This Gluten-Free Vegan Tropical Fruit Cake is:
- naturally sweetened
- super moist
- full of tropical flavour!
Inspired by my Tropical Carrot Cake, I decided to make a traditional fruit cake, like this Fruit Cake and this Christmas Fruit Cake, but using "tropical" flavours.
This Gluten-Free Vegan Tropical Fruit Cake is packed full of delicious tropical-inspired ingredients such as:
- nectar-like dried mango, pineapple and papaya
- fragrant coconut
- aromatic lime juice
- sweet pistachios
- warming spices like ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom
The secret to a super moist fruit cake is letting the fruit and nuts soak in alcohol for 24 hours before making the cake. I used rum for a tropical flavour, but you could also use brandy. If you don't want to use alcohol, orange or apple juice works just as well.
For the sponge, I used a mixture of ground almonds and gluten-free flour. The ground almonds really contribute to the texture of the cake by adding moisture and fluffiness.
I scattered over some coconut flakes before baking, for decoration and extra toasty coconut flavour, but these can be omitted or you could use flaked almonds or something else instead.
Whilst a lot of gluten-free cakes tend to dry out quickly, this Tropical Fruit Cake retains its moisture for a good few days, and the flavour actually improves over time. Whilst it's delicious eaten all year round, it would make a great Christmas cake if you're not into normal fruit cake!
For more fruity desserts, check out my:
- Lemon Blueberry Cake
- Cherry Bakewell Cake
- Apple Cake
- Pineapple Upside Down Cake
- Fig Upside Down Cake
- Pear Dark Chocolate Pudding
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.
Helpful tools to make this Gluten-Free Vegan Tropical Fruit Cake:
glass mixing bowl
18cm / 7 inch springform baking tin
Gluten-Free Vegan Tropical Fruit Cake
- 300 g (1 ½ cup) dried tropical fruit , finely chopped (I used a mixture of pineapple, mango, papaya and goji berries)
- 50 g (½ cup) pistachio nuts , roughly chopped (or sub any other nuts)
- 4 tablespoons desiccated coconut
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice (or sub a mixture of nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves)
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- Generous amount rum or brandy (ensure vegan/gluten-free if necessary - or sub apple or orange juice)
- 60 g (¼ cup) coconut oil (or sub olive or vegetable oil)
- 200 ml (⅘ cup) unsweetened almond milk (or any other plant-based milk)
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- 150 g (1 ¼ cup) ground almonds (almond meal) *
- 150 g (1 ¼ cup) gluten-free flour blend (or sub plain flour if not gluten-free)
- 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
To decorate (optional):
- 3 tablespoons coconut flakes
- Place the dried fruit, pistachio nuts, desiccated coconut, ginger, mixed spice and cardamom in a bowl and add a generous amount of rum or brandy, 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 maple syrup, lime 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 alcohol), adding a tiny splash more milk if it’s looking too dry
- Transfer mixture into a baking tin lined with greased baking paper (I used a 7inch/18cm springform tin)
- Scatter over the coconut flakes if desired, and bake in oven for around 30 minutes until risen and an inserted skewer comes out clean
- Once out the oven, leave to cool on a wire rack before cutting
- Keeps covered in the fridge for up to a few days
Disclosure: This posts contains affiliate links to Amazon. If you purchase any of these products, a small percentage will come to me with no extra cost to you! This income will go towards the running of this blog – thank you.
Love your other fruit cake recipe so looking forward to trying this too!