Rosemary Conley’s low-fat Christmas cake recipe

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makes: 20
Skill: medium
Prep: 30 min
Cooking: 2 hr 30 min

Nutrition per portion

Calories 228 kCal 11%
Fat 2.8g 4%
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  • This low-fat Christmas cake contains no oil or butter. Instead, it features a couple of not-so-secret ingredients to keep it moist, namely grated cooking apples and sunflower seeds.

    Nineties diet guru Rosemary Conley knows a thing or two about low-fat cooking. This recipe might not be quite as luxurious as Mary Berry’s Christmas cake recipe, but it’s perfect for anyone watching what they eat over the Christmas period. Swapping the icing and marzipan for dried fruit, nuts, and an apricot glaze is a great way to cut back on refined sugars.


    • 225g no pre-soak prunes, pitted
    • 115g cooking apple, grated
    • 175g dark muscovado sugar
    • 4 eggs, beaten
    • Zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
    • 175g self-raising flour, sifted
    • 1tbsp mixed spice
    • 50g sunflower seeds
    • 225g currants
    • 225g sultanas
    • 225g raisins
    • 115g glacé cherries
    • 120ml brandy
    • 2tbsp apricot jam, to glaze
    • You'll also need:
    • 20cm x 7.5cm deep cake tin


    • Preheat the oven to 170ºC/325ºF/gas 3. Line a cake tin with parchment paper.

    • In a large mixing bowl mix together the prunes and apple. Add the sugar, then beat in the eggs a little at a time. Press down to squash the prunes.

    • Mix in the lemon and orange zest, then carefully fold in the flour, spice, sunflower seeds and dried fruit.

    • Gradually stir in the brandy, then pour into the prepared cake tin.

    • 5 Using the back of a metal spoon, make a slight dip in the centre to allow for an even top once baked. Bake for 2-2½ hrs or until a metal skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Remove the parchment paper and brush with warmed apricot jam.

    Top tips for making this low-fat Christmas cake

    This cake is best made a week in advance and stored in an airtight container. If you prefer a boozier cake, prick the sponge all over with a fine skewer and drizzle an extra couple of spoonfuls of sherry or brandy over the top.

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