This easy Vegan Christmas Cake is rich, moist and boozy. A unique 'no soak' method gives an extra-moist texture with all the traditional festive flavours.
🍴Why you will love this recipe
Both simple to make and incredibly moist, this is a failsafe recipe for a rich and boozy festive fruit cake. Packed with your choice of dried fruits, cherries and nuts, brandy and black treacle - no one will ever guess it is vegan.
If you think soaking the fruit overnight is the only way to make a traditional Christmas cake, think again!
This unique method simmers the fruits in brandy, water and soya milk which makes them very soft and moist, infused with boozy flavour. Yes, that's right - you can make this cake in just one afternoon!
📝 What you need
Mixed fruit It is entirely up to you whether you use a bag of mixed fruit from the supermarket, (perfect if you're in a hurry or don't want to buy lots of smaller bags), or whether you create your own blend of raisins, currants, dried cranberries, figs, prunes and mixed peel, or any other dried fruits you like!
Glacé cherries I prefer the natural coloured cherries (as pictured above) rather than the very vibrant red ones, but of course it is up to you!
Flours I like to use a mix of white and wholemeal self-raising flour but if you don't want to buy both, use just white self-raising flour.
Soya milk Use an unsweetened soya milk if you can, so as not to make the cake overly-sweet.
You will need a good quality cake tin, 22cm is ideal, or 20-21cm for an extra-deep cake (which may take just a little longer to cook through). Mine is this Mary Berry loose-base tin which I love.
👩🏽🍳 How to make your Vegan Christmas Cake
For a full, printable recipe with ingredients and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this page👇🏼.
In a large saucepan, mix the dried fruit, cherries light brown sugar, orange zest, black treacle, dairy-free margarine, brandy, soya milk and water. Bring to the boil then simmer for 15 minutes.
Line a 22cm cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment. Add the bicarbonate of soda to the saucepan - be careful, it will fizz up a lot!
Add the flours, ground almonds and mixed spice and stir until well combined. Pour into the prepared tin and smooth the top as much as possible.
Bake the cake for 2-2.5 hours then remove and let cool completely. Feed the cake regularly with brandy or sherry, wrap tightly in baking parchment then foil and keep in an airtight container until needed. To decorate the cake, brush all over with apricot jam then cover with marzipan and icing.
👍🏼 Reader Testimonials
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ "Just want to congratulate you on an awesome vegan Christmas cake recipe! My son is allergic to milk and missed out on proper Christmas cake last year. I tried 3 or 4 recipes, but this is the best! Not crumbly, at all, lovely flavour. I made this for his School Christmas fair and it worked perfectly. i got several comments on how great this was. I know I will be making this for years to come." Louise
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ "I love this recipe and it’s been my ‘go to’ fruit cake recipe for a couple of years now. There’s no need to wait for Christmas!" Helen
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ "This cake recipe is great. Instructions are well written and easy to follow. All the ingredients can be purchased in a UK supermarket. Lovely and moist and not sickly sweet, this cake is just right. Highly recommended." Debbie
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ "Very impressed with the recipe and the fact it uses commonly used ingredients." Emma
✏️ Top Tips and FAQs
This really is a straightforward recipe - I would almost say you can't go wrong!
If you vary the dried fruit, just remember to keep the overall weight to 800g and chop larger fruits into pieces of roughly the same size as the raisins.
Yes certainly. You can substitute orange juice for the brandy in the recipe, or just use more water instead - as long as the overall quantity of liquid is the same it doesn't matter which of these you use. You can 'feed' your cake with a simple sugar syrup to keep it extra-moist. I wouldn't recommend feeding it with orange juice as it may go off whilst the cake is maturing.
It depends! On so many variables - your flours, your choice of fruits, how much liquid bubbled away whilst it simmered, and so on. I would start checking it with a skewer or sharp knife from about 1h45min into cooking time, and keep checking every 10 minutes or so until it comes out completely clean. Even better, if you have a cooking thermometer, stick the probe into the cake and it is cooked through when it reaches 98C throughout.
