serves / makes 12
210 prep time
210 mins cooking time


When I think of Christmas cake my first thought is always the amount of time it takes to make one and having to ‘feed it’ with your choice of alcohol every week for what seems like ages.

My goal with this cake is to make a gluten and dairy free cake that can be enjoyed by the whole family but doesn’t take forever to make. Rather than age the cake with alcohol I’ve cooked and soaked the fruit in cranberry juice, orange juice and port so all the flavours are incorporated into the cake.

Hope you enjoy this recipe!



For the cake:

  • 500g sultananas
  • 125g fresh cranberries
  • 125g mixed peel
  • 150g glace cherries
  • 225ml cranberry juice
  • 75ml orange juice
  • 100ml port
  • zest from one orange
  • 30g treacle
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 200g dairy free spread
  • 200g dark brown sugar
  • 250g gluten free plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 75g walnuts, chopped
  • 5 eggs

For decoration:

  • 1 sheet of marzipan
  • 1 sheet of ready rolled fondant icing
  • 3-4 tablespoons apricot jam
  • cake toppers of your choice


  1. In a large pan place the sultanas, cranberries, mixed peel, cherries, cranberry juice, orange juice, port, zest, treacle, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
  2. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes
  3. Remove from the heat and allow the fruit to soak for at least one hour (overnight if possible)
  4. Preheat the oven to 140 oC
  5. Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin
  6. In a large bowl mix together the dairy free spread, sugar, baking powder, flour, xanthan gum and eggs
  7. Stir through the fruit mix (including any residual liquid) and the chopped nuts
  8. Pour into the cake tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 3.5 hours (I covered the top of my cake with tinfoil for the last hour of baking to stop the top getting burnt)
  9. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool completely
  10. Trim the top of the cake to make it an even and flat surface to ice
  11. Spread the apricot jam over the cake and cover with the marzipan sheet
  12. Allow the marzipan time to settle (overnight if you have time) before draping the fondant icing on top
  13. Decorate the cake with any christmas decorations you have

Gluten Free Christmas Cake


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