Vegan Gluten free Christmas Cake Fruit Cake full of nuts, dried fruits, dates, seeds, candied ginger. Soft, Flavorful and great for gifting. Vegan Soyfree Recipe.
I am not sure why fruit cakes have a bad rap. They used to be a treat we would wait for around Christmas. Soft, Sweet, full of fun stuff for us kids I guess. Maybe we just lucked out with a fabulous bakery. 🙂
I make versions of my Spelt spiced fruit cake if not baking a load of cookies every year. This version is adapted from spelt flour version. I use almond flour and rice flour to keep it gluten-free. The cake keeps well refrigerated for a few weeks if you use liquor or a week with orange juice. Serve as is or with a bourbon/rum glaze! Add nuts or seeds that you like, some dates, apricots, cherries. I also added some roasted sunflower seeds and chia seeds, so the cake is also great to snack on.
More gluten-free baking from the blog
- Gluten-free Cinnamon Roll Bread yeast-free.
- Sweet Potato Crumb Cake.
- Gluten-free Brownies
- Sweet Potato Blondies.
- Gluten-free Lemon Donuts
- And many more here
If you make this cake or any of the above gf bakes, let me know how they turned out! Send me pictures, Tag me on social media.
Soak the nuts, seeds, dried and candied fruit in orange juice or juice + liquor.
Whisk all the dry ingredients, them combine with the wet.
Vegan Gluten free Christmas Cake - Fruit Cake
- 1 cup (236.59 ml) orange juice or a combination with liquor (upto half cup of rum, brandy, whiskey or a mix)
- 1.25 to 1.5 cups (180 g) dried fruits and nuts (I use pecans, cashews, walnuts, roasted sunflower seeds, candied ginger, currants, chopped dates, candied orange peel, cherries/apricots etc)
- 1 tbsp chia seeds (not optional as they help thicken the leftover orange juice. You an use 1.5 tbsp flax seed meal as a sub)
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup (55 g) light brown sugar
- 2 tbsp oil (I use organic safflower)
- 1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (80 g) white rice flour
- 3/4 cup (84 g) almond flour
- 1/4 cup (40 g) potato starch
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) citric acid , optional **
- 1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) salt
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- Add juice, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, and chia seeds to a bowl and mix. Let sit refrigerated for a few hours to overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Line a loaf pan with parchment or grease it.
- Take the juice bowl out from the fridge. Add sugar, oil and vanilla to the bowl and mix in until sugar is combined. In another bowl, add the dry ingredients and whisk. (You can omit the citric acid from the dry. I like the air it adds to gluten-free baked goods. See my glutenfree cinnamon roll bread post for details about the use of citric acid)
- Combine the dry and wet and mix to make a batter. Drop in parchment lined pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes. Check with a toothpick from the center of the cake. it should come out almost clean. Bake longer if needed.
- Cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan. Cool completely before slicing (cool lightly covered by a towel). Store on the counter covered for upto 2 days, refrigerate for upto 10, freeze for upto 2 months. If using liquor, you can store the cake on the counter and refrigerator for longer.
Out of this world. Thank you. My joints and tastebuds thank you for your outstanding gluten free recipes!
Vegan Richa Support
I’m so glad to hear!
Hello – Do you use blanched almonds ground in a blender for the almond flour? Thanks.
Both are the same if you use almond flour made of blanched almonds. That’s what I use
Hi Richa! Is there any way I can sub almond flour for any other flour. I am intolerant to nuts.
Vegan Richa Support
You can use a preferred gluten-free baking mix, and omit the baking powder from the recipe if this is included in the blend.
A lot fruit cake recipes have you brush the top with rum or brandy every few days. Is this something you can do with this cake, or will it make it wet and crumbly?
Vegan Richa Support
try it – i think it will be fine
Thank you for this recipe. I’ve made it a few times now as friends have demanded it even though they’re not vegan.
Recently, I doubled the ingredients, but kept the brown sugar the same, soaked the fruit in orange juice and used spelt flour. I poured the mixture into a 10” cake tin and baked for an hour.
My non-vegan diabetic family loved it.
Going to be making this soon. Can I replace the potato starch with Tapioca starch? Looks amazing – as do all your recipes:)
Does rice flour make it gritty?
Can I sub oat or sorghum flour instead?
Does oat make it sticky or slimy?
Any substitute to potato starch?
