This gluten free and dairy free Christmas cake works really well for those with food allergies. Something I love very much, is Christmas cake, and for me, making our Christmas cake is the start of the festivities and by making one that is gluten free, I know the whole family will enjoy it safely. They also make a great gift for someone who doesn’t bake but would love something home made.
Ideally, you should make your cake at least two months before Christmas but last year I was very last minute and only made ours at the end of November and it worked beautifully and 4 weeks of being fed brandy once a week made it just right for Christmas eating.
You will need to have your oven warm and set to 150 degrees. And a large, round cake tin lined with baking paper. I use an 8-inch diameter cake tin.
We use gluten-free flour, usually from Doves Farm and Pure spread or Vitalite. All of these can be sources from your supermarket.
You will need:
225g gluten-free plain flour
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp mixed spice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
200g dairy-free spread
200g dark brown sugar
2 tbsp black treacle
1 tbsp marmalade
¼ tsp vanilla extract
4 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
800g mixed dried fruits
100g mixed candied peel
150g/5oz glacé cherries, halved
- Start by creaming the butter and sugar together until the mixture is paler and fluffy.
- Sift the flour and spices and salt into a bowl.
- Whisk the eggs together then gradually add them to the butter and sugar mix. Add the vanilla essence, marmalade and black treacle (tip, coat the spoon with a little oil first, the treacle will slide off easily)
- Add the flour mix.
- Mix thoroughly. Then you can add your nuts and dried fruit.
- This is a great cake to make with kids because there is a lot of stirring involved and you need manual labour. It’s a good way to keep them busy and make sure the cake is well mixed.
- Pour into your lined cake tin and bake in the oven on the middle shelf for 3 hours. A cake tester spike should come out clean, but you may need to give it ten more increments until this happens. Our cake takes 3 hours and ten minutes. You may want to cover the top of the cake with tin foil if you think it is becoming to dark brown.
- Leave it to cool then it needs to sit and soak up brandy. I use about 2 tablespoons of brandy a week. To start you need to poke 6 holes in even spacing on the top of the cake and gently sprinkle the brandy over the holes and let the cake drink it up.
- If you don’t want brandy you can skip this part but I think it makes the cake much moister and tastier.
I wrap mine in greaseproof paper and store it in a baking tin and feed it every week. It will keep for a good long time in the tin ’til you are ready to decorate it or eat it.
I tend not to decorate my Christmas cake, because our household can’t agree on who likes icing and who doesn’t like marzipan, we eat ours plain, although I opt for the northern tradition of eating a slice with Wensleydale cheese, which sounds very odd but actually works really well.