Red velvet Christmas cake

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  • This red velvet Christmas cake is a delicious twist on a traditional fruit cake and has the added bonus of being gluten-free. Cranberries, orange juice, ruby port and ground almonds all lend festive flavours to this American classic.

    Gluten-free cakes can sometimes taste dry, but the addition of grated beetroot makes this cake exceptionally moist. Once the cake has cooled, follow along with our step-by-step picture guide as we show the simplest way to cover your cake in marzipan and royal icing. 

    Looking for a more traditional Christmas cake recipe? You can’t go wrong with Mary Berry’s classic.


    For the cake:

    • 200ml ruby port
    • finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
    • 350g mixed dried fruit
    • 150g dried cranberries
    • 250g butter
    • 250g dark muscovado sugar
    • 4 large eggs
    • 250g gluten-free plain flour
    • 1tbsp ground mixed spice
    • pinch of gluten-free baking powder
    • 90g beetroot, grated
    • 2tbsp beetroot powder or squeeze of red paste colouring
    • 1tbsp vanilla extract
    • 60g ground almonds
    • 20cm greased and lined deep cake tin

    To decorate:

    • 3tbsp apricot jam, warmed and sieved
    • 1kg packet white marzipan
    • 500g packet royal icing
    • 1tsp glycerine
    • bronze sand glitter
    • bronze crunch sprinkles
    • 5cm wide gold ribbon
    • Bottle Brush Christmas trees