Tuesday 3 December 2013

Vegan Christmas Cake - C is for...Cake

Vegan Christmas Cake
I can't believe it has taken me three days of my countdown to Christmas to give you a recipe but it's been worth the wait as it's for a cake! It seems that the traditional Christmas cake as we know it today made with lots of dried fruit and spices has its origins in the 16th Century. Back then a fruit cake was made for Twelfth Night but since Victorian times it has been made especially for Christmas Day. Of course nowadays you can start buying Christmas cakes in the supermarkets at the end of August. I usually make my Christmas cake at the end of October and then feed it regularly until a couple of days before Christmas so I can marzipan and ice it.

A traditional Christmas Cake is very rich and takes over four hours to cook. The size of it can also put people off and not everyone now like a fruit cake. This is my solution to this problem. As the title suggests it is vegan plus has no extra fat or sugar added and also no alcohol. To add to this cake's halo I've also made it with wholemeal flour. I originally made for my Clandestine Cake Club's 'Noel Novelty' meeting where it went down so well I got asked for the recipe. The multi-coloured glacé cherries can be tricky to get hold of as the supermarkets don't seem to sell them anymore. I found mine at the fruit & nut stall in Sheffield Market (along with the dates) and later the same week spotted them at a fruit and nut concession in Boundary Mills. Of course just the standard red ones would still work a treat. 

Click here for a printable recipe. 

Equipment: 1 large bowl, 2lb (900g) loaf tin


1lb (450g) Mixed dried fruit, including candied peel
4oz (110g) Dried dates, chopped
2½oz (75g) Dried apricots, chopped
1½ (45g) Glacé cherries, washed, dried and quartered
¼ pint (150ml) Strong tea
Juice and zest of 1 Orange
6oz (170g) Self-raising wholemeal flour
1tsp (5ml) Baking powder
2oz (55g) Ground almonds
1tsp (5ml) Mixed spice
¼ pint (150ml) Cold water

1tbsp (15ml) Apricot jam
Glacé cherries in mixed colours, alternatively you could stick to red glacé cherries and mix them with some pecans, whole almonds and walnuts. You could also make up some runny icing sugar and drizzle it over the top.


1. Put all the dried fruit in a large bowl. Add the tea and the orange juice and zest. Mix well, cover and leave for at least 8 hours to soak.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C.
3. Grease and line the loaf tin (I use loaf tin liners)
4. Add the flour, baking powder, ground almonds and mixed spice to the fruit mixture and stir until well combined. It will be quite dry.
5. Add the water and mix in until it becomes moist.
6. Put it into the prepared tin and level the top.
7. Bake for 1 hour and then cover and cook for another 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
8. Leave the cake to cool for a few minutes in the tin before turning out and leaving to cool completely on a wire rack.
9. When cool heat the apricot jam in a small saucepan until warm and then brush along the top.
10. Decorate with your choice of cherries, dried fruits or nuts.


  1. What a handsome Christmas cake and I bet it's delicious too:-)

  2. I love the bright colours on this cake - I run a monthly linky called Celebration Cakes and Bakes if you fancied linking up? http://jaisee.com/mummymakescakes/decembers-celebration-cakes-and-bakes-linky/

  3. this is a really lovely recipe. please do link up with my linky too http://www.romanianmum.com/2013/12/friday-foodie-11.html#.UqNrq5GjClI
    there is a prize to be won at the end of december x

  4. What a stunning cake. The beautiful coloured glace cherries make this something of a centrepiece for the Christmas table. Thanks for entering into One Ingredient!

  5. fantastic! thank you for linking up and for your mention in the main post! Really appreciate that.
    Have pinned and stumbled!
    Good luck!

  6. Thanks for linking to Celebration Cakes And Bakes - I had no idea glacé cherries came in different colours.


I appreciate your comments. If you have any tips, tricks or tweaks please pass them on!