Gluten-Free Baking

Rich Fruit Christmas Cake

2.8/5 rating (157 votes)
  • Makes: 1 x 18 cm round or square cake
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Ready in: 1 1/2 to 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print:
Rich Fruit Christmas Cake



I actually prefer this gluten-free version of Christmas cake to the regular kind. The texture is just the same if not better and it is delicious! It's best to soak the fruit in the whisky and lemon juice overnight; it makes a real difference to the texture of the cake.


  • For the cake
  • 75g currants
  • 75g sultanas
  • 350g raisins
  • 50g mixed peel
  • 150ml whisky
  • grated zest and juice of 1 small lemon
  • vegetable oil, for oiling
  • 150g Gluten-Free Flour Mix B
  • 1 teaspoon Gluten-Free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 150g unsalted butter, softened
  • 150g soft dark brown sugar
  • 3 medium eggs, at room temperature
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 2 tablespoon rice or almond milk
  • 50g whole almonds
  • 100g natural-coloured glacé cherries, halved and washed
  • 1 tablespoon black treacle
  • 1 tablespoon clear honey
  • For the top
  • 2 tablespoons smooth apricot jam, warmed
  • 100g mixed glacé fruits e.g. red or green cherries
  • ginger
  • 50g nuts e.g. almonds, walnuts or pecan halves

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  1. Place the dried fruit and mixed peel in a pan, add the whisky and the lemon juice and zest, and bring up to the boil.
  2. Take the pan off the heat, cover and leave to soak overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 2. Oil and line the base and sides of a 6 - 8cm deep round or square 18cm cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment, including a tall collar sticking up. 
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder, xanthan gum and spices together.
  5. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy and light.
  6. Gradually add the eggs and flour, alternately, and then add the ground almonds.
  7. Stir in the milk and mix in the dried fruit mixture, almonds and cherries.
  8. Finally stir in the treacle and honey and give the whole cake mix a thoroughly good stir.
  9. Spoon the mixture into the tin, level, and bake for about 1 ½-2 hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.
  10. To decorate, brush the surface of the cake with half the warmed jam. Arrange or pile a selection of glacé fruits and nuts over the top and brush over a second layer of jam to glaze.
  11. Now all you need is a big bow to put round the sides!

Phil's Tips

Gluten Free Flour Mix B

  • Makes 1 kg
  • 300g fine cornmeal (maize) as fine as possible
  • 500g brown rice flour
  • 200g cornflour

Mix all the flours together very thoroughly or put into a food processor and pulse until mixed, if yours has a large enough capacity. Store in an airtight container.

Brandy Frosting

Serves: 6-8 persons

Preparation time: 10 minutes

  • 125g soft trans fat free margarine
  • 125g icing sugar
  • 4-6 tbsp brandy or more if you want
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 pinches nutmeg

Simple, just mix everything together and blend well.

Then serve at room temperature.


When cold, remove it from the tin, wrap in greaseproof paper and two thick layers of foil and store in an airtight container. Freeze for up to nine months.

Comments (4)

  • Natalie Chapman

    Natalie Chapman

    01 October 2017 at 20:48 |
    Absolutely love this recipe and use it for all my fruit cakes all year round. It gets lots of compliments, particularly when used for wedding cakes.
    Thank you


  • Phil Vickery

    Phil Vickery

    18 December 2015 at 09:11 |
    You can, but check to see if there is any xanthan gum in it already, if there is then do not add extra.


  • Adele Maxwell-smith

    Adele Maxwell-smith

    12 December 2015 at 08:22 |
    Hi I'm struggling finding the ingredients for the flour mix B could I use dives farm flour instead


  • Pauline


    05 December 2014 at 11:01 |
    I made this and it is delicious, beautifully moist and full of flavour. The instructions said 7" round or square tin and I used round. However, this yields a deep cake and next time I shall use 7" square which will yield the perfect height for me. You would not know this was gluten free so you can serve it to everyone in the family.


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