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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Grand Marnier Orange Fruit Cake

My mom loves fruit cakes. It's her favourite bake of the season. Well, actually she loves everything I bake, period.

Is it now that I'm preggers that I'm not baking a storm for Christmas? Frankly, I don't and never do. I practise giving gifts, as Christmas is about God's gift to us. I don't bake just because it's Christmas, but my bakes makes personal gifts that my friends look forward to. And I usually bake something that can't be bought. In 2007, I made lots of Moist Chocolate Cakes for Church friends, 2008 I made three Sarawak Layered Cakes, cut and divided for a selected few(was heavily pregnant with Lyanne at 36 weeks), 2009 I made Surprise Eggs for Church friends and alcohol free orange fruit cake for neighbours. Do my church friends give me bakes as gifts too? Nah, but they do try to give me edible gifts like chocolates, candies for my kids or cute teddy bear pastas. I'm the only one who give bakes as gifts.

One cake that is strongly related to Christmas is fruit cake. Somehow I do not understand, why make fruitcake during Christmas season? Is it due to it being colourful, like the ornaments on a Christmas tree? But then again, I think it must be due to winter where only dried fruits are available and hence, Mince Pies and Fruit Cakes were baked for the occasion. It's more like a Western thingy rather than something with religious meaning. But then, it's good excuse now to bake it.

I made 2 fruit cakes this year to clear lots of dried fruits from my fridge. That's the best excuse to make fruit cakes, clear fridge, LOL. One was with liquor, and one without. The one without liquor will be cut, wrapped and given to my left and right neighbours who are my regular customers and to a few church friends. Scroogy hoh? One cake, divided for so many people! It's just a festive gesture. Here, it's usual practice to give some (doesn't need to be a whole cake) away, just for taste. Unless it's a gift for a specific purpose, like housewarming, then it's nice to give a whole cake. But then again, one whole fruit cake is like so much. And if I really do give the whole fruit cake, I think the recipient will be like, "Woah, how to finish this????" Fruit cakes are unlike other cakes where it can be easily "cleaned up".

** Yow Lin, Chiew Yoong, Susan and the Lee family who might be reading, guess you oredi knew what I'm giving u guys this year, kekekeke**

The cake above is with liquor and the one below is without.

Finally, I'm being not too scroogy. Still am, but not as bad. Well, I used half liquor half juice for the liquor infused cake, hahaha. Not full liquor. I'm not that generous, even if it's for personal consumption.
But still, no nuts and no candied peels. I still prefer fresh orange zest and it to be all fruits.

And this time, I let Lydia use the knife for the first time. A dinner knife it was, and I watched over her all the time. She was happy that I let her help out. She still doesn't know how to put her finger in a safe position and how to use the pushing motion to cut, instead she was just forcing the knife down. Sometimes using both hands just to cut a cherry. Needs practice.

Grand Marnier Orange Fruit Cake
Recipe source: Wendyywy

150gm cherries (red and green), coarsely chopped
100gm currants
100gm golden raisins
100gm black raisins
100ml fresh orange juice
100ml Grand Marnier
Zest from the oranges that you juiced from

Combine everything except the cherries (I was worried that soaking in alcohol might release the colours) and cover. Let it soak overnight in the fridge. The next day, combine with coarsely chopped cherries while you soften the butter.

250gm butter
150gm sugar
4 eggs
225gm all purpose flour
100ml Grand Marnier

1. Preheat oven to 130/150C. Line a 8 inch square pan.
2. Cream butter and sugar until light and creamy.
3. Put in eggs one by one, beating well after each addition.
4. Sift flour into the butter mixture and beat on low speed until no clumps are seen.
5. Fold soaked fruits and all the remaining liquid into the batter.
6. Pour batter into pan, level and bake for 1.5hours.
7. Remove cake from oven and immediately drizzle Grand Marnier over hot cake. Pull down the side liners. Let it the cake air and when cake has totally cooled, wrap and keep for a week before comsuming.
(I kept the cake wrapped at room temperature of 29-35C, I find chilled butter based cakes do not taste as nice after chilling, the cake looks very good with no mould and fungus due to the presence of liquor.)

