Some people have a certain aversion toward fruit cake. Aside from the sweetness, some people don’t like the fact that this cake uses alcohol. In traditional holiday cake, brandy or rum is often used to add specific flavor and aroma. However, what if you don’t like (or cannot) consume alcohol? What if you want to serve the cake to kids? The answer: nonalcoholic fruit cake.
Why Kid-friendly Fruit Cake is Nice
Nonalcoholic fruit cake is often considered a “kid-friendly food.” However, don’t dismiss the cake just because of this label! Fruit cake is often very dense and sweet, with an intense flavor that some kids (and adults) reject. You can make your cake with no alcohol and lighter texture.
This nonalcoholic fruit cake recipe is simpler than the regular version. You can make it even when not celebrating Christmas. Anyone can try baking this cake for dessert or tea time. This recipe uses muscovado (Barbados) sugar, which is brown and slightly spicy. If you cannot find it, use regular brown sugar.
How to Make Nonalcoholic Fruit Cake
This fruit cake recipe is made with a standard, 26-cm baking pan, perfect for a small family treat or serve a few guests.
2 cups (and 1 tablespoon) of all-purpose flour
1 cup of unsalted butter
1 cup of muscovado sugar
1 ¾ teaspoon of baking powder
¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon of ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon of all-spice powder
1 ¾ cup of dried currants
1 ½ cup of dried cranberries
1 ½ cup of glazed cherries (chopped)
1 ¼ cups of raisins
Fresh nutmegs (grated)
- Preheat the oven to 280 degrees Fahrenheit (140 degrees Celsius).
- Butter the baking pan generously. Add a piece of baking paper inside.
- Add the flour, eggs, sugar, butter, and all the spices into the bowl. Mix properly.
- Add the baking powder and dried fruits. Stir until everything is mixed in equal amount (to make sure that everyone gets fair amounts of fruits).
- Pour the batter into the baking pan. Make sure the surface is flat.
- Bake for 135 minutes.
- After one hour, open the oven and cover the top of the cake with aluminium foil to prevent excessive browning. Bake again.
- After done, check the cake by sticking a toothpick in. If it comes out wet, the cake needs more baking time.
- Let the cake cool in its baking pan. Take it out.
- Decorate fruit cake with icing sugar and serve.
If you want to serve the cake the next day, wrap it with aluminium foil. Store the cake in a clean, dry space with room temperature (not in a fridge).
Fruit Filing Tips for Fruit Cake
What fruits to use in a fruit cake? Can you use any fruits you like?
The answer is: yes. You can experiment with a lot of fruits. However, there are several tips you must remember about adding fruits into this cake. They are:
- Stock up the raisins
Raisins are the most popular fillings for fruit cake. They are also cheap and easy to find at stores. If you like baking a fruit cake, make sure to stock up raisins.
- Pair sweet cake with tarter fruits
If your cake batter is sweet, try using tart dried fruits to balance the flavor. Dried cranberries and currants have nice tartness, perfect to balance sweet cake.
- Try candied peel
Candied peel presents unique flavor; sweet with a little touch of tartness and bitterness. If you want to add candied peel into this recipe, reduce the glazed cherry portion to half.
Try experimenting with different fruits that you like, such as dried peaches, prunes, dried cherries instead of glazed ones, and candied pineapple. Make sure to balance between sweetness and tartness.
How to Serve Nonalcoholic Fruit Cake
Even without alcohol, fruit cake consists of sweet batter with a little tart filing. You should balance the flavor with hot tea or coffee (no sugar). Icing sugar is the easiest way to decorate a cake. However, you can add cinnamon powder to emphasize the spice flavor. Whipped cream, vanilla frosting, and even ice cream is a great topping for this cake.
If you cannot finish the entire cake, turn it into other dessert types. Cut up the cake into small morsels and place them in a glass. Layer it with cream and fresh cherries or raspberries to make a parfait. Crumble the cake and sprinkle it on top of ice cream, yogurt, or pudding.
Turn your fruit cake into kid’s party food by creating ice cream cake. Place the cake on the base of a baking tray. Cover with thick ice cream layer (vanilla or cherry), and keep it in the freezer for two hours. Take out the cake and let it thaw 15 minutes before serving.
Nonalcoholic cake gives more possibilities to enjoy and serve fruit cake. You can serve it in a family event or a kid’s party. Now, everyone can enjoy a nice holiday meal with a nonalcoholic fruit cake recipe.