Any starch will Work
Can u use regular all purpose flour?
Use my regular flour Christmas cake recipe https://www.veganricha.com/spiced-fruit-and-nut-christmas-cake/
Direct subs between Glutenfree and regular flours don’t work most of the time, so usually have separate recipes
On the fruit cake above can you use the Bob’s red mill 1 to 1 baking flour instead of rice and almond? Does the rice and almond flour make it have that gritty sandy texture or taste that some of these flours have? Can you use oatmeal flour with xanthan gum? How much xanthan gum if so on the oatmeal flour? Thank you. Making these tomorrow ..soaking fruit today.
Is it blanched almond flour that is being used here or just grounded almonnds ?
Also what is the best sub for tapioca flour ?
Yes ground peeled almonds
Made this for a friend and she loved it!
This fruit cake was awesome! I adjusted flour by using Bobs Red Mill GF 1 to 1 Baking Flour for the rice flour and potato starch because it’s basically the same thing and I still used almond flour per the recipe.
Another adjustment I did instead of citric acid, which was optional, I reduced the baking powder to 1 teaspoon and added 1 teaspoon of baking soda along with a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice to the batter, to react with the soda and help it rise.
I did use coconut sugar instead of light brown sugar. All in all, I think these adjustments worked very well here. Thank you for a wonderful recipe. I’m really happy to have found this.
I have made this recipe 3 times substituting arrowroot flour for the potato starch (only because I can’t buy it). The last 2 times I have doubled the mixture because I am trying to perfect it for when it will be the Christmas cake. The last time I soaked the chia seeds separately in 1/2 cup of water overnight- I didn’t have orange juice otherwise I would have used that. The next day, the day of baking, I mixed them into the fruit mixture that had soaked in orange juice for a few hours then followed the recipe. The cake is light and fluffy for g.f – I can’t believe it. I think this is a really good recipe- the cake is moist as well – often g.f. cakes are dry especially the next day after baking.
Awesome!!! Yes gluten-free baking can easily dry out. the mix of flours, citric acid etc here help keep that mosture in
Thank you for your reply. So the citric acid is in the recipe for moisture content? I thought it was there for flavour.
Citric acid is for adding some air in the batter before baking. this allows for moisture to stay in the batter rather than evaporate which it does more quickly with gluten-free baking. It does add a slight citrusy flavor but thats complimentary to the overall flavors in the cake. The main reason though is for lightening up the batter before baking
So can citric acid be added to all gluten-free baking if it complimenting the flavour profile?
Hey, just wondering what ingredients I remove if I want to use spelt flour instead of gluten free?
use my spelt flour version here https://www.veganricha.com/2012/12/spiced-fruit-and-nut-christmas-cake.html
Thank you! I have now found the potato starch in the shop so I can follow the full GF recipe now 🙂
Hi, good day to you, i’m new to your site and i love your recipes . i can only use gluten free flour. i would like to know if i can you use Bob red mill all purpose flour for this recipe and other recipe on this site.
bobs gf blend has a lot of rice flour that dries out while baking. I havent had success with just the blend. You can use half of bobs gf blend and half almond flour as almond flour will add moisture and keep it from drying out.
I juste made your cake and it s perfect. Everybody love it. I used a lot of cranberries and cherries with a orange and lemon juice… yummy! 😋Thank you for your share recipes.🙏😘
I just made this today and it turned out beautifully – absolutely delicious! I was thrilled to find a gluten free version of my favourite Christmas indulgence. Added the citric acid and enjoyed the resulting tang. Thank you, Richa, for a wonderful recipe!
I just made this recipe and it baked really well. Sadly, it is sticking to the bottom of my loaf pan and only partially came out of my pan, which is very disappointing. I did grease the pan. I probably should of used parchment paper. Next year!
oh no. i always line the pans with parchment. sometimes the pans lose some of the non stikness with age and some batters tend to stick a bit more than other batters, so i always line the pan. hope it tasted great otherwise
I will definitely be using parchment next time. My fruit and nut mix was heavy on the fruit side, so I think that contributed to sticking. I did freeze the cake for a bit and it helped release a bit more to make it salvageable for Christmas. Despite the problem, the cake tastes amazing. Just how the fruit cakes of my youth, tasted. I will be making this again. Thank you!
awesome! yes the fruit might have caused extra sticking.