Verdict: Compared to the non liquor version, of course this is nicer. And slightly sweeter too, due to the liquor. But less orangy that the non liquor version because it used less zest. It is soft and moist, unlike traditional Western fruitcakes which are a lot lot sweeter and a lot lot denser. Just imagine it being a butter cake, but with fruits.

I'm sure most of you have read about Swee San's Christmas giveaway. I'm submitting this for that event.
She asked to include this excerpt, so I better do it, since she said it's a "MUST".

"This is my entry for the Christmas Giveaway hosted by Swee San of The Sweet Spot"

And I'm submitting this to Aspiring Bakers Dec 2010 challenge

I still have another Christmas post coming up tomorrow.


  1. congrats Wendy! the cake looks fabulous!!

  2. Your fruit cake is beautiful. I too prefer all fruits rather than candies peel in my fruitcake. I like to give away my bake goodies rather than buying gifts for friends during Christmas. I think it is more personal and we baked it with LOVE :)

  3. Hi Wendy,
    wow!nice cake looks fabulous n yummy,must try to
    bake this cake,thanks for sharing d recipe.


  4. im loving this christmas bake of yours. they look so nicely all wrapped up. i think im gonna bake this too but using brandy bcoz i dont have grand marnier.
    thanks so much for this post.

  5. look nice n colourful, thank for sharing, wish u Merry Christmas

  6. Have a blessed Christmas & New Year! Your fruit cake looks moist, colourful and light! Nice bake!

  7. My family loves fruit cake especially with liquor in it. I'm not good at baking fruit cakes at all. My fruit cakes will always have a wet top, guess maybe due to my oven. :( Yours look really fabulous!!

  8. Hey Wendy, perhaps I have missed out in your previous post on this, but did you say u are preggers?? Congrats! Oh no, you are not scrooge, still very sweet to bake and give to friends and family. :) Have a Merry Christmas Wendy!

  9. First, congrats for your baby on the way. hehe.

    This fruitcake looks really good, I like the colourful mixed fruit.

  10. Awak rajin sangat huh, perut besar pun boleh baking banyak, hehehe...I never try to bake a fruit cake like this, bookmarked and will try next year Christmas..

  11. OOoOOoOH! How exciting! Congratulations on your good news! Spring or Summer baby?
    Your cake looks lovely! It is a very pleasing colour and looks light. I made Christmas Cakes his year (no-one in my family likes them and Mr Leaf tells me, "they're too fruity!"). I made a square an dcut in half for neighbour and friend and made two small ones for other neighbour and friend. Like you say it's the thought. Sometimes a whole one will be too large especially if they have one already. The ones I made are packed full of fruit and uses dark muscovado sugar so look dark and rich, a little goes a long way. I also covered them with marzipan and icing and because it will be sweet, a serving will be a small slice.
    I must try your fruit cake recipe one day!

  12. Jenn @ ChasingFoodDreamsDecember 23, 2010 at 10:56 PM

    Gosh.. it really looks beautiful. Mine turn out darker but yours look perfect!

    Anyway.. gifts are representative of thoughtfulness, hence this is the true spirit of Christmas.

    May you & yr family have a Blesses Christmas!

  13. Oh, you're preggy! Congrats!
    Merry Christmas to you and family!

  14. wendy, finally can see your's really pretty looking at those little cakes wrapped up.

  15. Wendy, thank you for sharing the story and your fruit cake! I remember you told me about proceeding with macerating the fruits. Well, here is the final product!! But then, I'm never a fan of Western fruit cake. Too heavy for me. I still prefer HK-style fruit cake. =)

    Merry X'mas! Ho! Ho! Ho!

