Gluten-free Christmas cake
Skill level: Easy peasy
For those who have to follow a gluten-free diet, eating home-made cakes can be quite a challenge as many are made with wheat flour which is full of gluten. Nowadays it’s not too difficult to find gluten-free flours – most large supermarkets will have an aisle dedicated to special diet products. This Gluten-free Christmas cake uses both gluten-free flour and baking powder and the only thing to remember when baking with these products is to add a little extra liquid to the recipe. Store the cake in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
- 350g mixed dried fruit
- 100ml brandy or orange juice
- 150g butter, softened
- 150g soft light brown sugar
- 3 eggs, beaten
- Zest of 1 large orange
- 50g blanched almonds, chopped
- 50g glace cherries, halved
- 2tsp vanilla extract
- 150g gluten-free plain flour
- 1½tsp gluten-free baking powder
- 2tsp ground mixed spice
- 1tsp ground ginger
- 100ml milk
Replace half the dried mixed fruit with finely chopped dried apricots and dates, if liked.
- Place the dried fruit in a bowl with the brandy or orange juice and leave to soak for 2 hrs or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3. Grease an 18cm round deep cake tin and line the base and sides with a double thickness of baking paper.
- Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat together until pale and creamy. Gradually beat in the eggs, adding a little of the flour is the mixture begins to curdle. Add the soaked fruit, orange zest, almonds, cherries and vanilla extract.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder and spices and fold into the mixture with the milk. Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface.
- Bake for 1½-1¾ hrs until golden, firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 15 mins then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.