I’m so excited to share the recipe for this Gluten-Free Vegan Fruit Cake! It’s:
- SUPER moist
- slightly boozy and beautifully fragrant
- naturally sweetened!
Fruit cake has not always been my absolute favourite, but since making this version I’ve become a little addicted! I made a few adjustments to the more traditional fruit cake that I grew up eating:
- it makes a huge difference if you actively choose your favourite dried fruit (more on that later)
- completely omitting the added sugar is not a problem if you find traditional fruit cake too sweet
- adding ground almonds makes for a seriously moist yet light sponge
So, let’s talk fruit – I’m personally not a huge fan of raisins and currants, so I prefer to use other dried fruit. I used a mixture of dates, dried cranberries, dried figs, prunes and dried apricots, but you can use whatever dried fruit mix you like. I bet using tropical fruit such as dried mango, papaya or pineapple would be delicious too!
I also added some aromatic orange zest and fragrant, warming spices. For nuts, I opted for walnuts, but you could use pecans, or whatever other nuts you like, really.
The secret to making a super moist and flavourful fruit cake is to soak the dried fruit for about 24 hours before baking. I used brandy, but you could use sherry instead – ensure it’s vegan and/or gluten-free if necessary. If you’d rather not use alcohol, you could always use orange juice or apple juice.
This fruit cake is honestly undetectably vegan and gluten-free and has an almost melt-in-your-mouth texture reminiscent of stollen. Unlike a lot of other gluten-free cakes, this one definitely doesn’t dry out quickly, as the fruit keeps it moist for a long time and the flavour actually seems to improve when eaten the day after being baked. This makes it really convenient for gifting or making in advance when entertaining guests.
For this Gluten-Free Vegan Fruit Cake, I adapted my go-to sponge cake recipe – it’s easy to make and uses familiar ingredients, and is versatile too. Although I usually add maple syrup, I completely left out the additional sweetener for this fruit cake and didn’t miss it at all, as the dried fruit is definitely sweet enough.
Finally, I like to finish off the cake with a flurry of flaked almonds for a sweet, nutty crunch, but this step is completely optional.
I hope you’ll love this Gluten-Free Vegan Fruit Cake! For more fruity desserts, check out my:
- Matcha Strawberry Sponge Layer Cake
- Lemon Blueberry Cake
- Cherry Bakewell Cake
- Black Forest Cake
- Strawberry Sponge Layer Cake
- Blueberry Pie
- Apple Cake
- Fig Upside Down Cake
- Chocolate Orange Cake
- Lemon Drizzle Cake
- Apple Pie
- Pear Dark Chocolate Pudding
- Cherry Pie
- Raspberry Dark Chocolate Blondies
- Apple Upside Down Cake
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d really love to hear any feedback! Please give it a rating, leave a comment, or tag a photo #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! Thank you.
This Gluten-Free Vegan Fruit Cake is super moist, slightly boozy, beautifully fragrant and completely naturally sweetened.
- 200 g (1 cup) dried fruit, finely chopped (I used a mixture of dates, dried cranberries, dried figs, prunes and dried apricots, but you can use whatever dried fruit mix you like)
- Zest of 1 unwaxed orange (or sub 1 teaspoon orange extract)
- 50 g (1/2 cup) walnuts or pecan nuts, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice (or sub a mixture of nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves)
- Generous amount of brandy or sherry (ensure vegan/gluten-free if necessary - or sub apple or orange juice)
- 60 g (1/4 cup) coconut oil (or sub olive or vegetable oil)
- 200 ml (4/5 cup) milk, any kind
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 150 g (1 1/4 cup) ground almonds (almond meal/flour)
- 150 g (1 1/4 cup) gluten-free flour blend (or sub plain flour if not gluten-free)
- 2 heaped teaspoons baking power (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- Flaked almonds
- Place the dried fruit, orange zest, walnuts, ginger, cinnamon and mixed spice in a bowl and add a generous amount of brandy or sherry, until everything is roughly covered
Keep covered in the fridge for around 24 hours, to allow the flavours to develop
Before making the cake, preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Place the coconut oil in a large bowl and melt over a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave (skip this step if using any other oil)
- Once melted, add the milk to the same bowl along with the lemon juice, vanilla, salt and ground almonds
- Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda
- Add the dried fruit mixture (along with any residual brandy), adding a tiny splash more milk if it’s looking too dry
- Transfer mixture into mini loaf tins (or alternatively use a greased 7inch/18cm baking tin lined with baking paper)
- Scatter over flaked almonds before baking, if desired
Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes until risen and an inserted skewer comes out clean (cooking time will need to be adjusted to around 30 minutes if baking as one cake)
Keeps covered in the fridge for up to a few days