  16. Hey Wendy, Congratulations!!! On the preggy thingy...

  17. This is one of the prettiest I have seen this year, Lovely job. This year I made truffles for my biblestudy group!

  18. Hi Wendy,
    First of all congratulations. Next is if i use brandy instead of grand marnier, which i don't have, it is still the same amount used? My mom loves fruit cake. I tot of making it for her.

  19. ur cake is quite light compared to the other regular fruit cakes eh ... I made 1 before, feeding it with almost a whole bottle of rum lol, from 2 months ahead.. it's crazzyyy!!! hahaha Anyway, thanks for submitting :)

  20. I will try this out one day. Looks really good. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you!
    Also, congrats for having a new life again!

  21. Yum! Your fruitcake looks so colourful, light and moist, i feel like having one now =). Merry Christmas to u and congrats!

  22. Yoh, those cut pieces look so pretty and yummy! Reminds me that I haven't been eating some for a long,long time...

  23. hi wendy.

    The cake looks so good, so yummy.

    Have a great Christmas, enjoy your day!

  24. Wishing you a great year in 2011 and congrats on the good news. :)

  25. Wendy, i wanna bake this for CNY and i'm panicking cause i'm a lil' late n i don't have Grand Marnier. i just finished up my brandy so the only options i got are either expensive whisky or cheap rum. both not as pungent as brandy. what shall i do? another question is how do i get those soft fine crumbs like yours. i always have coarse crumb and the fruits tend to fall off? boo hooo u_u

  26. Lisa.L,
    Then go for the alchohol free version.
    It taste good as well.
    Both versions have fine crumbs and the fruits stay put. Don't worry, you're still 3 weeks away.
    Just macerate the fruits overnight and bake. One week's time in advance is enough. With the alcohol free version, cure the cake in the fridge after 2 days at room temperature, becos it doesn't have alcohol, better play safe.

  27. i baked my fruitcake yesterday. oh my, it smell so delicious that my mom wanna eat it right away (actually she wanna eat it even before i bake being overwhelmed by macerated fruits hehehe).
    i baked the alcohol version(kiasu lah) n didn't managed to use up the mixed fruits 1/3 cup left. i baked in 2 aluminium loaves in less than 1.5 hrs (phew what a breeze) i'm keeping it in a big tupperaware in room tempt of 27C. should i wrap it with cling wrap or just leave it like that? i'm preparing to bake a 2nd round! yeah!!!

  28. Lisa.L,
    As long as it's kept in a tupperware safe from ants, then it should be ok.
    Wow, 2nd round? Hahaha, can finish or not?

  29. yeaahh then i'm safe from ants and lizards. actually 2nd n 3rd round...super tired! what with another round of cookies (phew). my mom loves fruit cake too n is a personal request from her, once a year affair according to her. i shown her this post and she fell in love with the rich simplicity. she keeps coming to the kitchen bcoz of the wonderful smell...yeah have to shoo her away (sorry mom)heheh! i'm baking a final round tomorrow. 3 for my mom and the rest as gift for relatives. so she can 'man man' enjoy loh!n_n

  30. Hi Wendy,
    Thks for sharing this lovely recipe! I baked ur Grand marnier fruit cake last week and cut it today.

    Hope u can advise -
    1)most of my fruits sank to the bottom of the cake...unlike ur cake beautifully n evely scattered. Should i have tossed the fruits in some of the 225g flour 1st b4 adding to the cake batter?

    2) my cake seemed to be abit too moist - can i confirm whether u drizzled the entire 100ml grand marnier on the hot cake immediately? or am i supposed to drizzle the 100ml over the next few days?

    Susanna, Perth

    P/s Cake still taste wonderful! :)Definitely will bake this cake again!!

  31. Susanna,
    Oh, glad you liked the taste of this cake.
    Since the fruits are soaking wet, it's quite impossible to toss them with the flour.
    Just fold the soaked fruits in until combined. Do not stir vigourously.
    I drizzled all the Grand Marnier over the hot cake immediately as 100ml is not a lot, it's less than half cup. Those cakes with liquors drizzled over a few days uses way more than I did, sometimes up to 2 cups of liquor.

