18 November 2007

Recipe - Mini Christmas Cakes

These christmas cakes are egg-free, dairy-free, and can be made gluten-free by straight substitution of GF flour. Hence, they're great for making in bulk for gifts when you have a lot of friends and family with allergies and/or intolerances - or when you're a vegan who still wants to give people yummy stuff for christmas.

I'll admit first up that this is a work in progress - 2 christmases so far, and 10-15 cakes each time. I'd suggest halving the quantities and making a couple of test cakes first, just to get it right.

I have some ceramic flat-bottomed noodle bowls about 15cm in diameter and 12-13 cm deep - I find they're perfect for baking these cakes in. It makes a small cake perfect for a gift, and it's quite rich so doesn't seem miserly.

Note: Edited after this year's round of trial cakes!


Dried fruit – approx 2-3 cups *
Water **
2-3 dashes of lemon juice
200g margarine
1.5 cups of brown sugar
2 cups of flour
1 tbsp baking powder
cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
1 cup almond meal ***
1/2 cup glace cherries, chopped
water if needed


In a largeish bowl, cover the dried fruit with water. Soak overnight (at least).

In a different bowl, beat the sugar, margarine and lemon juice together until light and creamy.

In yet another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, almond meal and spices together.

Add flour-spice mix to the creamed mixture.

Add the soaked fruit. Mix well. You may need to add some water in order to make a thick batter - use leftover water/tea from soaking the fruit if desired.

Line the noodle bowls (or whatever tin/bowl you've decided to use) with baking paper. I use two strips the width of the bottom of the bowl, and make a cross with them... then grease the bits of the side not covered by baking paper. I find that this makes it easy to get the cake out, and doesn't cause crease marks in the cake.

Cook at 150C for 60 to 90 minutes (this will depend in part on the size of your tin/bowl).

Cover with marzipan, then icing. Or just icing. Or leave uniced, with almonds and/or fruit for decoration.

* I go a bit mad with the dried fruit - sultanas, currants, cranberries, goji berries, dates, paw paw, apricot. But a standard dried fruit mix would work fine.

** Or cold, fairly strong tea.

*** Hazelnut meal works well too - or for a cheaper option, try LSA - linseed, sunflower and almond meal. To make in nut-free, use sunflower seed meal instead.


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