VEGAN AND CHRISTMAS CAKE IN THE SAME SENTENCE? HECK YES!

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Vegan friendly, delicious, and so easy to make

What’s not to love about a wonderful fruit filled Christmas cake as your centrepiece for a lovely family Christmas?

2020 may well be the year of the paired down Christmas but it doesn’t have to be remembered as the year when, yet again, you failed to provide a cake that all members of the family can enjoy.

In particular, the family member(s) who have decided to move to a vegan diet.

Good for them. Now let’s make sure we treat them to a special slice of delicious cake awesomeness.

(I’m not even sure that’s a word but I don’t care.)

My recipe page is moving more towards vegetarian and vegan ready meals and treats

I’ve been largely vegetarian for many years.

I say largely, because travelling the world as a vegetarian was until relatively recently difficult. Add to the difficulties that I have a severe allergy to cow’s milk and egg yolk and eating in a foreign country felt a lot like playing Russian roulette with food.

For that reason I added fish back into my diet.

Things are changing though.

It’s now so easy to eat well and inexpensively as a vegetarian and vegan. Eating out is not the challenge it once was.

So why do some people still fail to cater for vegans when they bake?

Take a little time to peruse the recipe pages for puddings, cakes and biscuits and take note of how many of them include eggs, milk and cream and the ingredients.

Pretty much all of them.

But it isn’t difficult to create great treats and puddings fit for vegan royalty.

It just takes a little experimentation and a lot of “next time I’ll add this or leave out that” to arrive at the perfect end result.

This recipe for a vegan Christmas cake is a great example

I stumbled across a recipe for a vegan fruit cake on BBC Good Food if my memory doesn’t deceive me.

As ever, it turned out pretty good the first time I made it. But I just tinkered with a few things and hey presto, the cake we enjoy every Christmas is now totally delicious.

And the best part?

I don’t tell people they’re eating a vegan Christmas cake.

Why?

Simple. Tell the average meat-eater or dairy lover that they are eating something that contains neither of those things and they’ll shy away from it towards the standard version 9 times out of 10.

When I’ve asked friends why they do that, they tell me they expect the vegan version of their favourites to be less flavoursome.

Well this time they are so wrong.

Don’t give them a choice

Don’t give your Christmas guests a choice. Just serve up this beautiful vegan Christmas cake and don’t even bother to tell them it’s vegan.

I guarantee they’ll love it.

Vegan Christmas Cake recipe

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Yield: 30 slices approx.

Vegan Christmas Cake

Prep Time: 55 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 55 minutes

This vegan fruit cake recipe is one I found on the BBC Good Food website. The original recipe, as reproduced here, uses rum to flavour the cake.

I prefer brandy in my Christmas cake and that's what I've used in the video. It's a matter of choice really.

This cake was such a hit with our Christmas guests last year, both the vegetarians and non-vegetarians, that it's back on the menu this year.

I normally make my cake around mid-November allowing time to feed it with alcohol before it's iced.

Alternatively, top your cake with nuts and a brandy glaze.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Ingredients

  • 1kg mixed dried fruit (use a mix of raisins, sultanas, currants, cherries, cranberries, prunes or figs)
  • Zest and juice of an unwaxed orange
  • Zest and juice of an unwaxed lemon
  • 150ml rum, plus extra for feeding
  • 250g coconut oil
  • 200g light soft brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp chia seeds
  • 175g plain flour
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 100g flaked almonds
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150ml cold water

You will also need;

  • A cake tin of around 20 cm diameter, or two smaller tins if you prefer
  • A large mixing bowl or pan to combine your ingredients
  • Greaseproof paper or parchment¬†

Instructions

  1. Put the dried fruit, zest and juice, rum, coconut oil and sugar into a large pan set over medium heat.
  2. Give it a good mix and increase the heat to bring it to the boil, then lower the heat again and simmer for 5 minutes until the sugar and coconut oil have dissolved.
  3. Tip the mixture into a large bowl and leave it to cool for 30 minutes
  4. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 150C/130C fan/Gas 2.
  5. Line a deep 20cm cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment
  6. Mix the chia seeds with 150ml water and leave to sit for 5 minutes until gel-like and thick
  7. Add the remaining ingredients to the fruit mixture leaving the chia seed mix until last, and stir the mixture well to make sure there are no pockets of spice or chia seeds
  8. Tip the mixture into your prepared tin, level the top with a spoon and bake in the centre of the oven for 2 hours.
  9. Remove the cake from the oven, poke holes in it with skewer and spoon over 2 tbsp of rum
  10. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin
  11. To store, peel off the baking parchment, then wrap well in cling film or baking foil
  12. If you want to feed your cake a little more, use 1-2 tbsp of rum every two weeks until you ice it. Don't feed the cake for the final week to give the surface a chance to dry before icing.

Notes

This recipe can be divided into smaller cake tins, as in the video, and it works just as well that way. If you do feed your cakes remember to also divide the quantity of alcohol between them.

Nutrition Information

Yield

30 slices

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 289Total Fat 13gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 3mgSodium 73mgCarbohydrates 40gFiber 4gSugar 28gProtein 3g

The nutritional information provided is for guidance only

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