Gluten-free Christmas cake recipe

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  • Gluten-free
  • Vegetarian
serves: 12
Skill: easy
Cost: mid
Prep: 30 min
Cooking: 1 hr 45 min

Nutrition per portion

Calories 959 kCal 48%
Fat 25.4g 36%
  -  Saturates 9.5g 48%
Carbohydrates 170.4g 48%
  -  of which Sugars 155.5g 173%
Protein 8.5g 17%
Salt 0.32g 5%
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  • Brimming with dried fruit, almonds and glace and cherries, this gluten-free Christmas cake is just as delicious as a traditional cake.

    Ground ginger and mixed spice add a delicate festive flavour, while the addition of milk ensures the cake stays moist – all too often a problem when it comes to gluten-free bakes. Speedier than following a classic Christmas cake recipe, this gluten-free version takes under two hours to bake. Remember that gluten-free cakes and biscuits tend to go stale more quickly than their regular counterparts, so it’s best to eat this one within a couple of weeks.


    • For the gluten-free Christmas cake
    • 350g mixed dried fruit
    • 100ml brandy or orange juice
    • 150g butter, softened
    • 150g soft light brown sugar
    • 3 eggs, beaten
    • Zest of 1 large orange
    • 50g blanched almonds, chopped
    • 50g glace cherries, halved
    • 2tsp vanilla extract
    • 150g gluten-free plain flour
    • 1½tsp gluten-free baking powder
    • 2tsp ground mixed spice
    • 1tsp ground ginger
    • 100ml milk
    • For the icing
    • 5-6 tbsp apricot glaze or sieved apricot jam
    • 750g white marzipan
    • 1kg of packet white sugarpaste


    • Place the dried fruit in a bowl with the brandy or orange juice and leave to soak for 2 hrs or overnight.

    • Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3. Grease an 18cm round deep cake tin and line the base and sides with a double thickness of baking paper.

    • Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat together until pale and creamy. Gradually beat in the eggs, adding a little of the flour if the mixture begins to curdle. Add the soaked fruit, orange zest, almonds, cherries and vanilla extract.

    • Sift together the flour, baking powder and spices and fold into the mixture with the milk. Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface.

    • Bake for 1½-1¾ hrs until golden, firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 15 mins then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely. Finally, ice your Christmas cake with apricot jam, white sugar paste and marzipan.

    Top tip for making this gluten-free Christmas cake

    Mix it up by replacing half the dried mixed fruit with finely chopped dried apricots and dates.

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