This Easy Gluten-Free Fruit Cake will be an ideal addition to your festive celebrations. Although it contains minimal ingredients, it has fabulous flavour and great texture. If you do not have the time or the inclination to make a rich, dark fruit cake, weeks in advance, this cake is ideal as it can easily be made at short notice.
1tablespoonbrandy, sherry or rumoptional - See Note 7
icing sugar to dustoptional - leave off if wanting to keep refined sugar free
Place the dried fruit in a bowl, add the almond milk and stir well.Cover the bowl with cling wrap and leave the fruit to soak overnight in the fridge. Ideally, soak for 24 hours.
When ready to bake the cake, pre-heat the oven to 160 Degrees C (320 F).
Grease and line the base and sides of a 23cm (9 inch) spring-form cake tin with baking paper.
Remove the fruit from the fridge. If the bowl in which you soaked the fruit is not large enough to add the flour, transfer the fruit to a larger bowl.
Add the mixed spice to the flour and gradually sift it into the fruit mixture, mixing with a wooden or large metal spoon until well combined.
Add the mixture to the prepared tin and smooth the top.Bake in the pre-heated oven for 1 ¼ – 1 ½ hours. As everyone’s oven is different, I recommend that you check at 1 ¼ hours.To test when the cake is done, touch the centre of the cake gently. The cake is cooked if it is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. If the cake is browning too quickly, cover it with a piece of foil.
Remove from the oven when cooked and brush with a little rum, sherry or brandy if using.Cool completely in the tin before turning out.
Wrap well in cling wrap and then in foil. Or, wrap in cling wrap and store in an airtight container.The cake can be iced or frosted and decorated as you wish. If you opt for a simple solution, which I have done, dust it with icing/confectioners’ sugar. Use a paper doily or appropriate stencils to create attractive patterns.
Optional:You could glaze the top of the cake with some apricot jam heated with a little water or brandy. Push the jam glaze through a fine sieve and brush the cake.Decorate with a colourful assortment of glace fruit and nuts. Brush again with a little glaze to make the fruits glisten.
Use a good quality commercially packed mixed dried fruit or customise a mixture to suit your taste. Add or omit mixed peel, use dried cranberries or blueberries, add glace cherries or include chopped dates for caramel sweetness.
I use almond milk for this recipe but you could also use soy milk or cows milk if you do not require the recipe to be vegan. If you have a sweet tooth, you may prefer to use orange, apple, pineapple or cranberry juice. You could even try apricot nectar. I have also seen recipes that use cold tea or iced coffee.
This cake is not overly sweet. If you would prefer a sweeter cake you may choose to soak the fruit in fruit juice.
I have used a commercial gluten-free self-raising flour which is made from a blend of naturally occurring gluten-free flours along with the addition of a raising agent. Our gluten-free flour blends contain either xanthan or guar gum to stabilise and provide structure to our recipes.
You can substitute regular self-raising flour if you don’t need the cupcakes to be gluten-free.
Please note, the nutritional information is based on the cake being enjoyed as 10 serves. You may find it serves more people, as in general, only a small amount is enjoyed at a time. The nutritional information as an estimate only.