Yes absolutely. Just be aware that the cooking time is greatly reduced for smaller cakes so just keep checking and testing until they are cooked through. I have heard of people making these in old baked bean tins (the type without a rim) which is a great idea, or in individual loose-bottom cake tins. A lovely festive gift from the kitchen!
If the cake starts to look too brown on top but hasn't yet cooked through, cover it with foil. You might want to check it after an hour's cooking to see how the top is looking.
Yes absolutely - I do this all year round. I would recommend swapping the brandy in the recipe for water, and don't feed it with alcohol afterwards. The choice of fruit is up to you - I usually leave out the mixed peel for a non-Christmassy cake and use mostly raisins and currants, but it is entirely up to you!
Before adding marzipan and icing the cake will keep for at least 3-6 months if stored well, (wrapped in a double layer of parchment and foil, in an airtight container in a cool place). Once decorated,
Of course, if you're not a boozy fruit cake kinda person, you might prefer to take a look at these recipes from blogging friends....
- Chloe's Vegan Gingerbread Men from Baked by Clo
- Kate's Vegan Pumpkin Cake with Ginger Frosting from Veggie Desserts
- Rhian's Gluten Free Vegan Gingerbread Loaf Cake from Rhian's Recipes
- Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes with cinnamon icing
- Ultimate Vegan Mince Pies with 'cream cheese' pastry
- Vegan Chocolate Yule Log
- Jammy Christmas Star Biscuits
🎄 If you liked that...
.... you might also enjoy these vegan Christmas recipes from The Veg Space:
Vegan Christmas Cake
- 800 g mixed fruit (or your own mix of currants, raisins, dried cranberries, chopped figs, chopped dates or chopped prunes plus a few tablespoons mixed peel)
- 200 g natural glacé cherries
- 1 orange zest only
- 175 g light brown sugar
- 50 g black treacle
- 340 g dairy-free margarine
- 200 ml water
- 300 ml unsweetened soya milk
- 100 ml brandy or sherry (check it is vegan)
- 2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 225 g self-raising flour
- 225 g wholemeal self-raising flour (or plain wholemeal flour plus 3 teaspoon baking powder)
- 2 teaspoon mixed spice
- 100 g ground almonds
- 4-6 tablespoon brandy, amaretto or sherry (check it is vegan)
- Take a very large saucepan and tip in the mixed fruit, glacé cherries, orange zest, light brown sugar, black treacle, dairy-free margarine, water, soya milk and brandy. Bring to the boil then simmer for 15 minutes, stirring from time to time.
- Grease a 22cm round or square baking tin, and line it with a double layer of baking parchment. Preheat the oven to 140°C (fan) / 275°F / gas mark 1
- When cooking time is up, carefully stir through the bicarbonate of soda, (the mixture will fizz and rise up the sides of the saucepan so make sure there is enough room to prevent spillages!).
- Stir through both types of flour, the ground almonds and mixed spice. Mix well so that no lumps of flour remain.
- Tip the mixture into your lined baking tin and smooth down the top as much as you can - it will not spread or level itself in the oven.
- Bake for 2 - 2.5 hours, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean - start checking from about 1h45min into cooking time. Leave to cool in the tin.
- To store until needed, wrap in a double layer of baking parchment then a double layer of foil and keep in an airtight tin or container. 'Feed' the cake with brandy, sherry or amaretto every week or so - prick it all over with a cocktail stick then pour over 3-4 tablespoons of alcohol and let it seep into the cake.
- If you wish to decorate the cake in a traditional way, brush it all over with apricot jam, roll out marzipan and cover the cake. Brush the marzipan layer with brandy then cover with rolled fondant icing. 1kg each of marzipan and icing will be sufficient to cover the whole cake.
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