A healthy Christmas fruit cake recipe that’s gluten free, dairy free and grain free. Made with almond flour, coconut flour, dried fruit, mixed spices and a little orange zest for a lovely authentic festive feel.
If you have suddenly decided that you’d like to make a Christmas cake this year but you want to get it all in the oven with a minimum of fuss, then this Healthy Christmas Fruit Cake recipe is made for you. There’s a little bit of soaking of the fruit involved, but no more than 15 minutes; then you just get to stir everything up, pop it in to the oven and glaze or ice it (if you want to). Too easy!
This Christmas cake is free from gluten and any added sweeteners (I find the coconut flour and dried fruit gives you more than enough sweetness). It can be kept dairy free as well, so it’s able to cater for many allergies/intolerances at a big Christmas gathering, if it needs to. And hey, even if if it doesn’t, it’s still damn delicious.
You can use any dried fruit that you like in this recipe. Some of my favourite dried fruits to use in a Healthy Christmas Fruit Cake are:
For larger dried fruit like figs, dates and apricots, chop them into smaller pieces first if you purchase them whole. Or just take the easy option and purchase a dried fruit mix, there are always pretty yummy ones on offer at the shops come Christmas time.
If you make this cake, don’t forget to take a snap and tag me on Instagram, you can find me over at @moniquecormacknutrition!
UPDATE NOVEMBER 2019: A number of people have left me a comment asking if I have made this cake well in advance and preserved it by soaking the cake with alcohol. Unfortunately I haven’t done this yet! Despite my best intentions I never seem to get my Christmas cake done very far in advance. Now at least I have a good excuse, I’m a new mum of twins this year! 🙂
Healthy Christmas Fruit Cake
- 500 grams mixed dried fruits
- 75 grams walnuts (3/4 cup)
- 1 orange
- 125 grams almond flour/meal (1 1/4 cups)
- 67 grams coconut flour (1/2 cup)
- 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tsp mixed spice *
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 5 eggs
- 50 grams butter or coconut oil, melted (1/4 cup)
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 60 mL amaretto or other liqueur of choice (optional)
- 2 tbsp honey or other liquid sweetener
- 2 tbsp amaretto or other liqueur of choice
- Start by soaking the fruit. Fill your kettle and pop it on to boil while you organise all the dried fruit into a large bowl. If you're using larger fruit like dates and apricots, roughly chop them up first (my quick tip: snip them with kitchen scissors - it will save you so much time!). Pour the hot water over the fruit and allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes to soften and then drain and allow to cool to room temperature (get on with your cake prep while this is happening).
- Preheat your oven to 150 C. Line a 20 cm cake tin (preferably spingform) with baking paper along the base and sides.
- Combine the almond flour, coconut flour, bicarb, salt, mixed spice and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Zest the orange and roughly chop the walnuts, and add the zest and walnuts to the bowl too. Keep the orange.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, melted butter (or coconut oil), vanilla and amaretto. Squeeze in the juice of the orange (doesn't matter if some pulp goes in).
- Create a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and gradually stir in the wet mixture, stirring as you go (coconut flour is very absorbent so it's better to add it gradually). You should end up with a very thick batter, almost like a wet crumbly dough.
- Make sure your soaked fruit is well drained, and then add this to the cake batter. Fold it in with a spoon until combined evenly.
- Scoop the cake batter in to your lined baking tin and press down with your fingers or the back of a spoon until there are no gaps and the top is smooth.
- Bake the cake for between 60 - 70 minutes, or until the top is well browned and the centre feels firm to touch.
- If you're going to glaze the cake, do so immediately while the cake is hot, brushing on your glaze of choice with a pastry brush. You can also poke a few holes in the cake and then drizzle it over, if you want to use a lot and really soak the cake. To use the glaze I have suggested above, simply heat up the honey so it's really runny, mix with the amaretto and then brush over the top of the cake.
- Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 30 minutes and then place on a wire rack to cool to room temperature. (Store in the fridge for about 1 week or freeze for a longer life.)
- combine 1 cup of rice milk with 2 tsp of vanilla extract, 1-2 tbsp maple syrup (or other sweetener), and a pinch of nutmeg in a small saucepan.
- in a small mug combine 1 tbsp of cornflour + a tiny, tiny pinch of turmeric (for colour) with a little water just so the flour is dissolved.
- bring the milk mixture almost to boil and then pour in the cornflour paste, whisking continuously with a fork and cooking over a low heat until the mixture thickens to your liking. You can adjust the amount of sweetener to suit your taste. It is possible to make this with another milk too; I just like rice milk as it’s quite naturally sweet so you don’t need to add much. Coconut milk also works well as it's quite sweet, too.