Recipe by Kristin Cosgrove
I’ll be honest, this Simple Gluten-free Christmas Fruit Cake is so delicious I don’t just make it for Christmas. It’s rich, not too sweet and a bit grown up. It’s also very simple to make and no soaking or steaming is required. If you can find an organic dried fruit mixture to use, all the better.
A note from Georgia
I’m not a huge fan of Christmas cake – I really don’t enjoy the traditional fruit cake mix so when recipe testing this, I decided to make my own mixed dried fruit. I bought a combination of dried blueberries, currants, cranberries, sultanas and added diced apricots and figs. It was SO delicious, I’m converted! I always thought Christmas Cake was hard to make but this was just so simple.
Simple Gluten-free Christmas Fruit Cake
- 80 ml water (⅓ cup)
- 80 ml brandy – or use more water (⅓ cup)
- 2 orange/s – zest and juice
- 170 g butter
- 95 g coconut sugar or rapadura (½ cup)
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 900 g mixed dried fruit
- 3 free-range or organic egg/s – lightly beaten
- 120 g almond meal (1 cup)
- 65 g fine brown rice flour (½ cup)
- 60 g tapioca flour (½ cup)
- 1 tsp baking powder – gluten-free
- ¼ cup blanched almonds – to decorate
- 2 tbsp brandy – extra
- 2 tbsp apricot jam – to glaze
- In a large pot, melt together the water, brandy, orange zest and juice, butter, sugar and mixed spice, stirring to combine.
- Once melted, add the dried fruit. Mix well and simmer over medium heat, continuing to stir, for approximately 10 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the fruit. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 140°C/284°F (fan-forced) and lightly grease, then double line a 20cm square cake tin with baking paper.
- When the fruit mixture has cooled, mix in the eggs, almond meal, and sift in the rice flour, tapioca flour and baking powder. The mixture will be quite thick and dense.
- Transfer the cake mix to the lined tin, and if you like, decorate the cake by placing the blanched almonds around the cake’s edge or feel free to create an elaborate design. Bake for 1.5 hours. I suggest checking the cake after 1 hour and if it seems to be getting too dark on top, cover loosely with foil.
- You can test the cake for readiness by inserting a skewer which will come out clean when the cake is done. Remove the cake from the oven and if you like, pierce all over carefully with a sharp skewer, then drizzle over the extra 2 tablespoons of brandy.
- If you would like to glaze the cake, simply melt together the 2 tablespoons of apricot jam with 1 tablespoon of water in a small pot. Use a pastry brush to ‘paint’ the glaze over the top of the cake.
- Allow to cool completely before slicing.
- I only slice what I need.
- Tightly wrap the rest of the cake in baking paper, then a slightly damp tea towel or beeswax wrap before storing in an airtight container in the fridge. It will easily last for 2-3 weeks in the fridge (but never does!).
Dairy-freeYou can use coconut oil in place of butter in this cake for a dairy free version.
Loved this delicious Gluten-free Christmas Fruit Cake?! Let us know in the comments below….
Hi, I’m Kristin Cosgrove. I’m a mum, student of psychology and passionate whole foods cook. I love to share my love for simple, seasonal recipes and my modern approach to cooking for my family. I live on the Surf Coast with my husband and three children.
You can find me on Instagram at @kristinjcosgrove