Fruit cake ( Short-cut )

Fruit cake (short-cut) method is the easiest hassle-free old fashioned cake made with boxed cake mix and no soak dry fruits. If you are the last minute baker I have got you covered.

If you have all the ingredients ready then bake even on Christmas Eve. This can be served with wine or with some butter and tea.

fruit cake short cut method, with boxed mix ,Kerala Plum cake

Best fruit cake secrets:

  • The ratio of dry fruits to cake batter is 1:2 the dry fruits should not exceed more than half the cake batter. Else the cake would not hold its shape well.
  • If the cake batter has too much moisture it will not bake well in the middle esp in a square cake tin. Don’t worry just add a tbsp or two more of all purpose flour and it will be fine.
  • The shape of the cake tin used is very important. A loaf pan is my favorite as it gets evenly heated on both sides and cook perfectly.
  • Allow the cake to cool down completely before slicing, fruit cake has lots of nuts too hence be careful when you slice as it will crumble otherwise. Use a serrated knife sawing motion for best results.

Traditional old fashioned Christmas plum cake – That is how it is know in my home state. Here are some links


Why use cake mix ?

The mix contains all purpose flour, sugar and rising agent in the right proportion and it will rise no matter what. So if you need to adjust flour to compensate the cake batter being too moist, the batter will not become too dense and the end result will be fine. This is not sponsored but Betty Crocker cake mix is fool proof from my experience.

Fruit cake (short- cut recipe)

old fashioned fruit cake made with boxed cake mix and no soak dry fruits.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Irish, British
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings 6


  • Betty Crocker boxed cake mix
  • 2 Eggs (at room temperature)
  • 4 tbsp Unsalted butter (1/2 a stick)- around 50 gm (at room temperature)
  • 2 tsp Orange peel chopped finely
  • 1/2- 1 tsp Vanilla pure extract

Dry fruits

  • 1/4 cup Cashewnut
  • 1/4 cup Black raisins
  • 1/4 cup Golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup Candied cherries

Spice powders

  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp Cardamom powder
  • 1/8 tsp Cloves powder
  • 1/8 tsp Nutmeg powder


  • 3 tsp Granulated sugar to caramelize
  • 3 tsp Granulated sugar to neutralize the bitterness
  • 1/2 cup hot water


  • Carefully peel the orange (about 1/3 rd of an orange). Chop it finely. Alternatively use zest if peel is difficult.
    Split and cut the cashew nut into two.
    Chop the candied cherry.
    Keep 1/2 a cup of boiling hot water ready.
  • In a heavy bottom pot caramelize the sugar by adding 3 tsps of sugar on lowest heat . Stir until it starts melting then allow the sugar to brown slowly until it starts bubbling (see video for reference).At this point pout the water into the caramelized sugar very carefully (serious buns may occur from spluttering) so cover with the lid as you pour to avoid accidents.
  • Once this caramelized sugar and water is completely mixed add the orange peel and boil if water is drying up add 1/4 cup more then add nuts give it a few Mts and finally add raisins let this fluff up. Switch off heat and allow this to cool down completely. Now separate the liquid from dry fruits and keep both aside.
  • Cream the butter by beating it then add eggs beat well. (It will look curdled no worries) add the spice powders the caramelized sugar liquid, vanilla extract.Finally sift in the box cake flour – 3/4 th. Add 3-4tbsp of flour to the boiled dry fruits combine well and add that to the prepared cake batter also the candied cherries.Transfer into a lined loaf pan
  • Preheat oven to 350°F and bake for 40-50 minutes until the skewer comes out clean. (May take longer sometimes)
  • Cool the cake on a wire rack and keep in an airtight container and use within 3-4 days.



This is a dense cake hence it will dry as it sits remember to keep it in an air tight container.
If there is too much liquid add a tsp or two of the cake flour else the cake will not cook in the center and the sides will dry out brown too much.
Why use cake mix ?
It contains all purpose flour, sugar and rising agent in the right proportion and it will rise no matter what. So if you need to adjust flour if the cake batter is moist the batter will not become too dense. 

NOTE :—-This is a very forgiving recipe so play around with the ratio of nuts to raisins. Drizzle some rum or whiskey on top of the cake after baking so it stays moist for long.

My fruit cake is dry what should I do?

Microwave the slices for 10 seconds just before serving and it will turn soft and smell amazing. Your guests will think you just baked the cake.

Hope you liked this recipe. Do let me know if you give it a try.


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