Decadent Holiday Cake
This Fig Date Nut Prune Christmas Cake (with Grand Marnier) is full of sweet small morsels of figs, dates, prunes, pecans and walnuts. Spiced with all the Christmas favorites of nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and clove. Drizzled with a orange cordial French favorite, Grand Marnier. Of course that is an option. Top this cake with walnuts, pecans and sliced figs with a dusting of powdered sugar or your favorite cream for serving. Pair off with a small footed glass of Grand Marnier and you have a delightful nostalgic Holiday dessert.
A Little History Of Christmas Cake and Fruitcake
This recipe is not a typical fruitcake with all the candied fruits. That came later. The first fruitcakes were mostly made for the Roman soldiers during war times. It was a staple food made with pine nuts, raisins, barley mash, pomegranate seeds and honeyed wine called satura. This cake was dense and packed with calories helping keep the soldiers full and full of energy. The honeyed wine help preserve the cake for long durations of time and to add extra flavor. I guess we can call it the first energy bar.
There are so many varieties of fruit cakes that came after the Roman power bar, especially adding more dried fruits. Although, Italy really picked up some delicious combinations of distinctly named cakes. One being the Panettone cake created in 1495 and loved by the Duke of Milan that became popular at Christmas time. This is more of a real bread like cake made of brioche bread and not so heavy in candied fruit and raisins, but very distinguished as a spin off of the older recipes.
The candied fruit came later in the early 1700’s, because more exotic fruits were introduced from the Middle East. This is were we get our version of fruitcake today with spices, sugar, candied fruit and liquors. Liquors from all over the world such as bourbon, rum, brandy, or cognac. They were nicely preserved with sugar so they were well preserved for winters. With that being, sugary fruitcake with candied fruit was being overly consumed. Hence, Europe briefly banned eating fruitcake, being it that… “It was sinful!”
After the ban was lifted fruitcake became the popular cake of choice throughout Europe. Being that it was so popular again it was the cake served at Victorian tea spreads and British Royal weddings such as Queen Victoria. The cost of the ingredients were too expensive for most people so it became the cake of choice for the Holidays.
Today fruit cake is making a come back for weddings. It’s set example of prestige being spun into the weddings of Princess Diana and Prince William. The traditional cake from Great Britain didn’t stem from all the candied fruits but of dried fruit soaked in liquor to be called Christmas Cake or plum cake. Such a long distant version is this cake I made here today for all of you. I hope you enjoy my Christmas Cake!
How To Make Fig Date Nut Prune Christmas Cake (with Grand Marnier)
I always start with fresh ingredients. The newer the dates and figs the better, because they get so hard after a month or two. I chop up the dried fruits into small half inch sizes or smaller. Then I put them all in a bowl with the dried lemon peel or fresh zest and add the Grand Marnier to it. I mix this and let it sit and soaks for at least two hours while I gather all the other ingredients.
Cut out a lining of parchment paper for the bottom of your 9 inch springform pan. Then oil the pan with olive oil. Set it aside and pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees.
Add all the liquids together in a large bowl. Then add all the dry ingredients together in different bowl and mix well.
Mix all the chopped dried soaked fruit into the bowl of liquid ingredients. Then using sieve add the dry ingredients with the sieve over the bowl of liquid and chopped dried fruit. Mix it all together with a large spoon and don’t over mix. Add to the springform pan. Shake and tap lightly on the counter top to tap down the mixture. Add on some extra nuts of your choice on top if desired.
Put the pan in the oven and bake for 1 hour. Check for doneness with a dry knife or toothpick to come out clean. All ovens are different so it might need a little longer. This cake is not heavy with eggs and extra liquor so it cooks a lot faster then ones that have eggs.
Adding The Liquor To Fig Date Nut Prune Christmas Cake
After the Fig Date Nut Prune Christmas Cake is done cooking take out and add small holes to the top of the cake. Do this while the cake is hot. Take a spoonful of Grand Marnier or liquor of choice and gently spoon pour over the hot cake. Make sure to cover the entire cake. DO Not over saturate the cake at this point. Then let sit to completely cool uncovered.
