Rosemary Conley's low-fat Christmas cake recipe

(544 ratings)

This low fat Christmas cake contains no oil or butter but features a couple of not-so-secret ingredients to keep it moist, namely cooking apples and seeds.

Rosemary Conley's low-fat Christmas cake
  • healthy
Preparation Time30 mins
Cooking Time2 hours 30 mins
Total Time3 hours
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories228 Kcal11%
Fat2.8 g4%

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




  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC/325ºF/gas 3. Line a cake tin with parchment paper.
  2. 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.
  3. Mix in the lemon and orange zest, then carefully fold in the flour, spice, sunflower seeds and dried fruit.
  4. Gradually stir in the brandy, then pour into the prepared cake tin.
  5. 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.

Wondering how to decorate your Christmas cake? Have a browse through our best Christmas cake ideas including fondant Christmas trees and edible snowmen.

Not the recipe you were after? How about trying our easy Christmas cake recipe or how about Mary Berry’s fruit cake full of flavour. And if you fancy baking your Christmas cake a little differently this year, how about Christmas cake in an air fryer? It's much quicker than your standard oven.

Rosemary Conley
Celebrity author and broadcaster

Rosemary Conley CBE was born in Leicestershire and is now one of the most successful diets and fitness experts with 50 years of experience in helping people lose weight and get fitter. Conley began her career after her own weight loss journey in 1972, and shortly after started running evening classes for local women wanting to lose weight and established her company: Slimming & Grooming Club, which became a franchise with 80,000 members and 180 clubs across the UK. After her franchise, she became internationally famous for her exercise programme, The Hip and Thigh diet, which was centered around a low-fat diet regime. She believes it is essential for your diet to be healthy in order to live a healthy, long life. If you like the sound of Rosemary's outlook and way of cooking, why not try our favourite Rosemary Conley recipes.