  32. Thks for ur helpful info, Wendy!:) Ive made a note n hopefully my next endeavour will yield a cake as pretty as urs.


  33. Hi Wendy,
    I used rum instead of grand marnier. Baked at 140C for 60 minutes. But cake looked like yours without liquor - lighter version.

    Cured for 5 days so far. As WH came home today, I opened the cake and let him try. He likes it. Not easy to please him - picky. So the recipe works well - crumbly cake and fruit stays randomly throughout the cake.

    Can I let it sit for a few more days after having it opened? I want it to be more moist or should I just keep it in the fridge at this point? Btw, how do you make smooth cut on fruit cakes - in a way the fruit won't fall out? Special knife? Wet knife?

    Merry Christmas and Cheers to your blog for 2012!


  34. YL,
    Eh, light eh. Cos you baked it not as long as I did, maybe? I baked it really low temp so ensure a fine tight crumb. Urs is crumbly?? Hmmm. U had it last year right? hahaha, same taste or not?

    You can keep it air tight in the fridge, but then if it's been cured with rum, it can just sit outside after that. But the cake won't be sitting too long right? Not for a month gua, LOL.

    I used my bread knife from the coffee shop days to slice my cakes :p It's a straight knife with no serrated edges. When the knife is sharp, you can just cut it with one stroke, don't saw it. When you saw fruit cakes, the fruits will fall out.

    Hope this helps and hmm.. will I get a chance to taste it? LOL

  35. Besides Grand Marnier which I don't have, what else can substitute it? I have Rum 40% and Dry Gin 47% , Bacardi 14.7%.
    Why do we need to keep for a week b4 consume?
    Usually my baking product can stay for 3days n moulds will take place next day.

  36. esther,
    Not all cakes get mouldy after 3 days.
    Cakes with high sugar, high fat, low moisture usually will last 1 week.
    Fruit cakes are one of those that could last for weeks, and if you add liquer, it could stay for months.
    U need to age the cake for better flavour.
    Go with Rum.

  37. Do you have this or a similar recipe that includes nuts?

  38. Hi Wendy,
    I would love to try this fruit cake. Just wonder do I have to check with a skewer at the end of the 1.5 hours of baking? Does it need to come out clean to ensure it's cooked?

    If I want to bake this cake for friends for Christmas, can I start baking in early November, and keep them till Dec? Do I need to keep them in the fridge?

    Many thanks,

  39. hi, looks wonderful! i want to ask is it really without any baking powder?

  40. Hi Wendy

    I have tried the recipe & it tasted so good.

    I would like to bake.1 for my Sister in law but she is currently nursing her 2 months old son.

    Can I use cranberry/orange juice to drizzle over hot cake instead of alcohol?


  41. Elvira,
    Thank you for trying the recipe and for the feeback, glad you liked it.
    There is another recipe on my blog that is alcohol free with orange as the main flavour.
    Maybe you can go through my Recipe index - Cakes - Butter/oil Cakes. It's in there.
    Or google WendyinKK Orange fruit Cake

  42. Hi Wendy,
    Beautiful looking cake. I would like to bake one. Can you please confirm that we don't need any baking powder in this recipe?

  43. Thanks for your reply Wendy. Can I use Bacardy Spiced Rum instead of Grand M?
    Can it stay fresh in room temperature for more than one week? (or just a week)
    Thanks a lot,

    1. Divya,
      You can use any liquor you like. Spiced Rum is a nice option as well, it's just that grand manier pairs well with orange.
      More than a week is fine, the more liquor you use, the longer it can keep. I was just being stingy.

  44. Hi are u selling pls contact me wechat cayenneteng, my husband like ro eat tks

  45. Hi Wendy, may I know what sized eggs u used pls?

  46. Hi...what a yummy cake...but I wasn`t sure if I did the right thing in soaking the raisins and currants in both the orange juice and the 100ml of liquor. so I soaked them all together. And then brushed on more liquor when the cake was done. It seemed to work but I'd love clarification...thanks


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