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Traditional South Indian Christmas Cake

In India's Kerala state, Christians buy or make Christmas cakes to give away.


  • 4 ounces diced orange peel (candied or plain)
  • 1 1/2 cups golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons brandy
  • 2 1/2 cups butter
  • 6 cups granulated sugar
  • 10 eggs, separated
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons instant dried coffee granules
  • 1/4 cup warm water

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  1. Soak orange peel, raisins, currants, cashews, nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom in vanilla and brandy. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with butter or nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the egg yolks one at a time.
  4. Mix the flour and baking powder; add to the butter and sugar mixture and beat well.
  5. Add the raisin mixture.
  6. Mix the instant dried coffee with 1/4 cup warm water and add to the mixture.
  7. Beat the egg whites and add last to the mixture.
  8. Pour into the cake pans and bake 50 to 60 minutes, until the cakes turn golden brown or when a wooden pick inserted into the cakes comes out clean.

For the best result, bake the cakes and wrap them in aluminum foil at least a week before serving. You don't need to refrigerate them.