A lightly spiced fruit cake packed with mixed dried berries and other fruits topped with luscious and creamy vanilla buttercream and a selection of fresh fruits. Pile the fruit high to make this vegan and gluten-free cake a show-stopper dessert or afternoon tea bake.
I have to admit that I am not the world’s biggest fruit cake. It would not be the cake I choose to eat when I’m in a café and I don’t really like Christmas fruit cake. But, this Vegan Fruit Cake may just change all of that.
This Vegan Fruit Cake is not too heavy thanks to a lovely light mix of ingredients, but it has enough dried fruits and berries in it to be a classic fruit cake. The not-so-classic element comes in the form of buttercream and a gorgeous display of fresh fruits on top. With springtime in the air, I am loving all the vibrant and fresh fruits. How better to make a fruit cake really fruity than with fresh fruit, too?
This Vegan Fruit Cake is really similar to my Vegan Maple Simnel Cake, but this version is a little smaller and without the marzipan, opting for the buttercream frosting. It makes this cake feel much more cake-like rather than fruitcake-like. It’s a great in-between cake for those in-between moods.
This is what goes into the cake:
Dried mixed fruits: I like to use a mix of sultanas, raisins and dried cranberries but you can use any fruits, just make sure you chop them smaller.
Mixed spice and cinnamon: to add a lovely warming aroma and flavour to this cake. If you can’t find mixed spice, substitute the 2 tsp mixed spice with 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp ground ginger and continue with the cinnamon already in there.
Orange juice: or apple juice will work here too. It adds a little moisture and flavour.
Vegan butter or margarine: I love to use either for a lovely light and moist textured cake. You could use softened coconut oil, too.
Maple syrup: or any similar liquid syrup will work but the better the quality of the maple syrup, the better and stronger the taste. You could use agave syrup, brown rice syrup of vegan honey.
Mashed banana or apple puree: this acts as a natural binder to the cake as well as adding moisture, fibre and natural sweetness.
Vanilla essence: for a subtle flavour.
Plain or GF plain flour: either work really well in this cake. If you are using GF flour, make sure to use a recommended 1:1 GF blend with xantham gum to help bind the cake. You could also use spelt or wholemeal flour, although they are slightly denser.
Ground almonds: this keeps the Vegan Fruit Cake light and nutty with a great texture. You can use almond flour or almond meal, or similarly use the flour/grinds of another nut.
Baking powder and salt: for rise and flavour enhancement.
There are only a few steps to making this Vegan Fruit Cake and it’s all very simple. Stir the mixed dried fruits with the spices and juice and leave for 5-10 minutes. Whip the butter until soft and whisk in the maple syrup, banana and vanilla until incorporated. Then add in the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt to whisk to thick batter before folding in the fruits and all their spices and juices. Pour into the tin and bake until golden and firm to touch. This bake is long and low, so don’t be impatient and turn up the oven! All ovens do vary so make sure it’s cooked all the way through.
Once this Vegan Fruit Cake is cooled, top it with the whipped luscious vegan vanilla buttercream and then pile high with your favourite fruits. I found some lovely Muscat grapes and also some gorgeous cherries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries but you can use any fruits.
Slice this Vegan Fruit Cake generously and enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee for a delicious afternoon experience. It’s a really family-friendly bake and is such showstopper one for summer garden parties and bringing out to impress your friends!
If you are looking for more cakes and bakes, how about my:
A lightly spiced fruit cake packed with mixed dried berries and other fruits topped with luscious and creamy vanilla buttercream and a selection of fresh fruits. Pile the fruit high to make this vegan and gluten-free cake a show-stopper dessert of afternoon tea bake.
Vegan Fruit Cake:
350g mixed dried fruits, chopped small if needed
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
50ml orange juice
50g vegan butter or margarine
2 ½ tbsp (50g) maple syrup
120g mashed banana (or apple puree)
1 tsp vanilla essence
100g plain or GF plain flour
50g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
75g vegan butter
225g icing sugar
1 ½ tsp plant-based milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
A selection of fruit, sprinkles
Preheat the oven at 120Fan/140*C and lightly grease then line an 8-inch round cake tin with parchment paper.
In a small mixing bowl, add the mixed dried fruits, mixed spice, cinnamon and orange juice and stir.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until smooth. Now pour in the maple syrup, mashed banana and vanilla essence and whisk until incorporated.
Sift in the flour and pour in the ground almonds, baking powder and salt. Stir to a thick and smooth batter.
Fold in the mixed fruits (scrape all the spices and juices into the bowl). Pour the batter into the tin and smooth over the top.
Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, or until golden on top and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes then remove from the tin and allow to cool fully.
Make the buttercream frosting by beating the butter until soft and then gradually beating or whisking in the icing sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth and fluffy.
Spread the buttercream all over the cake and top with the fruits and sprinkles, if using. Store the cake in an airtight container for 3-5 days or freeze the un-iced cake for 1 month.
I look forward to hearing what you think of this Vegan Fruit Cake so please let me know in the comments below. If you make it, I would love to see and see how you decorated the fruit cake, too, so please tag me in your cakes. I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest – please say hello!