Gluten-free Christmas cake recipe

(1427 ratings)

Brimming with dried fruit, almonds and glace and cherries, this gluten-free Christmas cake is just as delicious as a traditional cake.

Gluten-free Christmas cake
  • Vegetarian
Preparation Time30 mins
Cooking Time1 hours 45 mins
Total Time2 hours 15 mins
Cost RangeMid
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories959 Kcal48%
Sugar155.5 g173%
Fat25.4 g36%
Saturated Fat9.5 g48%
Salt0.32 g
Protein8.5 g17%
Carbohydrates170.4 g66%
Salt0.32 g

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 (opens in new tab), 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




  1. Place the dried fruit in a bowl with the brandy or orange juice and leave to soak for 2 hrs or overnight.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 (opens in new tab) 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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