Where are people buying the potato starch from?
amazon or whole foods
What should we use citric acid for? I just want to see if I should buy it or not.
I use it to add air into the batter before baking. See write up above the recipe. You can use whiped aquafaba instead
I am going to try and make this recipe in my bread machine one of these days but I was wondering if you could recommend a substitute for the oil? Or does leaving it out not affect the cake except for the crust?
I am not sure if it will work in a bread machine. To sub the oil, you can use smooth nut butter or half smooth nut butter and half applesauce
Can we use the rice flour we get in Indian stores ?
yes, in the same proportion.
This is my first comment, thank you for all your time and effort for sending these amazing and nutritious recipes they are truly a wonderful delicacy, happy holidays to all your members 🙂
I tried this yesterday’s & the flavor is amazing, but mine didn’t slice well-crumbled after well cooked. I followed you recipe to a T-should the chia have been ground? I used a silicone loaf pan. I will try again because it was scrumptious even if crumbly!
Try refrigerating it for half an hour and use a serrated knife. It is a pretty sturdy loaf. The edges might be crustier to penetrate, so chilling and a very sharp knife or a serrated knife is helpful to help with easy slicing.
Hello! I just made this cake and it was absolutely delicious. Only problem is that even after refirgerating, it was really crumbly. W hat do you think about adding an egg? Or what would make it stick a little better?
use a really sharp knife to cut through. It should be too crumbly. You can add a sugar icing. That will help moisten the crumb and also hold it together while slicing.
I made this today, and it is absolutely delicious with great texture! The only change I made in the recipe is I used buckwheat flour instead of rice flour. I loved fruitcake as a child, but this is much lighter and not so sweet. ❤️
Thats awesome! So glad it turned out great!
Looks delicious ! If using regular flour , can we substitute Einkorn flour for spelt flour?
I’m going to try a pre-mixed gluten-free flour with some almond flour. My guys have been asking for something like the extremely decadent poppy seed cake we used to get for Christmas morning. Thank you for sharing your inspiring recipes! It always brightens my day when I see one in my inbox.
Awesome! yes many people have made my other recipes with almond flour + bob’s red mill 1 on 1 gf blend for all the other flours and it generally works out fine.
Thank you Richa. Can’t wait to try this as written. I might also try another loaf with say Bob’s Red Mill GF Flour to regular Flour mix…
I like its light on the sugar!
Wow thank you so much for this recipe! I was wondering…..can I leave out the sugar? And could another starch be used other than potato? corn (non-gmo of course)? …otherwise I can eat everything in this cake….thank you so much!
I havent tried it with corn, but it might work. You can leave out the sugar if you have enough balance of dates, currants, etc dried sweet fruit. Chop the dates small for good distribution of sweetness.
Looks delicious!! Is there any replacement could be used for potato starch?
It might work with cornstarch, but i havent tried it.
You are awesome 👏🏻 . Is there a replacement for almond flour,? my daughter is allergic to almonds.
I have tried different flour combinations before if you see my gluten-free baking category with oat and rice flour combination. Almond flour makes the best texture and moisture so far. You can use oat flour + rice flour + some sunflower seed meal+ more starch and add a 1/2 tsp xanthan gum and make it. Make a thicker batter than pictured, and bake a muffin to see if it bakes well before baking a loaf. If the muffin falls a bit after baking, you can add a bit more flour to the batter and adjust before baking the loaf. You also want to cover the loaf with a kitchen towel while cooling as rice and oat flours loose moisture quickly.
I would love to test this receipe but I never use Rice flour. Would it be possible with buckwheat instead?
Thank you 😉
yes, use buckwheat and definitely the potato starch with it.
Will be the cake for Christmas breakfast and tea time! Definitely! 😉
This makes me so happy! As a child (and pre-vegan days as an adult) I used to look forward to receiving my grandmother’s fruitcake every year. She is no longer with us, but the nostalgia is still there. Thank you for sharing this, it will be wonderful to be able to continue her traditions with something everyone can enjoy!
Thank you. My grandma used to get us the cake from a bakery near her home run by a friend. A small homely shop with all home baked fabulous options. Those are some special memories.
Richa, you’ve been flooding us with delicious recipes! I will add this to my to-do list. You rock 😁
I have 3 more to go i think and I am trying to fit them in before everyone leaves for vacation 🙂 <3 <3