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Last Updated: Jan 10, 2023

Christmas Cake - 8 Fascinating And Healthy Facts About it!

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Diet ClinicDietitian/Nutritionist • 21 Years Exp.B.Sc.(Hons), P.G.Dietetics
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Christmas would be incomplete without a delicious Christmas plum cake. This lovely cake is rich in fresh and dried fruits and is soaked in brandy or orange liquor. Preparations for this cake often start a month before Christmas as the fruits are cut and soaked in alcohol until it is time to bake them. Here are 8 fascinating facts about this Christmas cake.

  1. It has a really long shelf life: Christmas cake or fruitcake can last for months and years. This may be because of the alcohol content in the cake. Many families keep aside a part of the Christmas cake to be eaten during Easter. The longevity of this cake is also why it is the perfect packed food for hunters and travellers.
  2. It is packed with energy: Christmas cake has a high ratio of fruits to flour and hence is packed with nutrients. On the flip side, this isn’t a cake you want to snack on as it can also increase your waistline.
  3. Naturally dried fruits are the key to a good Christmas cake: Christmas cake is said to be an acquired taste. However, the key to make a good Christmas cake is to avoid glazed and candied fruits and instead use naturally sweetened and dried fruits. This makes the cake healthier and much more wholesome.
  4. You can put any fruit into Christmas cake: Christmas fruit cake is an all inclusive cake. A Christmas cake can be made with fresh fruits, dried fruits or a mixture of the two. However, fresh fruit cake has a shorter life span than dried fruit cake.
  5. It gets better with time: Like wine, Christmas cake ages and tastes better with time. Christmas cake can also be revived, if it has dried out. For this, all you have to do is, steam the cake and drizzle a little more alcohol over it.
  6. It is a very old recipe: Christmas cake is said to date back to the Roman empire. The Romans used a mixture of pine nuts, barley, raisins, sweetened wine and pomegranate seeds to make a version of the Christmas cake known as satura. However, it was only in the 16th century that it gained popularity.
  7. The origins of Christmas cake lies in a meat pie: Christmas cake has evolved from the plum pudding. This plum pudding was originally a pie of mixed minced meats and fruits. With time, the meat was removed and only the fruits remained. Later, spice and dried fruits were added to the recipe to give us a modern day Christmas cake.
  8. Christmas cake was traditionally not eaten on Christmas day: Christmas cake was originally eaten on the twelfth day of Christmas. For this reason, it was also known as the twelfth night cake.

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