An image showcasing a luscious slice of Kerala Plum Cake, adorned with a rich caramel glaze that glistens under warm, golden sunlight, surrounded by vibrant purple plums, toasted almonds, and fragrant cinnamon sticks

Kerala Plum Cake

Looking for a delicious and flavorful dessert? Look no further than Kerala Plum Cake! This delightful treat, hailing from the southern state of Kerala in India, is famous for its moist texture and aromatic spices. Combining dried fruits, nuts, and spices, this cake is perfect for any celebration.

Let’s dive into the process of making this irresistible dessert, providing you with all the necessary tips and tricks for success.

Let’s start baking!


To grasp the origins of Kerala Plum Cake, it’s important to explore its rich history and cultural influences.

This delectable cake has a captivating tale that dates back to the era of European colonization in India. During this time, Portuguese traders introduced the concept of fruitcakes to the region, bringing dried fruits, nuts, and spices with them. These ingredients were then incorporated into traditional Indian cake recipes.

As time passed, the locals embraced this fusion of flavors and techniques, creating their own unique version of the fruitcake. The cake gained popularity during Christmas festivities and is now a staple in Kerala’s celebratory traditions.

The remarkable blend of Indian and European culinary customs is what makes Kerala Plum Cake a truly exceptional and tasty delicacy.

Ingredients for Kerala Plum Cake

For Soaking the Dry Fruits:

  • 1 cup mixed dried fruits (raisins, sultanas, currants, candied orange/lemon peel, glazed cherries)
  • 1/4 cup chopped dates
  • 1/4 cup chopped prunes
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup chopped cashew nuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup rum or brandy (for non-alcoholic version, use grape juice or orange juice)

For Caramel Syrup:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

For the Cake Batter:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (maida)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons orange marmalade (optional)
  • Zest of one orange (optional)


  1. Soak the dried fruits and nuts in rum or brandy (or grape/orange juice for a non-alcoholic version) ideally overnight, or at least for a few hours.

  2. To make the caramel syrup, melt sugar in a pan over medium heat until it turns into a dark brown liquid. Carefully add water to the caramelized sugar (it can splatter) and mix well. Allow it to cool.

  3. Preheat your oven to 160°C (325°F). Grease and line a 8-inch round cake tin with parchment paper.

  4. Sift the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices together. Set aside.

  5. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.

  6. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract, honey, and orange marmalade if using, as well as the orange zest.

  7. Fold in the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix.

  8. Drain the soaked fruits and nuts, and toss them with a little flour to prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the cake. Fold them into the batter.

  9. Mix in the cooled caramel syrup until well combined.

  10. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top with a spatula.

  11. Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

  12. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

The cake can be brushed with more rum or brandy and wrapped in parchment paper and foil, and stored in an airtight container to mature and develop flavors for a few days before serving.

Tips for Cooking

As you continue preparing the mouthwatering Kerala Plum Cake, here are some helpful tips to enhance your cooking experience.

Tips Description
Soak the fruits overnight Soaking the fruits overnight allows them to soften and absorb the flavors of the rum and spices, resulting in a moist and flavorful cake.
Use room temperature ingredients Using room temperature ingredients ensures that they incorporate well and result in a tender cake.
Line the cake pan with parchment paper Lining the cake pan with parchment paper prevents the cake from sticking to the pan and makes for easy removal.
Test for doneness with a toothpick To ensure the cake is cooked through, insert a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready.

Final Thoughts

To wrap up your Kerala Plum Cake baking experience, consider these tips for a successful outcome.

First, make sure you have followed all the earlier provided tips to ensure your cake turns out moist and flavorful.

Remember to soak the dried fruits in rum or brandy for at least 24 hours to enhance their taste and texture.

When mixing the batter, be careful not to overmix as it can result in a dense cake.

Additionally, don’t forget to preheat your oven to the correct temperature and bake the cake for the recommended time to achieve a perfectly cooked center.

Lastly, after removing the cake from the oven, allow it to cool completely before slicing to prevent it from crumbling.

With these considerations, your Kerala Plum Cake will be a delightful treat for all to enjoy.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does Kerala Plum Cake Typically Last Before It Goes Bad?

Typically, how long does Kerala Plum Cake last before it spoils?

Can I Substitute Any of the Ingredients in Kerala Plum Cake With Healthier Alternatives?

Yes, it is possible to replace certain ingredients in Kerala Plum Cake with healthier alternatives. For instance, one can opt for whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour or switch sugar with a natural sweetener like honey.

What Is the Significance of the Name ‘Kerala’ in Kerala Plum Cake?

The name ‘Kerala’ in Kerala Plum Cake signifies the region of origin for this delectable cake. It carries cultural importance and symbolizes the distinct flavors and ingredients utilized in this traditional delicacy.

Are There Any Traditional Customs or Events in Kerala Where Plum Cake Is Commonly Served?

In Kerala, plum cake is commonly served during festive occasions like Christmas and New Year. It is a traditional custom to share this delicious cake with friends and family as a symbol of celebration. During these joyous events, the delightful aroma of freshly baked plum cake fills the air, creating a sense of warmth and togetherness. The tradition of serving plum cake has been passed down through generations, bringing people closer and fostering a sense of community. So, if you want to experience the rich flavors and cultural significance of Kerala, make sure to indulge in a slice of this delectable plum cake during the festive season.

Can I Freeze Kerala Plum Cake for Later Consumption?

Yes, you can freeze Kerala Plum Cake for later consumption. Freezing will help preserve its freshness and taste. Simply ensure to tightly wrap it in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before placing it in the freezer.

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