Ah… Christmas. The most wonderful time of the year. Spending time with those close to you. Celebrating the year passed. Searching for that perfect gift to show how much someone means to you. And of course Christmas Cake.
There is something about a Christmas Cake that goes beyond your regular fruit cake. Don’t ask me what. Maybe it’s the time of year. Maybe it’s the sharing of a slice between friends or family you may not have seen for a while. Whatever it is, there is something special about a Christmas Cake.
I have always loved Christmas Cakes. As I have slowing changed the way I eat I don’t enjoy many Christmas Cakes. Having cut out refined sugar from my diet for many years now, my taste buds are definitely more sensitive to sweetness and I experience sugar hangovers after I have indulged. Christmas Cakes are notorious for their added sugars. The one thing I have discovered though is I can generally turn most of my favourites into a healthier alternative. The humble Christmas Cake was no exception.
It was actually a pretty simple task. Why sugar needed to be added was beyond me. The sweetness from the dried fruit is plenty enough to still make this taste indulgent. A swap of flour for almond meal (there is nut free alternative) gave it the dense texture with the added flavour of the nuts. Total win!! I didn’t forget those with dairy intolerances. Although I do have a diary intolerance I find that I am fine with the amount of butter in this recipe. For those of you who are more sensitive I have included a swap for you.
Nothing says Christmas more than cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg. So of course this cake has them all. The smell in the kitchen as you cook this lets you know Christmas is here!
What do I need?
- 500g Mixed Dried Fruits (either purchase pre-mixed or use sultanas, raisins, peel etc)
- 100g Dried Figs, roughly chopped
- 50g Dried Cranberries
- 1 Orange, peeled
- 3 Eggs
- 2 teaspoons of Ground Cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons of Mixed Spice
- 1 teaspoon of Ground Ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon of Ground Cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon of Ground Nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons of Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 teaspoon of Bicarb Soda
- 120g of Butter, melted *see below for dairy free version
- 170g of Almond Meal **see below for nut free version
- 3/4 cup of Walnuts
Let’s Do This!
1. Preheat oven to 150c and line a 20cm round pan with baking paper
2. Combine all the dried fruits in a large bowl.
3. Using a blender, stick mixture or food processor, blend together the eggs, orange, spices and vanilla, for about a minute. You may have a few orange chunks this is ok.
4. Add your orangey-eggy mixture and melted butter to your dried fruit, mix well.
5. Add the almond meal and bi-carb soda and mix.
6. Pour the mix into your prepared cake tin, ensuring the top is even.
7. Decorate the top with your walnuts, gently pushing them into place.
8. Place in the oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until cooked through.
9. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15minutes before turning onto cake rack.
* Dairy Free: Substitute butter for 120g of Macadamia or Coconut Oil
** Nut Free: Substitute almond meal for 100g of wholemeal spelt flour or Buckwheat flour to keep it gluten free