Photo of a fruit cake covered in white buttercream with a slice taken out of it topped with plastic santas against a grey background

Gluten-Free Vegan Christmas Fruit Cake

This Gluten-Free Vegan Christmas Fruit Cake is slightly boozy and perfectly spiced, seriously moist, and covered in the most indulgent buttercream! 
Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Keyword gluten-free christmas cake, vegan christmas cake, vegan fruit cake
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 422kcal
Author Rhian Williams


For the cake:

  • 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)
  • 1 tablespoon (1 tablespoon) unwaxed orange zest (or sub 1 teaspoon orange extract)
  • 50 g (1/2 cup) walnuts , finely chopped (or sub pecan nuts)
  • 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1/2 teaspoon) ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) mixed spice (or sub a mixture of nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves)
  • Generous amount 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) unsweetened almond milk (or any other plant-based milk)
  • 2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) vanilla extract
  • Pinch (Pinch) salt
  • 150 g (1 1/4 cup) ground almonds (almond meal) *
  • 150 g (1 1/4 cup) gluten-free flour blend (or sub plain flour if not gluten-free)
  • 2 heaped teaspoons (2 heaped teaspoons) baking powder (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1/4 teaspoon) bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

For the buttercream:

  • 100 g (2/3 cup) raw cashew nuts soaked in cold water overnight or in hot water for 15 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
  • 4 tablespoons (4 tablespoons) unsweetened almond milk (or sub water or any other plant-based milk)
  • 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) vanilla extract


For the cake:

  • 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 the mixture into a baking tin lined with greased baking paper (I used a 7inch/18cm springform tin)
  • Bake in oven for around 30 minutes until risen and an inserted skewer comes out clean
  • Once cooked, leave to cool completely before frosting the cake

For the buttercream:

  • Drain soaked cashews and add to a food processor along with all the other ingredients
  • Whizz until completely smooth
  • Taste and adjust flavour if necessary, adding more maple syrup, salt or vanilla if you wish
  • Leave the buttercream to cool before using to frost the cake

To frost and decorate:

  • Once the cake has cooled completely, place onto a large plate or cake stand
  • Use a spatula or knife to cover the top and sides of the cake
  • Best when fresh, but keeps well covered in the fridge for up to a few days


*You can alternatively use almond flour


Calories: 422kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 81mg | Potassium: 316mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin C: 2.8mg | Calcium: 159mg | Iron: 2.9mg