After it has cooled completely detach from the springform pan. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and then cover over the plastic wrap with tin foil. Let sit in this wrapping for up to 8 hours. This will help the cake stay moist. Take out of the wrapper when done and the cake is ready to eat or decorate or add a little more liquor and rewrap to store until ready to eat.
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This decadent Holiday Fig Date Nut Prune Christmas Cake is so full of rich spices of nutmeg, allspice, clove and cinnamon. Filled with sweet dried dates, prunes, figs, pecans and walnuts chopped and soaked in Grand Marnier. Season for up to one month with liquor. Decorate this eggless cake with sliced figs, walnuts and pecans with a beautiful sprinkle of powdered sugar for an enhanced appearance of snow. Pair this delicious Holiday dessert with a short stemmed glass of French orange cordial Grand Marnier. Enjoy!
1 Large mixing bowl
2 Small bowls one for soaking the dried fruit, one for dry ingredients
1 Medium sieve small mesh for flour
1 9 inch springform pan
1 Large mixing spoon
1 Sharp knife
1 Cutting board
- 1 cup Chopped Dates
- 1/2 cup Chopped Figs
- 1/2 cup Chopped Prunes
- 1/2 tsp Lemon Peel or Zest Of Two Lemons
- 3 Tbsp Grand Marnier
- 1 1/2 cups Organic Spelt Flour or Organic All Purpose Flour
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp Ground Clove
- 1/2 tsp Allspice
- 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/8 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 cup Plant Based Milk
- 3/4 cup Olive Oil
- 1 cup Coconut Sugar or Brown Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Ground Flaxseed
- 2 Tbsp Lemon or Lime Juice
- 1/2 cup Almond Flour
- 1/2 cup Chopped Pecans
- 1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts
Soaking The Fruit
In a small bowl add all the shopped dried fruits, lemon peal or lemon zest and Grand Marnier or liquor of choice (if you are using liquor). Mix all together and let sit for about two hours. Prepare the springform pan with parchment paper for the bottom and oil it during this time.
Pre-heat the oven to 325°
Add all the dry ingredients to a different small bowl. Mix it all together and set aside.
Add all the wet Ingredients into a large bowl. Mix together well. Add the chopped nuts and almond flour and dried fruit that had been soaking in the small bowl with Grand Marnier. Mix together well.
In a medium sized sieve add the mixed dry ingredients to the sieve and sieve over the large bowl of wet ingredients and nuts and fruit. Mix all together after sieving. Do Not over mix.
Add the mixture to the prepared spring pan. When done tap the springform pan on the counter lightly to even it out and get bubbles out. Top with additional nuts if desired.
Add to the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour. Check for to see if it is done. It will be brown in color when done. It could take longer to cook like up to 15 more minutes. Keep checking every 5 minutes.
When done while it is HOT poke holes in the top and spoon over the whole cake the Grand Marnier. Let it completely cool in a dry place.
After it is cool transfer the cake out of the pan and wrap it with plastic wrap and then cover over the plastic wrap with tin foil. Let sit for 8 hours. This helps the cake to be moist. Then you can add more liquor and wrap again in a clean cheese cloth and plastic wrap. Do not season the cake more than 4 times. It is best to wait 3 to 4 weeks for this lighter in color cake to season. Darker cakes take 4 to 6 weeks to season. If the cake is too moist during seasoning unwrap the cake and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Do not continue seasoning if this happens. Once you are finished seasoning the cake then you can store it in the refrigerator or freezer.
Refresh the cake with more liquor before serving to bring out the flavors.
Storing your Christmas Cake: Wrap it in layers of cheese cloth then plastic wrap before placing in an airtight container. Continue seasoning the cake but not do this more than 4 times.
Keep wrapped in a dry area while it is seasoning. Then put it in the fridge after you are done the seasoning process. This can be for up to 1 month.
Always check for mold. Do not eat if any mold is growing on your cake.
Refresh the cake with more liquor before serving. This will bring out it’s flavors.
Do not use wine to season the cake with.
How long to store you Christmas Cake: If it has alcohol in it, it can be stored in the refrigerator for 6 months or 12 months in the freezer.
Keywords: Christmas, dessert, Holiday, New Years Eve