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Gluten-Free Christmas Cake

Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Servings 12
If you love a proper old-fashioned fruit cake but need it to be gluten free, don't miss my easy Gluten-Free Christmas Cake recipe!


  • 3 cups mixed dried fruit Be sure the mixture includes dried fruits you like in fairly small pieces (raisin size).
  • 1 cups sultanas You can substitute extra raisins or currants.
  • ¾ cup raisins
  • ¾ cup mixed peel Measure this as a scant cup if using cup measures. Mixed peel is also known as candied peel.
  • ¾ cup glacé cherries, halved Measure this as a scant cup if using cup measures. Please do not use maraschino cherries.
  • 1 cup white rum You can also use any other gluten-free alcohol of your choice - dark rum, Cointreau, whiskey or brandy.
  • 3 tablespoons chopped almonds That is about 3 tablespoons.
  • 4 tablespoons ground almonds Ground almonds are also known as almond flour. Use 4 generous tablespoons.
  • cups + 1 tablespoon 1 to 1 gluten free flour blend
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder Do not use drinking chocolate.
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons Mixed Spice I use 2 generous teaspoons.
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons butter, softened Plus extra for greasing the pan.
  • 4 eggs, beaten together
  • cups soft brown sugar If using cups, the brown sugar should be firmly packed.
  • 1 lemon, grated rind only


  • About 24 hours before making the cake, or at least the night before, combine the mixed dried fruit, sultanans, raisins, mixed peel and glacé cherries in a large bowl.
  • Pour the rum, whiskey or brandy over the top. Cover and set aside. Give the mixture a stir every few hours if you think of it.
  • The following day, to make the cake, preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C or 150°C for fan ovens).
  • Grease a 9 to 10 inch (24 to 25 cm) in diameter, at least 2½ inches (6 to 7 cm) deep) cake pan with butter and line with baking parchment. I like to use a springform pan as it makes the cake easier to remove from the pan.
  • Stir the chopped almonds and the ground almonds into the dried fruit mixture. Set aside.
  • Sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and mixed spice together into a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • Cream the butter and brown sugar together in the large bowl of an electric mixer or use a large bowl and a wooden spoon to cream the ingredients by hand.
  • Add the lemon rind to the butter and brown sugar mixture and mix to combine.
  • Add the eggs to the butter and brown sugar mixture, one at a time, beating after each addition. If mixing by hand, break all four eggs into a medium bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Then add to the cake mixture a bit at a time, beating after each addition. (The mixture may curdle a little at this point. Don't worry, all will be well.)
  • Add the flour mixture to the butter and egg mixture a bit at a time, beating after each addition until well blended.
  • Fold in the dried fruit and nut mixture, adding any alcohol remaining in the bowl as well.
  • Turn the mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth over the surface, making a slight hollow in the centre so it will rise evenly.
  • Bake at 325°F (165°C or 150°C for fan ovens) for 45 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 300°F (150°C or 140°C for fan ovens) nd bake for a further 20 to 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Watch the cake carefully while it is baking. It may take less or more time to bake. It is done when a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  • When the cake is done, remove the cake tin from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for at least 2 hours.
  • Carefully remove the cake from the pan.
  • Cool the cake for another hour or until it reaches room temperature. After the cake is completely cool, store it in a domed cake plate, a sealed container, or wrap carefully in aluminium foil.
  • Keep the cake in a cool, dry place and 'feed' it with about every ten days. Poke the cake with a skewer and drizzle one to two tablespoons of the liquor you used to soak the fruit over the cake.
  • A few days before serving, you can cover and ice or frost the cake if you wish. Please see the notes in the blog post for instructions on how to do this.


This cake can be cut in fairly thin slices to serve as it is very rich. You may find it serves more than 12. 

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