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White plate with slices of fruit cake

Kerala Fruit Cake

Kerala Style Christmas Fruit Cake -- this is a moist and absolutely delicious treat for the holidays. It doesn't require soaking the dry fruit for days. So go ahead make it whenever you want in short notice.
Author: Pavani
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Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: kerala
Servings: 12 servings


  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon Water
  • 1 cup All purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking powder
  • teaspoon Salt
  • teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • ½ cup Cashews, chopped
  • ¼ cup Black Raisins
  • ½ cup Mixed Dry Fruit (cherries, dates etc)
  • ½ cup Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 3 Large Eggs


Make the Caramel:

  • In a small saucepan, combine ⅓ cup sugar and water. Heat on medium heat, melt the sugar while stirring. Let the sugar caramelize until deep amber color, don't stir it -- twirl the pan to melt evenly. Once it reaches the desired color, take it off the heat and cool for 1~2 minutes.
  • Then bring the pan to the sink and add 3~4 tablespoons of water. Hot caramel will gurgle violently, so make sure you keep your hands at a safe distance. Add water slowly, swirling the pan. Caramel is now ready. Set aside to cool.

Prepare the pan & ingredients:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 6" round cake pan that is at least 3" deep or use a 8" round pan or a 8½" x 4½" loaf pan. Lightly grease the pan and line the bottom with parchment paper and lightly grease the paper. Keep ready.
  • In a small bowl, combine dry fruit and nuts with 1~2 tablespoons of flour. Mix well and make sure that they are dredged completely. This will prevent them from sinking.
  • In another small bowl, combine the remaining flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Mix well and set aside.

Make cake batter:

  • In a mixing bowl or the bowl of the stand mixer, beat butter and the remaining ⅔rd cup of sugar until light and fluffy about 3~4 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and mix well.
  • Next add 1 egg and beat until incorporated. Add ⅓rd of the flour and mix well. Repeat with the remaining eggs and flour.
  • Add the cooled caramel and flour coated dry fruit. Gently fold to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the edges.

Bake the Cake:

  • Bake for 35~45 minutes* until the top is dark brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Start checking the cake around the 35 minute mark to avoid over-baking.
  • Remove onto a wire rack, after 10 minutes remove the cake from the pan and let cool completely before cutting.



  • Make sure to drench the dry fruit really well with flour while making the cake. This prevents them from settling in the bottom of the cake.
  • While adding water to hot caramel, it will gurgle violently. So, make sure to do it over the sink and keep your hands away.
  • Use any of your favorite dry fruit in the recipe. Dried cranberries, raisins, cherries, dates, berries etc. Make sure to chop bigger dried fruit into bits.
  • Baking pan sizes and baking times:
    • 6" round cake pan that is at least 3" deep - 40~50 minutes
    • 8" round cake pan that is at least 2" deep - 35~45 minutes
    • 8½" x 4½" loaf pan - 45~55 minutes
  • High altitude alterations I made to the recipe:
    • increased flour to 1¼ cups
    • reduce baking powder to ¾ teaspoon
  • Store the leftovers of Kerala Christmas fruit cake at room temperature for upto 1 week or in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.


Serving: 1Slice | Calories: 242kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 78mg | Potassium: 87mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 296IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg
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