Sugar Plum Fruitcake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Many of you know that I’ve spent 2013 baking for Betty. It’s been a lively year of fun minion cakes, candy bar creations and snickerdoodle skillets. I’d anticipated some special holiday projects, and I was thrilled to learn I’d be recreating one of their Red Hot Holiday Trends! You see, each year the sweet minds behind Betty Crocker gauge what’s new and exciting in the baking world – turns out, fruitcake is so in!

But not just any old fruitcake (so leave those bright green and red candied cherries on the shelf!). We’re talking bourbon-plumped figs, juicy dates, plum jam filling and homemade cream cheese frosting. Frosting on fruitcake? Heck yes. Cheese paired with fruit is almost always a heavenly match.

This recipe uses Betty Crocker’s SuperMoist®  yellow cake mix as a base, and considering how lengthy most fruitcake recipes are, it’s a nice little shortcut to scratch-made flavor. I baked the batter in my three favorite 7-inch spring-form pans, but it’ll bake up perfectly as a 9-inch double layer cake, too.  

Red plum jam is used as the filling, and it plays well against the fruit and fragrant orange zest used in the cake batter. There’s a definite sweet-tart boozy goodness to this confection, and the creamy frosting helps to strike just the right balance.

Since some folks have a knee-jerk reaction to the word “fruitcake”, I’ll understand if you want to drop that moniker and just call this “Sugar Plum Cake. It’s really nothing like the traditional (read: brick) fruitcake you’ll see on Great Aunt Earnestine’s buffet. It’s moist and flavorful, and to me, it tastes just like Christmas.

Be sure to check out Betty’s take on the new fruitcake, and a slideshow of all the yummy trends by other Betty bloggers!

Sugar Plum Fruitcake

[click for printable version]

Yield: 12 servings

Source: Sprinkle Bakes original recipe

Prep: 30 minutes, total time with fruit-soaking up to 24 hours

Cake

1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist® yellow cake mix

1/2 cup dried dates, chopped

1/2 cup dried figs, chopped

1/4 cup Kentucky bourbon

Zest of 1 orange

4 eggs

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 cup water

1/2 cup slivered almonds, crushed

Filling

3/4 cup prepared red plum jam or jelly

Frosting

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 cups powdered sugar

1 fresh, whole red plum

Corn syrup

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  1. Combine the dates and figs in a small bowl. Pour over the bourbon and cover tightly. Allow fruit to soak for at least 2 hours or overnight (preferred).
  2. Heat oven to 350F. Grease and flour three 7-inch cake pans (or two 9-inch); set aside.
  3. Combine the following in a large bowl: cake mix, orange zest, eggs, vegetable oil and water. Mix well with an electric hand mixer. Fold in bourbon-soaked fruit and crushed almonds. Pour cake batter into prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cakes spring back when pressed in the center. Turn cakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. When cakes are cool, fill the layers with red plum jam. 
  5. For the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl. Beat well with a hand mixer until combined and creamy. Add powdered sugar a little at a time; beat on high speed until smooth and fluffy. Cover the cake in a thick coating of cream cheese frosting.  
  6. For a wintry decoration, brush the fresh plum with a little corn syrup and roll in the granulated sugar. Place slightly off-center on top of the cake.  
  7. Serve immediately. Store cake loosely covered in the refrigerator. Bring cake to room temperature before serving.

This post is sponsored by Betty Crocker, and is part of the Red Hot Holiday Trends of 2013.

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Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
7 years ago

This cake is absolutely gorgeous! And such a fun flavour. Yum!!

Rosa's Yummy Yums
Rosa's Yummy Yums
7 years ago

A beautiful cake! It looks divine.

Cheers,

Rosa

Sharon
Sharon
7 years ago

gorgeous cake, I will trying this for the holiday season for us!

Unknown
Unknown
7 years ago

This is kind of fruit cake I would gladly eat at Xmas, Love your styling props!

Unknown
Unknown
7 years ago

What a gorgeous cake! I love this modern interpretation of classic fruit cake!

Nora
Nora
7 years ago

What a lovely creation. I love fruitcake, so this is right up my alley!

singerinkitchen
singerinkitchen
7 years ago

GORGEOUS! It looks super delicious too!

Corey @ Family Fresh Meals
Corey @ Family Fresh Meals
7 years ago

This cake is simply divine!

Colette (Coco)
Colette (Coco)
7 years ago

Sugar Plum is such a sweet name for this cake and yes, "fruitcake" does register a certain image of dense, rich, super-sweet stale cake.
I love that you cheated and used the airy cake mix, but kept the delicious flavours of traditional fruitcake.

Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough
Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough
7 years ago

This cake is just gorgeous! I'm normally not a fruitcake fun but I'd change my tune just for this cake. 🙂

Anonymous
Anonymous
7 years ago

Hi Heather! I was reading your recipe over (and trust me, in preparation for baking it! Num!) and noticed that your directions only specify when you add the GROUND almonds… Do you add the crushed slivered almonds at the same moment?

Thanks!

Anonymous
Anonymous
7 years ago

wait! Never mind! I found the crushed almonds! My bad!

Anonymous
Anonymous
7 years ago

Nope. Sorry! Hate to be an overposter; misread it the second go-round. Still finding only one reference in the directions to the almonds, just not the reference I originally mentioned. To fold in the crushed almonds with the boubon-soaked fruit. No mention of the ground almonds. Please feel free to only approve my first post if I am overloading your wall! Thanks!

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
7 years ago

Hi Anonymous! Gosh, sorry about that, you are totally right! 1/2 cup ground almonds should be omitted from the ingredients. It should only be 1/2 cup almond slivers, crushed. Fixing now!

Thanks for the heads up!

xo
h

Lail | With A Spin
Lail | With A Spin
7 years ago

A divine cake. Love it.

cookword
cookword
7 years ago

waw c'est beau!

Nila @ The Tough Cookie
Nila @ The Tough Cookie
7 years ago

Wow Heather, you really are an amazing photographer! I especially love the atmosphere and feel of the first photo. Looks just like Christmas dinner table. Just gorgeous!

Jenna Fifi
Jenna Fifi
7 years ago

Oh I love the massive plum! It looks fabulous!
Jenna x
http://www.jennafifi.co.uk

Cindy
Cindy
7 years ago

This is a fruit cake I could get with! I am dying over that sugared plum on top, love-LOVE!

Anonymous
Anonymous
7 years ago

Wow! This cake looks amazing, I can't wait to make it!!! Is the bourbon necessary? If so, can you please suggest a non-alcoholic substitute?

Anonymous
Anonymous
7 years ago

I made this for Christmas and I loved it! It will become a tradition in our home.

NOBODY
NOBODY
5 years ago

I wonder if this cake could be treated like the old-fashioned, British fruitcakes that were brushed with alcohol once a week and left to mature…

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
5 years ago
Reply to  NOBODY

Hmm. Maybe, but I can't say for certain (or that I'm against the notion!)

🙂

-h

janfromseattle
janfromseattle
2 years ago

Greetings! I am so excited having found your recipe! My neighbor has an Italian prune plum tree and I’ve just made made 17 pints of delectable preserves! My husband’s birthday is October 1st, and he requested a cake using the plum preserves! You are such a lifesaver! I couldn’t have imagined such a perfect mix of flavors. I can just taste it now. I have a feeling that this cake will become a Fall staple. Thank you again!

Jan
Seattle, Washington