Vickys Traditional Christmas Fruit Cake


340 g (12 oz) gluten-free / plain flour
1/4 tsp slightly rounded xanthan gum if using GF flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda / baking soda
1/2 tsp mixed spice (see my separate recipe for this)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
70 g (2.5 oz) sunflower spread / butter
170 g (6 oz) soft brown sugar
170 g (6 oz) currants
170 g (6 oz) sultanas
140 g (5 oz) raisins
55 g (2 oz) chopped glacĂ© cherries
25 g (1 oz) chopped mixed peel
Zest of 1 lemon
280 ml (1 cup) plus 2.5 tbsp) light coconut milk or milk of choice
6 tbsp Brandy / Cointreau - I use half & half!


1- Grease and line a 7 or 8 inch, deep round cake tin and preheat the oven to gas 4 / 180C / 350F

2- Mix the flour, xanthan gum if using, bicarb of soda, mixed spice, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a large bowl

3- Cut in the sunflower spread like you would if making pastry

4- Stir in the sugar, currants, sulranas, raisins, cherries, mixed peel and lemon zest

5- Add the milk and stir in just until the batter is smooth. Gluten-free batter may need up to 2 extra tablespoons of milk

6- Pour into the cake tin. Try and push the batter down a bit in the middle of the tin to encourage a more even rise while it bakes

7- Bake in the middle of the oven for 1 hour, then turn the heat down slightly to gas 3 / 160 / 325F for another 45 minutes or until the cake has pulled in from the sides of the tin and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean and dry

8- Turn out and let cool on a wire rack

9- When completely cooled, prick all over the cake top with a cocktail stick and spoon 2 tablespoons of the Brandy / Cointreau evenly over. I find it easiest to do this back in the tin lined with clean parchment paper

10- Wrap and store in an airtight container for a week then repeat the pricking and 2 tbsp Brandy feeding. Do this until the Brandy is gone. At the end of the final week the cake is ready to eat! This cake will keep for up to 4 weeks from the day it's baked, 3 weeks for the gluten-free version so the GF is best made I feel on the 4th of December to make it perfect for Christmas Day

​11- If you want to you can spread some apricot jam over the top of the cake and cover in a thin layer of marzipan then spread more jam over that before a final covering of white ready roll fondant icing and maybe some holly leaves or Christmas cake toppers

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