holiday baking season

It’s December and that means ’tis the season for holiday baking! With the Christmas holidays coming up, I added a bunch of festive things to my grocery list. I couldn’t be more ready to whip up and indulge in some festive treats to celebrate the holidays this year. Kicking off the holiday baking season with my childhood favorite and a very easy-to-bake Indian Tutti Frutti Christmas Fruit Cake!

Indian Tutti Frutti Christmas Fruit Cake

I think there is something special about holidays that makes us want to bake – whether it’s to relive childhood memories of homemade goodies or to add an extra touch of love to the food for our loved ones. Now, I have to admit, I am not an avid baker. I’m a natural when it comes to cooking, but I tend to stay away from baking! However, this holiday season, I was somehow inspired to get into my kitchen, don my apron, and turn flour, sugar, eggs and butter into a delectable treat reminiscent of Kayani Bakery from back home in Pune, India.

Indian Tutti Frutti Christmas Fruit Cake

Indian Tutti Frutti Christmas Fruit Cake

Back home in India, I have always seen fruit cakes or plum cakes usher in the Christmas season. Bakeries and specialty food stores will be selling lakhs (millions for the rest of the world) of them during the holiday season. So naturally, when I decided to bake this year, the Indian Tutti Frutti Christmas Fruit Cake had to be a part of it!

Indian Tutti Frutti Christmas Fruit Cake

This cake is all about Christmas. Butter and sugar are creamed together until soft and fluffy. The eggs go in next, followed by the flour, which is mixed in once the eggs are fully incorporated. Finally, the key ingredient, the Tutti Frutti, is folded into the batter. In addition, you can add nuts into the mix, such as almonds, walnuts, etc. or other dried fruits like raisins, apricots, dates, etc. I love to spice it up with some ground nutmeg, but you can also use ground cinnamon if you like.

Indian Tutti Frutti Christmas Fruit Cake

What’s Tutti Frutti?!

Tutti Frutti is quite popular in India and is essentially dyed and candied raw or green papaya or watermelon rind! It comes in the form of small cubes that are primarily red, green, yellow, and orange. They have a sweet, candy-like fruity flavor and a texture similar to gummy bears! You’ll find them in all kinds of sweet treats in India, from cakes to cookies to ice creams, and many more. It is readily available in Indian bakeries and grocery stores, or online on Amazon. You can find recipes all over the internet, if you’re interested in make it at home. Alternatively, you can use candied cherry and pineapple in its place as well.

Indian Tutti Frutti Christmas Fruit Cake

A Festive Delight

My cake batter recipe is very similar to that of a pound cake and is pretty easy to whip up. Just like a pound cake, you can use a bundt pan to bake it, but I prefer to use the loaf pan. I think the slices cut out of a loaf, studded with the colorful tutti frutti, look more appealing! Once the batter is ready, it is baked in the oven at a medium-low temperature. The cake rises to a wonderful golden brown color, and the kitchen smells of the holidays!

Indian Tutti Frutti Christmas Fruit Cake

The loaf has a beautiful golden, even crumb with a melt-in-your-mouth texture and a buttery flavor with a hint of spice. Every single slice is studded with colorful tutti frutti, giving the cake a festive look and a delightful surprise in every bite. So take on this holiday season with my rich homemade fruit cake. It is incredibly delicious and, if you are anything like me, you will keep baking it after the holidays are long gone!

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Indian Tutti Frutti Christmas Fruit Cake

Indian Tutti Frutti Christmas Fruit Cake

  • Author: Vasanti
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: Makes 1 loaf/bundt cake 1x


An easy-to-bake recipe for the popular Indian Christmas fruit cake adorned with colorful Tutti Frutti (candied papaya).


Units Scale
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour (see FAQs & Notes)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (see Variations)
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 1/2 lb) unsalted sweet cream butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup tutti fruiti (see FAQs & Notes + Variations)
  • PAM for Baking spray (or more softened butter and flour), for greasing the cake pan

Special Equipment


Prep Before Baking

  • Place the oven rack in the middle or central level position (see FAQs & Notes).
  • Preheat oven to 325°F (160 °C) (see Variations).
  • Grease the cake pan with baking spray or butter, followed by dusting of flour. If using a loaf pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, for easy removal of the loaf after baking. No parchment paper required if using a bundt pan. Set aside.

Making the Cake Batter

  • In small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and ground nutmeg.
  • Separate egg whites and yolks and keep aside.
  • In a large bowl of an electric stand mixer or using a hand mixer, cream the butter and the sugar on medium speed until it turns pale. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.
  • Add the egg yolks along with the vanilla extract and heavy cream to the butter and sugar mixture and beat on medium speed, until light and fluffy, for about 4 minutes.
  • With the electric mixer on medium speed, alternately add the flour mixture, a third at a time, and the egg whites, a third at a time, to the mixture in the large bowl, beating for 2 minutes between each addition.
  • Lastly, add the tutti frutti into the mixture and gently fold them in to incorporate them well.

Baking the Cake

  • Transfer the better into the prepared cake pan.
  • Bake in the oven (middle rack) for 1 hour and 10-20 minutes till the cake is golden brown and until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  If not, bake another 10 minutes, and check again.

Cooling and Serving the Cake

  • Take the cake out the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes. If using a bundt pan, allow the cake to cool for a longer time, about 30 minutes. 
  • Gently run a paring knife along the sides of the loaf pan (not required for bundt pan) to loosen the cake and then invert it on a cake stand or a serving platter (see Variations).
  • The cake actually tastes its best on the day after it is made as it gets a chance to develop the flavors but you can have it after its cooled completely on the same day as well! Slice the cake and serve (see FAQs & Notes for storage information). 
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 90

Keywords: Baking Recipes

Recipe FAQ’s and Notes

How to measure the flour properly?

Do not dip the measuring cup into the flour. To measure flour correctly, spoon it into the measuring cup until it is slightly filled over and then level it off with the back of a knife.

Where to find Tutti Frutti?

It is readily available in Indian bakeries, grocery stores, or online on Amazon.

Is rack placement important?

Yes, it is important that the rack is placed in the middle or central level position in the oven otherwise the cake will not bake evenly, forming a hard dark brown burnt crust with an unbaked center.

How to store the cake?

Store cake in an airtight container, at room temperature, in a cool, dry place for up to 5 days.

Can you freeze the cake?

Yes, you can freeze the cake. Wrap it tightly in a plastic cling wrap and freeze it in a freezer safe bag for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature, for about 2 hours before serving. You can also freeze individual slices of the cake, wrapped in plastic wrap and packed in freezer safe bags. It can be directly put in a toaster and served warm, lightly toasted!

Recipe Variations

Substitute ground nutmeg for ground cinnamon, if you like it!

If you can’t find Tutti Frutti, you can use candied cherry and pineapple in its place as well.

You can also use nuts in place of or in addition to the Tutti Frutti, such as almonds, walnuts, etc. or other dried fruits like raisins, apricots, dates, etc.

If you’d prefer to bake the cake slightly faster, you can preheat the oven to 350°F (175 °C) and it will take about 50-60 minutes. Follow the steps outlined in the recipe to ensure its baked completely before taking it out of the oven.

Happy cooking

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Hi I’m Vasanti
…and I ❤️cooking ‘n clicking!!
I share a modern take on Indian cuisine made using nontraditional techniques and ingredients, while staying true to its authenticity. You’ll also find classic recipes from my beloved Maharashtrian culture and heritage.


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