Vegan recipes

Christmas cake

Christmas cake served on a plate  with a white ribbon around it

Prep time
24 hours (largely inactive)
25m active

Bake time
2 hours 15m

Serves
Approx 12


Everyone needs a good fruitcake in their back pocket. This Christmas cake is a bit of a jack-of-all trades for our family, and a very definite tradition: last year, I made it as our Christmas cake, our Easter cake, and our ‘we’re having a baby!’ cake. We even used this as the base for our wedding cake, and it fuelled many honeymoon hikes with us afterwards.

I had a funny feeling as I made this Christmas cake this year, almost like me and the Christmas cake had stood still, and the year had happened around us. Last year, my husband and I had our very first antenatal appointment while this Christmas cake was in the oven, and the whole house was filled with the smell of it. It was very early days in my pregnancy – my husband and I were both very excited, but also terrified, and we hadn’t told anyone at all yet. The appointment was on the telephone rather than face to face, due to restrictions around the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, I stood in the kitchen mixing the Christmas cake together and our very robust daughter was next to me squealing, smiling, and kicking – almost the perfect picture of life and health.

I suppose we will keep growing and changing, but the Christmas cake will remain the same, and that’s what traditions are. The smell and taste of it already brings up the very happiest of memories: let them keep coming.


If nutrition information is your thing, I’ve included an approximation of this at the bottom of the page. If this is not for you, skip over this bit.

I’d love hear how you go and/or see your creations if you do make this recipe – let me know in the comments or tag me @wholemealmum or #wholemealmum, so I can see!


Ingredients

Christmas cake ingredients
  • 220g raisins
  • 220g dried chopped apricots
  • 220g dried chopped dates
  • 100ml rum. I use Captain Morgan’s Spiced Gold
  • 350g plain flour
  • 165g light brown sugar
  • 175g butter. I use Flora original
  • 30g golden syrup
  • 1 orange peel
  • 1 lemon peel
  • 40g almonds
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 120ml oat milk
  • 30ml lemon juice

Method

  1. Soak all the fruits in the rum, in the fridge overnight, or for up to a week. I use an airtight Tupperware box to do this. Shake the box every now and again to redistribute any liquid and to give everything a chance to soak. 
  2. Preheat the oven to approx 140/ gas mark 1
  3. Double line a 20cm cake tin with baking parchment. This feels a very fiddly thing to do, but worth it, as it prevents the cake from drying out or burning on the edges where it is next to the tin. I use a small amount of butter as an adhesive to help keep the sheets of paper in place and stop them springing back
  4. In a large bowl, mix the margarine, sugar, syrup, and orange zest
  5. Peel the orange and lemon rind into strips, using a peeler
  6. Blend together the rinds, oat milk, almonds, and lemon juice in a high speed blender. I use a Nutribullet to do this
  7. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, almonds, baking powder and spices
  8. Add the flour, baking power and spices to the bowl, and add the oat milk mixture
  9. Mix together gently
  10. Fold the soaked fruits through the mixture. The mixture will be very stiff (like a brick mortar texture), and it may be easier to use your hand to do the mixing
  11. Add the mixture to the cake tin
  12. Spread the cake mix level with a fork or spatula. Spread this as evenly as you can, as it will not move once mixed.
  13. Bake the cake for between 2 hours 15minutes and 2 and a half hours. The cake is done when a skewer comes out clean
  14. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin
  15. Brush the cake with rum
  16. Wrap the cake in two layers of clingfilm, and store in an airtight tin. This cake is better after being left to mature for 1 week
  17. Once the cake is cut, wrap the remaining cake up and keep in an airtight tin. It will keep for up to one month 
Christmas cake in the baking tin

Christmas cake

Classic fruit cake, perfect for enjoying with a mug of tea or coffee
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 15 mins
Soaking time 1 d
Course Dessert
Cuisine british
Servings 12
Calories 443 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 220 g raisins
  • 220 g dried chopped apricots
  • 220 g dried chopped dates
  • 100 ml rum I use Captain Morgan's Spiced Gold
  • 350 g plain flour
  • 165 g light brown sugar
  • 175 g butter I use Flora original
  • 30 g golden syrup
  • 1 orange peel
  • 1 lemon peel
  • 40 g almonds
  • 0.75 tsp baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp ground ginger 
  • 0.5 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 0.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 120 ml oat milk
  • 30 ml lemon juice

Instructions
 

  • Soak all the fruits in the rum, in the fridge overnight, or for up to a week. I use an airtight Tupperware box to do this. Shake the box every now and again to redistribute any liquid and to give everything a chance to soak. 
  • Preheat the oven to approx 140/ gas mark 1
  • Double line a 20cm cake tin with baking parchment. This feels a very fiddly thing to do, but worth it, as it prevents the cake from drying out or burning on the edges where it is next to the tin. I use a small amount of butter as an adhesive to help keep the sheets of paper in place and stop them springing back
  • In a large bowl, mix the margarine, sugar, syrup, and orange zest
  • Peel the orange and lemon rind into strips, using a peeler
  • Blend together the rinds, oat milk, almonds, and lemon juice in a high speed blender. I use a Nutribullet to do this
  • In a separate bowl, mix the flour, almonds, baking powder and spices
  • Add the flour, baking power and spices to the bowl, and add the oat milk mixture
  • Mix together gently
  • Fold the soaked fruits through the mixture. The mixture will be very stiff (like a brick mortar texture), and it may be easier to use your hand to do the mixing
  • Add the mixture to the cake tin
  • Spread the cake mix level with a fork or spatula. Spread this as evenly as you can, as it will not move once mixed.
  • Bake the cake for between 2 hours 15minutes and 2 and a half hours. The cake is done when a skewer comes out clean
  • Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin
  • Brush the cake with rum
  • Wrap the cake in two layers of clingfilm, and store in an airtight tin. This cake is better after being left to mature for 1 week
  • Once the cake is cut, wrap the remaining cake up and keep in an airtight tin. It will keep for up to one month 
Keyword christmas cake, vegan

Nutrition

Given for whole Christmas cake / per slice

  • Energy: 5317kcal / 443kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 904.7g / 75.4g
  • Protein: 73.8g / 6.1g
  • Fat: 143.7g / 12.0g
Christmas cake served on a plate with a white ribbon around it.

wholemealmum

Mother of a baby girl, born in July 2021. Finding my way with it all. Recipes, parenting, and walking.

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