking very nicely in the oven RIGHT NOW!!! Can't wait for it to be done! Thanks Wen!! U are a true genius!


  21. Hi
    Quick question before you go... Any reason why my fruit cake turned out a bit like fruit crumble cake? It taste good actually, except that when my knife sliced through it, it sorta crumble.. The raisins bits fell off and the cake sponge broke into crumbs... Quite unlike your perfect cut cake. Tx!


  22. J,
    Age the cake before you cut.
    I aged it for 5 days before I sliced it.
    It's written in the post itself.
    Warm fresh cakes always crumble and fruit cakes are supposed to be aged, not eaten fresh.

  23. Wahahahah thanks! I wanted to try before deciding if I should pack them as giveaways. Since it tastes so good, and aging it will hold it together, that I shall do! Thanks again and have a blessed Christmas!


  24. Hi hi

    Just wanted to say the fruit cakes were GREAT!! Everyone is full of raves! (except for the rather stout looking cake -- somehow the cake didn't quite rise. Maybe coz I didn't cream the butter enough till light n fluffy? U reckon?) It tastes really really good!

    Thank you so much! Merry blessed Christmas!


  25. J,
    Thanks for the feedback and glad everyone raved about it.
    This cake isn't supposed to rise much. It's not a fluffy cake, but it should have a tight fine crumb. Don't worry about the stout looking cake :P

  26. Hi Wendy

    Would like to know whether are you using freshly squeeze orange juice or buy from store? If store bought what brand are you using?


  27. Babelpoh,
    Freshly squeezed. Zest the orange first before squeezing the juice.

  28. Hi Wendy!

    Need your advice, how do u think I should adjust the measurements if I were to bake this in a 10" bundt pan? Planning to do this for a Christmas dinner... Thanks a mil!!


  29. Myblessedcorner,
    Maybe 50% more if you want to fill the 10 inch bundt pan nicely.

  30. Hi Wendy, I really would like to bake this cake for this coming Christmas. I can bless some of friend who don't take liquor. Just wonder if I used mixed fruit how much is needed. I can get the mixed fruit in 500gm/pack near my house. I would like to bake in 8" pan. If I would like the cake to be raise a bit, can I put in 1tsp of baking powder? Will it taste good? Kindly advice. Thank you. Regards, Cindy.

  31. Cindy,
    just use the same combined weight for dried fruits.
    you can add some if you like, but it might make the fruits fall out easier, if the cake is too airy

  32. Hi wendy,
    Can I check if butter is salted or unsalaried? N I used plain flour cuz I have no all purpose. My cake batter looked cloudy. Is it buck of the orange zest? I just put mine in the oven. Doesn't look optimistic haha

  33. Cindy,
    Plain flour=all purpose, once is UK, one is US term
    Most of the time I used salted, u can check out my ABOUT
    Cloudy? I am not sure what that means, but the orange zest will only make it look more orangey

  34. Hi Wendy u r v fast in responding! Thanks! My cake is still in the oven aft 1.5 hrs cuz it's not browning. Is it the temp tat is low?

  35. Hi wendy, it's me again. My fruit cake is very dense n heavy. Did I put too much liquid? I only have 250 grams mixed fruit.

  36. Cindy,
    If you beat the butter and sugar well enough, this cake shouldn't be dense. If the cake looks wet inside, then the cake is underbaked. If you reduced the fruits by so much, then the orange juice should be reduced accordingly as well.
    I think now I understand what you mean by cloudy now.. your batter has curdled and deflated.

  37. Hi Wendy, made this cake again this year! Would like to ask how to store this cake. Afraid mould will grow since this has no liqour.

  38. Jo,
    If less than 4 days, room temp is ok.
    More than 4 days, keep it chilled. I never try more than 4 days unchilled.
    But it also depends on how you handle them after baking. Hygienic handling will ensure it won't turn mouldy within 4 days.

    1. Thanks for your fast reply! Once cooled, I wrap with baking paper and store in air tight container at room temp. I read somewhere that putting in fridge will cause the sugar to crystalise. But would leaving it out to thaw at room temp spoilt the texture or flavour? Sorry for silly qns. Haha.

  39. Jo Lee,
    sugar in cakes will cyrstallise if chilled? Gosh... I think all bakeries store cakes in fridges.
    If you mean the DIY candied fruits on top of decorated fruit cakes, yes those will turn dull. Only if you did the DIY candied fruits

  40. Hi Wendy. I tried yr receipe for the recent hari raya and the cake was well liked. Thanks for sharing. Baking another one this weekend.

  41. Why didn't you use baking powder?

  42. Can I brush liquor on top when I take it out from oven? The batter has no liquor.


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